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124261 KO Critical Media Analysis (2019S)

Fake News: Hoaxes, Propaganda, and Media Literacy

6.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 12 - Anglistik
Continuous assessment of course work

Details

max. 30 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Tuesday 19.03. 08:30 - 10:00 Raum 5 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-17
Tuesday 26.03. 08:30 - 10:00 Raum 5 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-17
Tuesday 02.04. 08:30 - 10:00 Raum 5 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-17
Tuesday 09.04. 08:30 - 10:00 Raum 5 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-17
Tuesday 30.04. 08:30 - 10:00 Raum 5 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-17
Tuesday 07.05. 08:30 - 10:00 Raum 5 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-17
Tuesday 14.05. 08:30 - 10:00 Raum 5 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-17
Tuesday 21.05. 08:30 - 10:00 Raum 5 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-17
Tuesday 28.05. 08:30 - 10:00 Raum 5 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-17
Tuesday 04.06. 08:30 - 10:00 Raum 5 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-17
Tuesday 18.06. 08:30 - 10:00 Raum 5 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-17
Tuesday 25.06. 08:30 - 10:00 Raum 5 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-17

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

The problem of ‘fake news’ stands at the forefront of contemporary cultural and philosophical anxieties about the misaligned incentives of new media, politics and online community identity: from the deliberate spreading of misinformation and disinformation via online social media and hoaxes committed by alternative news outlets, to President Trump’s condemnation of all mainstream old media as ‘fake news’. However, the themes of mistrust in the media and the abuse of new technologies of mass communication to spread misinformation, are perennial, constantly developing and adapting through emergent replication technologies such as the printing press, the camera, film, the phonograph, radio broadcasting, (reality) TV, and the internet. In this course we will explore the history and genealogy of the intersection of new media technologies with trust, paranoia, propaganda, and hoaxes in the cultural sphere. Together, we will discuss theoretical and cultural studies approaches to ‘fake news’ and how these can be advanced through an intersectional approach that considers the role of propaganda, hoaxing, and trust in constructing and negotiating the social categories of gender, race, sexuality, class, . In the rise of pamphlet and newspaper print culture in the 18th century (the so-called ‘Age of Disguise’) we will discuss the satirical use of media hoaxes to highlight a distinction between the ‘truth’ of a certain discourse and those who claim the authority to speak it. Here we will observe and discuss how in the 19th century, ‘fake news’ develops from a form of satire – as exploited by Daniel Defoe’s insincere political pamphlets, Jonathan’s Swift’s faked astrological pamphlets, and Benjamin Franklin’s sham journalism – to a way of achieving literary effects (gothic, horror, terror, the Uncanny) upon the reader (e.g. Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘Balloon Hoax’, the Great Moon Hoax and the Petrified Man hoax). In the 20th century we will analyse the rise of state and political propaganda media in its various forms (art, painting, radio, cinema, news reporting), but also the ways in which new technologies had changed the dynamics of truth and credulity in the cultural sphere, as seen in Arthur Conan Doyle’s intervention into the Cottingley Fairies photography fraud in The Coming of the Fairies and Orson Welles’ infamous War of the Worlds radio broadcast. This vantage will also allow us to discuss, and get a firmer grounding in, modernist and postmodernist cultural theories of new mass media, from Walter Benjamin’s analysis of ‘The Work of Art in the Age of its Mechanical Reproduction’ and Roland Barthes’s Mythologies, to Guy Debord’s characterisation of postmodernity as an alienating ‘Society of the Spectacle’, and to postmodernism’s most provocative theorisation of the ubiquity of ‘fake news’ in Jean Baudrillard’s theory of hyperreality (as in The Gulf War Did Not Take Place). Finally we will turn to the present day online and remix culture to discuss the role that memes, gaming cultures, and social media platforms have played in changing the nature and function of ‘fake news’. Here, we will look at the rise of satirical news video editing (e.g. Vic Berger, Todd Dracula) and other contemporary modes of culture jamming and culture hacking, as well as the political stakes and ideologies of Pepe the Frog memes and Alt-Right alternative media sites, to interrogate how these emergent dimensions push the new front-lines in the culture wars (e.g. Gamergate). We will discuss the most current secondary literature on remix culture which attempts to come to terms with a present cultural moment defined by the fake, the photo-shopped, the simulated, from Limor Shifman’s pioneering work on memes to diverse feminist, queer, and race studies works that express incredulity towards, and reveal the hidden assumptions, constructions, ideologies and interpellations of new media (Stuart Hall, Laura Mulvey, Louis Althusser, Tania Modleski, Angela McRobbie, Vito Russo)

Assessment and permitted materials

50% Final Essay (2,500 words)
20% In-Class Presentation
10% Class participation / contribution to discussions
10% Abstract (300 words)
10% Moodle Quiz

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Students must fulfill and pass each of the 5 course requirements (Essay, Presentation, discussion, abstract, Moodle Quiz

Examination topics

The course reading and presentations

Reading list

Determined in agreement with students to complement their presentations; selected secondary articles provided on Moodle Platform

Association in the course directory

Studium: UF 344, BA 612, BEd 046/407
Code/Modul: UF 4.2.5-426, BA07.3; BEd 08a.2, BEd 08b.1
Lehrinhalt: 12-4260

Last modified: We 03.07.2019 08:27