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1.+Introduction+to+Media+History+LO.docx

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Department
Communication Studies
Course
CS100
Professor
Martin Morris
Semester
Winter

Description
CS 100B INTRODUCTION TO MEDIAHISTORY WINTER, 2014 Dr. Martin Morris,Associate Professor What is communication studies? o There are ‘administrative’ approaches and ‘critical’ approaches to communication studies —we do the latter Administrative:  o the social and historical constitution of communication technologies (that is, memorizing  dates is not really part of the study of media history) Introduction to ‘meaning-making’ o Above all, humans are meaning­makers o “We think only in signs” (C.S. Pierce) o Signs may take the forms of words, images, sounds, odours, flavours, acts or objects o “Nothing is a sign unless it is interpreted as a sign” o Three kinds of signs:  o likenesses, or icons   photograph indicated sth in the real life)  o indications, or indices (such as smoke is a indicator of fire) o symbols, or general signs (sth can represent objectives in real life) o Cave paintings are among the earliest human signs recorded. Pictograms (xiang xin tu)  are different from human language. Why? o Tokens(represent certain amount of money): a painting of a horse is different from a  token because there is no specific relationship between a token and what it represents.  The symbol contrasts with the icon. o Writing systems developed in Sumeria in 3200 BCE o Cuneiform indicates wedge shaped markings on clay and stone. Pictographic or  ideographic writing o phonetic symbols—major development o The Phonetic or “Rebus” principle
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