BLS 340: Magic, Media, & Popular Imagination
This course will study the photographic image in its production and reproduction of popular myth and the ways our media experiences reconcile nature with the supernatural. Through this course, students will explore narrative form in visual storytelling, the human fascination with image, and the power of image to communicate ideas, chronicle emotion, and command myth.
Critics of popular media will be quick to argue that film and television are hardly deeply profound or philosophical. Yet, popular media provide audiences with an array of explanations for the human condition in an unsystematic study of being that assuredly contributes to our understanding of human nature and the nature of our reality. This discourse about our "being" comes delivered through technologies that expand human senses beyond their biological limits, providing experiences that are transpersonal. Media viewing places audiences out of the usual state of consciousness, allowing us to vicariously visit distant places and become sympathetically involved in the lives of people we cannot personally know. There are aspects of popular media that seem innately metaphysical, implying that our physical existence is not the only or most valid reality. Film and television present us with images in illusory motion, inviting us to become ghostly voyeurs of fabricated worlds.