CS4912 Urban-Media Networks (Spring, 2010)

MA International Communications, University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China

1.  Introduction to the Module
As well as taught academic sessions, this module enables students to undertake collaborative field research of the following key industries in Ningbo: Recycling of Waste (especially electronic waste), Creative Industries, Maritime Industries and Real-Estate Industries. The module is interested in bringing a range of approaches – broadly termed ‘border studies’ – to investigate these sectors: economic and cultural geography, ethnography, urban studies, political economy and network theory. The module will consist of documenting the transformation of urban, social and economic conditions in Ningbo through the use of everyday media technologies (e.g. mobile phone cameras, mp3 recordings, social network technologies – YouTube, etc.). These practice-based forms of peer-to-peer (p2p) ‘media analysis’ will be complemented with collaborative research blogs and individual essays.

2.  Module Objectives
•    To introduce students to collaborative field research in local settings.
•    To introduce students to concept development and analysis aided by media production.
•    To introduce students to peer-to-peer practices of network documentation.
•    To combine macro- and micro-analysis using a range of disciplinary/theoretical approaches (economic and cultural geography, ethnography, urban studies, political economy, network theory).

3.  Programme
Week 1. Introduction: Anthropology of Urban-Media Networks (26/2/10)
Week 2. Non-teaching week: Do readings, begin fieldwork, practice documentation techniques (software, blog, etc.) (5/3/10)
Week 3. Non-teaching week: Do readings, begin fieldwork, practice documentation techniques (software, blog, etc.) (12/3/10)
Week 4. Collaborative Research and Cartographic Experiments (19/3/10)
Week 5. Creative Industries and Real-Estate Industries: Delirious, Demolition, Demographics? (26/3/10)
Week 6. Fieldwork (2/4/10) [post essay question to list]
Week 7. Fieldwork (9/4/10)
Week 8. Waste Industries: Secondary Resources & the Geopolitics of Waste Distribution (16/4/10)
Week 9. Fieldwork (23/4/10) [blog entries due]
Week 10. Maritime Industries: Logistics, Sovereignty, Labour (30/4/10)
Week 11. Fieldwork (7/5/10)
Week 12. Presentations (14/5/10) [documentary due]
Week 13. Essay due (21/5/10)

4.    Assessment
Assessment for this module is as follows:
Blog entries           10%            5 x 100 words
Documentary         30%            10-20 minutes (Video or Radio Podcast)
Essay                     60%            3000 words

4.1  Blog entries
Due: Thursday 22 April (week 9), Faculty Office, 4pm

Any number of postings may be made to the blog, but for the purposes of assessment, you must make at least 2 posts on your fieldwork and at least 2 on one of the set readings (you can choose what to do for the fifth posting, but it must also be a posting on either a fieldwork or readings).

Consider these postings as background research that inform your essay and documentary.

Remember: images, sound and video files can also be embedded in text postings.

Print out your 5 blog entries for submission to the Faculty Office.

4.2  Documentary video or radio podcast
Due: Thursday 13 May (week 12), Submit on Blog

Produce a short, critical documentary (10-20 minutes) of one the 4 industries outlined in the module. You may make either a video documentary or an audio documentary.

The former must be uploaded to a video-sharing site, then embedded as a media file in a posting to the blog. The latter must be uploaded to the blog as a podcast sound file. Consider this an exercise in producing a collaborative visual/sonic essay or radio programme on urban change.

Both postings must include a 2-3 paragraph summary of the documentary.

Documentaries will be presented in class (week 12)

4.3  Essay (3000 words)
Due: Thursday 20 May (week 13), Faculty Office, 4pm and post on blog

Devise an essay question that relates to one of the 4 industries outlined in the module. Post the essay question to the blog by the end of week 6.

You are strongly advised to address the set readings in your essay, and encouraged to draw on further readings. If you do not do this, you are setting yourself up for a fail.

5. Contact details
Convenor: Dr Ned Rossiter, Associate Professor of Network Cultures
Room: AB321
Convenor’s e-mail: ned [dot] rossiter [at] nottingham [dot] edu [dot] cn
Office hours (student consultation): Weds 3-4pm, Thurs 4-5pm
Other times by appointment

Lecture: Friday TB119, 11-11.50am
Seminar: Friday TB119, 1-2.50pm
Fieldwork: Friday (time/places TBC)