Professor: John Parham
Institution: University of Worcester, UK
Course Number: MECS3013
John Parham, Principal Lecturer, Media and Cultural Studies
This module looks at the media’s role in raising environmental awareness. It will ask you to think about how far popular media and culture can encourage us to apply ecological values to our everyday lives. Available to students on the Media & Culture, Journalism, and Politics degrees, ‘Green Media’ offers a comprehensive survey of ‘green’ popular forms while relating media and popular culture to scientific and social concepts of ‘ecology’.
Classroom sessions encompass lectures, screenings, ‘listenings,’ seminars, and workshops and the module covers press and broadcast news, environmental journalism, social media and environmental activism, varieties of film (Hollywood, documentary, and avant-garde cinema), television, animation, popular music, comedy, and computer games. Case studies currently include: The Day After Tomorrow, Blue Planet 2, the activist website 350.org and the celebrity site Ecorazzi, Neil Young and Björk, An Inconvenient Truth, Larry Gottheim’s art film Fog Line, Spirited Away, the comedian Marcus Brigstocke, and the computer games Minecraft and Journey. An additional session considers the resource implications of the media products we use. Be prepared to confront the truth about the energy consumed by your phones, tablets, and laptops, the precious and sometimes toxic metals out of which they are made, and whether your devices are recycled or dumped (and by whom). Each cultural form will be discussed in relation to ecological theory (an understanding of which will be developed and tested in assignment 1), the historic development of environmental themes in that form, and the political and economic constraints and possibilities that each offers (or not) to environmental activism.
The module has two assignments. The first portfolio assignment encompasses a series of discrete tasks designed to measure your understanding of the key concepts of the module (environment, ecology, and rhetoric) and an opportunity to pilot case studies for assignment 2, the long essay. In the essay, you will apply your understanding of arguments around ‘green media’ to a detailed examination of a popular text of your choice.
Full Syllabus: ASLE_Syllabi_GreenMediaParham