Ocean Media

Course Number: ENGL 147OM
Prerequisites: Check on GOLD
General Education Areas Fulfilled: Check on GOLD
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 147AA-ZZ
Quarter: Fall 2020
Instructor: Jue, Melody
Day(s): TR
Time: 2:00 PM-3:15 PM
Location: HSSB, 1211

This is the class to take before going out to save the oceans! Taught as a “comparative media” course, we will examine a variety of representations of the ocean and sea life (literary fiction, nonfiction, documentary film, digital media). The ocean—whose depths are so remote—presents a particular challenge for representation, because human beings often cannot go and personally observe what is happening. Scientists use different kinds of remote sensing to map, record, and visualize ocean processes and animal behavior. Hydrophones, ROVs, sonar, cameras, and other technologies all help make the ocean present to us, sometimes giving the illusion that when we look at ocean images, we are seeing the ocean itself rather than its carefully curated representation. Throughout the quarter, we will pay particular attention to the relation between form and content, and the way that words, code, and images mimic/conjure/evoke seawater. In addition to looking at media that represent the ocean, we will consider different ways in which the ocean itself acts as a medium for sound, sea life, and as an archive for history.  By the end of this course, students should develop a critical vocabulary to talk about textual/visual/digital media & the environment.