MS 190: Authorship is the course website for the Fall 2006 Media Studies senior seminar at Pomona College in Claremont, California.
a while ago, i made a post saying about how we haven't really discussed how digital technology is impacting other parts of the world, in a way that actually takes into account the specific situations of those parts of the world. one topic that may be an interesting example is the Nigerian film industry. When I went abroad to Cameroon, Nigerian films were pretty popular there, even though the area where I lived was a French speaking area and Nigerian films are typically in English (if in a Western language). For me, studying pop cultures of different countries is an interesting way to learn about that country and its culture, since so much of my personal experience has been shaped by Western culture. Also, what interests me is when countries are able to have a thriving pop culture of their own, in movies, in music, etc. and not be dominated by icons of the West, like Tomb Raider or Justin Timberlake (now i'm just trying to see how many times I can mention JT in a blog. I really don't like him THAT much, it's more that i'm really surprised that I like him at all so i feel like shouting in from the rooftops...but anyways). for instance, i'm a big fan of bollywood for that very reason. pop culture becomes a sign of resistance. also, it's interesting to see what topics and subjects are considered important, and what ways of addressing them. in Nigerian films, one could often see issues of HIV/AIDS, corruption, the occult, etc. that is specific to that country. in addition to that, i'm fascinated when pop cultures of one non-western country becomes really popular in another country, just because i'm curious about what leads to that, since western pop culture is so wide spread due to the specific reason of colonialism and imperialism. this is why nigerian cinema interests me so.
During this class, we've talked about the future implications of digital technology. One aspect that interested me a lot is how it makes the world more globally connected. for instances, on websites like YouTube or Wikipedia, people from all over the world can post. However, this technology is not impacting people all over equally. While this technology may amaze me and impact the way I view things, for many people in the world their lives are barely touched by it, at least in a direct way. When I think of the revolutionizing innovations that Murray theorized about, I can't help but think that that revolution would be pretty localized. Though this technology may have the capacity to enable global connections and create equal access to information, the technology itself is not yet widespread enough throughout the world. For example, where I went for study abroad, internet was pretty limited, and only available at internet cafes, with modem connections. if you were in a large city and wanted to pay 5x the normal price, maybe you could get DSL (but that's pushing it). Something like YouTube would have little impact, since it would be impossibly long to load the page. Also, the price of tape players were pretty expensive, let alone imagining the price of a digital camera or camcorder, which is what many people use for their video postings.