Class Notes (1,100,000)
CA (650,000)
Western (60,000)
MIT (1,000)
Lecture 1

Media, Information and Technoculture 2000F/G Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Jason Ritter, World Brain, Sound Recording And Reproduction


Media, Information and Technoculture
Course Code
MIT 2000F/G
Daniel Robinson

of 6
Faculty of Information and Media Studies, Winter 2014
Professor: Daniel Robinson Office Hours: Tues, 4:00-5:00pm or by appt.
NCB 442; phone ext. 86669;
Lecture: Tuesday, 7:00-9:00PM (MC 110)
Tutorials: Thursdays, (various times/locations)
Teaching Assistants:
Chakraborty, Indranil
Colbeck, Kristen
Coulsen, Sherry
Eisner-Levine, Amy
Helkenberg, Davin
McMahon, Jeff
Mitra, Saumava
Naimi, Anthony
Netherton, Jason
Ritter, Stephanie
St-Pierre, Paul
The course examines communication throughout history, with a focus on Canada since the 18th century.
It highlights the relationship between communication media and the broader social context of politics,
culture, economics, and the law. The historical development of specific communication systems and
media are examined, among them newspapers, magazines, the telegraph, radio and television
broadcasting, film, sound recording, and the Internet. Special attention is paid to the commercialization
of mass media.
Lecture slides will be added to the course web page on a weekly basis
Students who complete this course should know the following:
the history and social impact of information technologies, largely in Canada
how communications systems developed and how users constructed cultural meanings with
mass media content
how scholarship on communication history has shaped understandings of modern-day media and
information technologies.
Daniel J. Robinson, ed., Communication History in Canada 2nd Edition (Oxford University Press,
2009) (Bookstore)
Gerald Friesen, Citizens and Nation: An Essay on History, Communication and Canada
(University of Toronto Press, 2000), (Bookstore)
find more resources at
find more resources at
Mid-Term Exam (Feb 25) 25%
This will be an in-class, closed-book test on key terms and concepts, covering lecture content and course
readings from the start of classes until Feb 13.
Essay (April 8) 30%
1,500-2,000-word essay based on Friesens Citizens and Nation. There will be a handout detailing
requirements for this assignment. Students may be required to submit this essay to
Tutorial Participation (ongoing) 15%
Based on tutorial attendance and the caliber of student contributions reflecting knowledge of readings
and lecture content.
Final Exam (April) 30%
This will take place during the April exam period and will be two hours in duration.
Tutorial Attendance and Course Readings:
Students are required to attend tutorials and to read beforehand the assigned articles.
Electronic Devices
Laptops and hand-held devices are allowed for note-taking and any other activities authorized by myself
or a Teaching Assistant. Students, however, are banned from using such devices for other purposes
(e.g., web browsing, email, face booking, texting) during lectures or tutorials. Those discovered doing so
will no longer be allowed to use such devices.
Late Paper Policy:
Late essays will be penalized 3% per day, including weekends. Late papers will not be accepted after
one week. The only exceptions involve: 1) medical illness where proper medical documentation is
provided PRIOR to the due date, when possible; 2) compassionate grounds (i.e., death in family, house
fire) where PRIOR permission, when possible, is obtained from the instructor. (This does not include
having a very busy schedule.) Late essays must be submitted to the MIT Office (NCB 240) and date
stamped. Do not slide papers under my door. Papers submitted after 4:15 PM Friday will be date
stamped on Monday and penalized accordingly.
Make-Up Tests and Exams:
There are none, except for those students who fall under the areas of medical illness and compassionate
grounds noted below. Travel schedules, employment, etc., will NOT count as legitimate reasons for
missing or rescheduling an exam.
DATE TOPICS READINGS (all in Robinson, ed., Communication History 2 nd
unless otherwise indicated)
Jan 7 Oral Society Ong, “Some Psychodynamics of Orality”, 5-9
Friesen, “Interpreting Aboriginal Cultures”, 21-29
Jan 9 Tutorial Innis, “Empire and Communications”, 35-39
Jan 14 Writing/Print Culture Havelock, “Literate Revolution,” 10-15
Eisenstein, “Rise of Reading Public”, 16-20
find more resources at
find more resources at
Jan 16 Tutorial Carey, “Cultural Approach to Communication,” 62-6
Jan 21 Newspapers McNairn, “Most Powerful Engine” 128-139
Jan 23 Tutorial Sotiron, “Public Myth and Private Reality,” 140-149
Jan 28 Photography/Advertising Johnston, “Newspapers, Advertising”, 114-125
Jan 30 Tutorial Robinson, “Marketing Gum,” 126-138
Feb 4 Postal/Telegraph/Telephone Osborne/Pike “Lowering the Walls”, 71-79
Feb 6 Tutorial Winseck, “Back to the Future,” 80-93
Martin, “Communication and Social Forms,” 94-104
Feb 11 Radio Charland, “Technological Nationalism,” 50-61
Feb 13 Tutorial Vipond, “Who is to Pay” 198-206
McChesney, “Graham Spry”, 207-216
Webb, “Constructing Community” 217-227
Feb 25 Mid-Term Exam (No Tutorials, Feb. 27)
March 4 Film Armatage, “Girl From God’s Country,” 266-271
March 6 Tutorial Magder, “Featureless Film Policy”, 234-243
Druick, “NFB and Government,” 259-265
March 11 Magazines Korinek, “Mrs. Chatelaine”, 177-89
March 13 Tutorial [Tutorial only: Friesen, Citizens and Nation, pts I & II
March 18 Television, pt.1 Hogarth “Public-Service Broadcasting”, 228-237
March 20 Tutorial Rutherford, “Word from Sponsors”, 238-244
[Tutorial only: Friesen, Citizens and Nation, pts III, IV
March 25 Television pt II Wagman, “Rock the Nation,” 245-254
March 27 Tutorial
April 1 Recording Industry Straw, “English-Can Recording Industry,” 244-52
April 3 Tutorial Jackson, “Peace, Order, and Good Songs”, 290-301
April 8 Internet Campbell-Kelly/Aspray, “World Brain to Web,” 105-116
April 10 Tutorial Menzies, “Behind the Silicon Curtain,” 117-122
(ESSAYS DUE April 8 in Lecture)
Notes from the Deans Office of the
Faculty of Information and Media Studies
Statement on Academic Offences
Scholastic offences are taken seriously and students are directed to read the appropriate policy, specifically,
the definition of what constitutes a Scholastic Offence, at the following
Web site: .
Plagiarism: Students must write their essays and assignments in their own words. Whenever students take
an idea, or a passage from another author, they must acknowledge their debt both by using quotation marks
where appropriate and by proper referencing such as footnotes or citations. Plagiarism is a major academic
All required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to the commercial plagiarism
find more resources at
find more resources at