Rhetoric of New Media
114 | D | CCN: 15203
Instructor: Ryan Ikeda
Location: Barrows 140
Tu/W/Th 10:00-12:30 | 4 Units
This course explores the effects of digital technology on human expression.
Our first approach examines our daily encounters with born-digital artifacts, such as memes, GIFs,
tweets, snaps, emoji, and new media works of art. Our second approach investigates hidden,
physical infrastructure that make new media possible, for example, the undersea fiber optic cable
network or cloud storage facilities that connect, protect, and enable digital culture. Lastly, we will
read essays on digital culture written by a few of its leading thinkers.
Rhetoric of New Media directs our reading, writing, speaking, and thinking practices toward the
analysis of digital culture through a series of projects—a presentation, a seminar discussion, and an
essay—through the following questions:
What aspects of digital culture do I find most compelling?
How does digital technology change the way I know myself?
In what ways do new media change the pace and scale of my social interaction?
At the end of the semester, students will have cultivated a strong foundation for the analytical and
theoretical study of new media applicable across disciplines, including but not limited to CS, EECS,
Cognitive Science, MCB, Rhetoric, Film/Media, Media Studies, English, Philosophy, and many
other majors and minors.