The Politics of New Media Production



This course tracks the maturation of the Internet into a mass medium.

As broadband adoption grows and advertisers shift budgets online, web companies are growing richer, more popular and more powerful. This course explores the changing marketplace for online entertainment, focusing on video companies like YouTube angling to supplant television but incorporating the broader literature on the politics of production and distribution for companies like Facebook and Google. Readings will include studies of amateur/user production, corporate efforts to monetize web entertainment, independents creating innovative content — ranging from the early days of the Internet to the present.

Required Texts:

Joseph Turow, The Daily You: How the New Advertising Industry is Defining Your Identity and Your World, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012


WEEK 1: Themes

WEEK 2: Beginnings


Dan Schiller, “The Neoliberal Networking Drive Originates in the United States,” Digital Capitalism: Networking the Global Market System

Fred Turner, “The Triumph of the Network Mode,” From Counterculture to Cyberculture

Lisa Nakamura, “Race In/For Cyberspace: Identity Tourism and Racial Passing on the Internet,” in Bell, David J. and Kennedy, Barbara M. The Cybercultures Reader


Robert McChesney, Digital Disconnect, chapters 1, 4 and 5

Christopher Locke, “Introduction,” “95 Theses,” Cluetrain Manifesto

WEEK 3: Web 2.0


Mark Andrejevic. ” The Webcam subculture and the digital enclosure.” in Couldry, Nick. Mediaspace: Place, scale and culture in a media age.

Henry Jenkins, “Introduction” and “Where Web 2.0 Went Wrong,” Spreadable Media: creating meaning and value in a networked culture

Turow, “Introduction,” “The Power Under the Hood.”

WEEK 4: Copyright and Piracy


Peter Decherney, “Digital Hollywood: Too Much Control and Too Much Freedom,” Hollywood’s Copyright Wars (or “Hollywood’s Guerrilla War”)

Jason Mittell, “Exchanges of Value,” Flow,

Bill Herman, “Lightning in a Bottle,” “New Strategies and an Historic Uprising,” The Fight Over Digital Rights: The Politics of Copyright and Technology

WEEK 5: Users and Production

Screening (suggested): The Social Network (2010)


danah boyd, “Why youth♥ social network sites: The role of networked publics in teenage social life,” The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning,

danah boyd, “White Flight in Networked Publics? How Race and Class Shaped American Teen Engagement with MySpace and Facebook,” in Race, Gender & Class: An Anthology

Soren Peterson. “Loser Generated Content: From Participation to Exploitation,” First Monday,

Robert Gehl, “A History of Like,” The New Inquiry,


Mark Andrejevic, “Watching Television Without Pity The Productivity of Online Fans.” Television & New Media


WEEK 6: Television (Production and Content)

Screening: Me at the Zoo (2012)

In class: The Guild (2007-), The Outs (2012-), What the Buck (2006-)


Ellcessor, “Tweeting @feliciaday Online Social Media, Convergence, and Subcultural Stardom,” Cinema Journal

Denise Mann, “Next-Gen Web Workers: LG15’s Industrial Self-Reflexivity on Steroids,” Journal of Popular Film and Television

Aymar Jean Christian, “Soaps Online: The Revolution That Wasn’t?” In Media Res,

Ivan Askwith, “Introduction,” “Lost At Television’s Crossroads,” Television 2.0: Reconceptualizing TV as an Engagement Medium (Master’s thesis)

WEEK 7: Television (Networks and Distribution)

Screenings: Streamys Promos, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn (2012), Epic Rap Battles of History (2012)


Aymar Jean Christian, “Valuing Post-Network Television,” Flow,

Tessa Stuart, “YouTube Stars Fight Back,” LA Weekly,

Tim Wu, “Introduction,” “The Internet Against Everyone,” The Master Switch

Alisa Perren and Karen Petruska, “Big Hollywood, Small Screens,” in Moving Data: the iPhone and the Future of Media


Axel Bruns. “Reconfiguring Television for a Networked, Produsage Context,” Media International Australia, 126, 82-94,

WEEK 8: Games

Screening: Indie Game (2012)


Nick Dyer-Witheford, Greig De Peuter, “Introduction,” “Game Engine: Labor, Capital, Machine” (1.1, 1.2, 1.3), Games of Empire: Global Capitalism and Video Games (online via NUCat)

Adrienne Shaw, “Changing the Conversation, Not Just the Games,” Antenna,

Lisa Nakamura, “Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game: The Racialization of Labor in World of Warcraft,” in Digital Labor: The Internet as Playground and Factory


Adrienne Shaw, “Putting the Gay in Games: Cultural Production and GLBT Content in Video Games,” Games and Culture

WEEK 9: Privacy


Turow, “The New Advertising Food Chain,” “Targets or Waste,” “The Long Click,” The Daily You

Cecilia Kang, “Netflix pairs with Facebook, except in U.S.,” Washington Post,

Hayley Tsukayama, “Netflix discusses video privacy act, along with earnings,” Washington Post,

Trevor Tim, “112th Congress Finished Its Term By Taking Away More of Your Privacy, In The Worst Possible Way,” Electronic Frontier Foundation: Deep Links,