Posts Tagged media
“The medium is the message” is a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan meaning that the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived. (from Wikipedia)
The more I think about this issue of medium, the more unsatisfied I am with the way that medium of production is dealt with in the English curriculum.
While English teachers continue to be led by debate over the definition and role of Literature in English, and over the best way to teach language, questions of medium have been significantly sidelined.
It also seems clearer to me now why subjects like Drama and Media (content areas that technically sit under the umbrella of English, if you accept that English is a study of how meaning is made through language and texts) go off and take up their own space in many curriculum. It’s not just because those fields have their own traditions and pedagogies that need space, or because they have industries that create an economic drive for the subjects to continue. It’s also because those field require keen attention to production elements, including issues of medium.
Little wonder that Drama, which often deals with live performance of language, dies a slow death in English classrooms where the curriculum is still dominated by print literacy.
Little wonder that we still can reconcile the gulf between ‘literary’ and ‘digital/electronic’ texts in the Australian curriculum (medium is not a genre!)
To move anywhere with this line of thinking will require some careful thought about the overlap between the words:
- media as-in-the-artisitic-means-of-production and
- Media as-in-the-field-of-media-studies.
James Franco *swoon*
Did you make it to the bit in the interview with Stewart when Franco talks about doing a PhD in English Literature? What a hero!
Thank you David Dale, for your refreshing column in this week’s Who We Are column in the Sun Herald “Better living through English”.
Dale describes his reading of the NSW 7-10 English syllabus, and finds “that it doesn’t just give students tools for communicating clearly in adult life, but it actually wants to turn them into decent people.” He also was surprised to find such a high level of rigour in the syllabus, observing that in contrast: “In my day, the teacher was happy if you left school able to quote a bit of Shakespeare and tell the difference between a metaphor and a simile.”
One element that Dale praised especially was the fact that English is “not just about books any more. The syllabus uses the word ‘text’ to cover movies, TV shows, articles, books, plays and even video games.”
This column made such a nice change from the usual (misinformed) bile that we see from the likes of Donnelly and Devine. Nice to start the teaching break on a positive note…it sure has been awhile!