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Study Guide

COMS 3500- Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 42 pages long!)Premium

42 pages241 viewsFall 2017

Department
Communication and Media Studies
Course Code
COMS 3500
Professor
liamyoung
Study Guide
Final

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Carleton
COMS 3500
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Lecture One Title
Time
Time has always been expressed through the body
o Rose with the sun/slept with the dark
o Measured time through heartbeats
o Through reproduction
Time changes through seasons, location, etc.
Everyone experienced time slightly differently (no universal time)
Experiments to keep time
o Sun dial (but clouds were problematic)
o Water clock (subject to the elements)
o Music keeps time through the beat (but the variety of musical styles and
instruments produce a plethora of different times)
Before the 14thC, times were kept organically
o In which the body is no longer the main measuring instrument of time
What happened?
o An instrument was invented that measured time in units
o A mechanical clock
Modern time emerged with the ticking of the mechanical clock (and later the
wristwatch)
o Few devices are as taken for granted as the clock
o We don’t think about it as an object, but an abstract concept
o The consequences exceeded its goals
Clock was a material expression of the techniques of timekeeping at the time
Monasteries were the “calm amongst the storm”
o Part of the peace that came with them was order
o Founded as communities of believers who wanted to live in a very
regulated way that was organized compared to outside chaos and
confusion
Benedictian law: 7 canonical hours in a day punctuated by ringing bells
o Monks needed to keep time to know when to ring the bells and
synchronize the community’s routine and habits
o Thus came the mechanical clock as a cultural expression of the desires and
habits of keeping time
What does a clock do to time?
o Breaks time into smaller units (60s/60mins)
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o Lifetimes measured in smaller and smaller units
(decades/years/months/weeks/days)
o What was once organic is now visible and countable
o People start to think about controlling time in a way no one ever had
o Device that synchronizes people within eyeshot of the clock
o Time is now abstract (ex: you can save time, account for it, serve it, pass it,
share it, standardize it)
Can organize systems of production (i.e. business hours)
“Reliability of clockwork becomes a really powerful metaphor through which people
understand their life and labour. It becomes almost like an ideal to strive for.”
Prof Liam Young
o To be as punctual as the clock as a goal
People start to invent ways to find more time (ex: expanding the day through
lighting)
o Wicks/candles
o Gas lights
o Chimneys
o Or ways to be more efficient to free up time to do other things
Clock as paradigm
Objects
Materiality: thinking about an object not in terms of ideology, but its
functionality and physicality
o Introduction to media materialism
The clock facilitates broader networks of activity
Objects make people think
Clock-time inspires scholarship, history, etc.
Discipline of history as a modern phenomenon
Infrastructure of civilization and culture
o What’s beneath networks of culture and exchange? Concepts? Techniques?
o Infrastructure can teach us a lot about what and how people are able to
hold together across the ages
Objects are formed from the elements of the Earth (ex: clock)
o Each of these elements have histories of their own
o We tend to break the world b/w nature and humans, but this divide is
much more fluid/permeable than we think
o Our culture imprints itself on the Earth
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