Task description

You need to write a total of 2000 words responding to the questions posed in seminars 1, 3, 4 and 5.

Your writing should involve a careful engagement with at least four scholars – one per response (via journal articles, books or book chapters). You should approach these scholars as key conversationalists whose ideas, arguments and ways of thinking you engage with, employ and respond to.

Your writing should include substantive engagement with an illustration or example.

Weight: 20%


Seminar 1

Critically explore one of the following questions:

What is cybernetics? (And, why does it matter to how we understand today’s media platforms?)
What are media platforms? (And, what makes platforms a unique and important form of media?)
What is algorithmic cuture? (And, how does it help us to understand platforms and how they affect our lives and culture?)
Seminar 3

For this response critically explore platforms’ investments in and experiments with machine learning or augmented reality. You might take up one of the following questions or issues:

What is simulation?
What is the relationship between simulation and surveillance?
Critically explore the role machine learning plays in the digital cultures and business models of platforms like Instagram and Spotify.
Critically explore supervised and unsupervised approaches to machine learning.
How are media platforms changing our experience of reality?
Seminar 4

Critically explore the relationship between digital media and our bodies.
How do digital media affect, engineer and sense our mood, feelings or intimate relationships?
What is digital intimacy?
How is intimate life played out, learned, data-fied, commodified and exploited on digital media platforms?
How do digital media translate our lived experience into data?
Seminar 5

How do media platforms exercise power?
What is the relationship between algorithms and the exercise of power?
How do algorithms affect our experience?
What kinds of harms can algorithms generate?
How could the algorithmic decision-making of platforms be made accountable to the public?
Critically examine the advertising models and/or promotional culture of platforms.

Make a clear argument.
Engage with, and deploy, theoretical arguments from the course seminars, readings and original research.
Use scholarly readings deliberately and thoughtfully.
Use appropriate and incisive illustrations drawn from your own research (for this writing task the illustrations can come from your engagement with the seminars or the readings..
Write clearly structured prose free form expression and referencing errors.
Use your chosen form and style to convey your argument in an engaging and illuminating fashion for your intended audience.

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