University Honors College - The Honorable mention

Spring 2020 Honors Seminar TH 425-Media and Performance Seminar (Open to ALL Majors)

Posted by Tim on October 7, 2019 in Academics, Honors Experiences, Honors Seminars

TH 425-Media and Performance Seminar
Professor Lindsay Hunter
Registration #: 301130
Mondays and Wednesdays 3-4:20 p.m.
188 Alumni Arena

Course description: This course will consider various forms of mediated and intermedial performance in order to examine the particular habits, possibilities and affinities of performance in mediatized contexts.  Possible areas of focus include television and televisual performance, intermedial theatre, and performance in video gaming and in online contexts. 

For Spring 2020, we will consider the ways representational media’s power to dissemble and intersects with the theatrical urge toward enacting the artificial to produce the phenomenon of hoaxing, in which a constructed falsehood masquerades as true and actual. Though the concerns of this course are perhaps best demonstrated by the contemporary phenomenon of “deepfakes”—that is, video doctored by artificial intelligence so that it appears to document happenings that never occurred—the use of representational media to present the fraudulent as real is hardly new. Victorian spirit photography, allegations of faked moon landings, and purposefully misleading journalism all point to the facility media possess, even in a pre-digital era, to enact misrepresentation on a large scale. The easy manipulability of digital media, however, certainly brings concerns about hoaxing, fraudulence, and representational dishonesty into new territory, requiring us to refine our critical perspectives: what separates the hoax from mere untruth or disingenuousness, or from the artifice and illusion of theatre?  In an effort to better parse the unique possibilities and affordances of the hoax, we will investigate its performative nature—that is, its manifesting in the world through enactment—as well as the ways deception and representation collude in the hoax’s constitutive acts.