ENGL 794
Winter 2012
Professor O'Gorman

Course Schedule: Wednesdays, 1:00-4:00 except for agreed-upon schedule changes
Course Locations: Critical Media Lab, 158 King Street W, Kitchener; Communitech Hub 151, Charles Street W, Kitchener
Course e-mail list: necromedia |at|
Required Course Texts: All texts will be provided via the UW-LEARN site
Professor O'Gorman's Office Hours: Tues 1-3, 258 Hagey Hall, or by appointment

The Critical Media Lab is a research/creation centre in downtown Kitchener close to City Hall. The lab supports research projects, installations, performances, and other interventions that examine the impact of technology on society and the human condition. Regular courses will be held in the Communitech Hub (Old Tannery Building) at the corner of Charles and Victoria streets in Kitchener. We will meet in the Jelly Bean Room. The Hub is a digital media incubation complex that houses offices for Google, Desire2Learn, and several digital start-ups.

Building first of all on the theories of psychologist and philosopher Ernest Becker, this course will introduce students to a new field of study that I have called “necromedia theory," which aims to  provide a universal, psychosocial analysis of contemporary technoculture. Besides Ernest Becker, the "necromedia theorists" studied in this course include Bernard Stiegler, John Durham Peters, Cary Wolfe, Giorgia Agamben, Katherine Hayles, and Martin Heidegger, among others

Students in the course will have the opportunity to develop a critical media "game" that makes use of advanced biofeedback, geolocational, and visualization technologies. The course will also host N. Katherine Hayles and her colleagues Patrick Jagoda and Patrick Lemieux for a week-long workshop building on their game "Speculation." Final projects will be showcased at Congress 2012 on the Critical Media Lab Mobile Unit.