COMM 202

COMM 202: History of Communication is a second year must course at the Faculty of Communication of Marmara University, Istanbul.

This course presents a conceptual overview of history of communication, paying special attention to the key texts that question the nature and history of communication. The course will aim to provide different accounts of media and medium through various and rich readings of theory and history from leading scholars in the field. The goal of the course is not to give students conventional account of the history of communication, rather to think communication genealogically. For this purpose, course will not provide a chronological account of communication; instead every class will be about a medium and its effect on social, political and economic life of people. To achieve this purpose short but original texts are recommended in the syllabus.   

Requirements and updates for COMM 202 History of Communication will be regularly announced on this page. Please check the website before come to class for further announcements and readings. Syllabus of this class is subject to change. Any announcement done on the website will be considered as delivered to all students. Any update on the website will be announced on my personal twitter account @nuhyilmaz starting with COMM 202.

Readings: Students are responsible to acquire the assigned readings. Electronic copies of some readings, as long as they are available, will be posted on the website.

Recording: No electronic devices (including cell phones) will be allowed in class. No recording of any kind is allowed.

Active Participation: 
The success of this class depends on the active participation of all students. Classroom participation (20%) represents a substantial portion of the grade, and will be evaluated in terms of preparation, participation, active listening, collaboration, and overall contributions to the class experience during the term.

Presentations: 15 minutes long presentations about the readings will be allowed. The presentations will be evaluated as proof of active participation.

Mid-term: Mid-term exam will make up 30% of your grading.

Final: Final exam will make up 50% of your grading.

Paper: Instead of taking exams, students alternatively can write papers for this class. Students who choose to do so have to come and talk to me about the details of the papers no later than 4th week. After the 4th week you will not be given an option to write a paper.

If you choose to write a paper:

  • You have to write two papers: One for mid-term, one for final. You either take or exam or paper. YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO MIX THE TWO
  • The subject of the paper has to be discussed with the instructor.
  • The proposal of the paper needs to be discussed with the instructor at least two weeks before the deadline.
  • The deadline for the midterm paper is date of the mid-term exam. (30%)
  • The deadline for the final paper is the date of final exam. (50%)
  • Mid-term exam should be 5-6 pages double-spaced, 12 pt, Times New Roman printed.
  • Final Paper should be 8-10 pages double spaced, Times New Roman
  • Papers should address the readings, and has to use proper reference rules.
  • Both papers can be on the same subject. However, the final paper is expected to be a developed version of the mid-term paper.
  • MLA footnote system has to be used in all papers.

Late Policy: Students who come to class after 13.15 will be turned down. Late students can attend to the second part of the class.

Instructor: Nuh YILMAZ

E-mail:  nuh.yilmaz [at] marmara [dot] edu [dot] tr (E-mails sent to my personal account will not be responded.

Assistant: Yeliz Kuşay: e-mail: yelizkusay [at] hotmail [dot] com Term: Spring 2013 Class Location: LO3, New building Class Meeting Hours: Friday 13.00-15.50 a.m. Office: 203 Office Hours: By Appointment Only Medium of Instruction: English (No further discussion will allowed anytime regarding the language of instruction)

Week 1  Feb 15, 2013

Introduction | Ground Rules

Week 2  Feb 22, 2013

History | Genealogy | Chronology | Origin

Michel Foucault, “Nietzche, Genealogy, History”

Week 3  March 1, 2013

Orality | Oral Culture| Directness|

  • Walter Ong, Some Psychodynamics of Orality, Orality and Literacy 31-75
  • Marshall McLuhan, The Spoken Word, Understanding Media

Optional Reading: Andre Leroi-Gourhan “The Birth of Graphism” and Sven-Tage Teodorsson, “Eastern Literacy, Greek Alphabet, and Homer” Mnemosyne

Week 4  March 8, 2013

Literacy| Literacy vs. Oral Culture| Effects of Literacy

  • Walter Ong, “Writing Restructures Consciousness”, Orality and Literacy 77-113
  • Marshall McLuhan, The Written Word, Understanding Media

Week 5 March 15, 2013

Books| Philosophy| Thinking | Culture

  • Goody, Jack, and Ian Watt.“The Consequences of Literacy.” Comparative Studies in Society and History
  • Optional Reading: Harold Innis, “Minerva’s Owl”

Week 6  March 22, 2013

Book Culture | Books in the Culture of Muslims|

  • Frederick Kilgour, Islam 622-1300, The Evolution of the Book
  • Jonathan Bloom, Paper and Books, Paper Before Print

Week  7  March 29, 2013

Library | Recording |Compilation |Archive

  • Fred Lerner, Libraries Before Print, Ch. 1-2-3-4-5, The Story of Libraries
  • Jorge Louis Borges, Library of Babel

Week 8  April 5, 2013

No Class: Exam:

Week 9  April 12, 2013

Wood-cut Printing| Chinese Experience | Technical Problems and Printing

  • Lucien Febvre and Henri-Jean Martin, Technical Problems and Solutions, The Coming of the Book: The Impact of Printing 1450-1800

Week 10  April 19, 2013

Printing | Book Trade | Gutenberg | Indulgence Papers and Papacy | Political Economy of Printing

  • Frederick Kilgour, Printing 1400-1800, The Evolution of the Book
  • Diana Childress, The Return to Mainz, Johannes Gutenberg and the Printing Press

Week 11  April 26, 2013

Effects of Printing | After Gutenberg |

  • Elizabeth Eisenstein, “Some Features of Print Culture,” The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe.
  • Marshall McLuhan, The Printed Word, Understanding Media

Week 12  May 3, 2013

Telephone | Sound without a Body

  • Bruce Winston, “Before the Speaking Telephone” and “The Capture of Sound,” Media Technology and Society: A History from the Telegraph to the Internet.
  • Marshall McLuhan, Telephone, Understanding Media

Week 13  May 10, 2013

Telegraph | Communication| Technology |Ideology

  • Carey, James. “Technology and Ideology: The case of the telegraph” Communication as 
Culture: Essays on Media and Society.
  • Marshall McLuhan, Telegraph, Understanding Media

Week 14  May 17, 2013

News Agency | Reuters | Globalization| Cartel | Objectivity | News Agencies | Global Cities

  • Gordon Winder, London’s Global Reach? Reuters News and Network, 1865, 1881, and 1914

Week 15  May 24, 2013

Radio | Mass Communication

  • Bruce Winston, Wireless and Radio, Media Technology and Society: A History from the Telegraph to the Internet.
  • Marshall McLuhan, Radio, Understanding Media

Week 16  

Final Exam

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