Media matters, and media matter also matters.
As shown in Richard Maxwell’s and Toby Miller’s book Greening the Media, information and communication technologies are not ecologically benign. They leave behind plenty of residues — mountains of waste, toxic by-products that affect workers and consumers, and much else — and rearrange the materiality of the world in so many ways.
The book examines these material ecologies in relation to the production (“Words,” “Workers”), distribution and transmission (“Screens”), consumption (“Consumers”), and management (“Bureaucrats,” “Citizens”) of information and communication and the technologies that mediate it.
Specifically, we will read the following parts of the book:
- Introduction: pp. 1 to 9 (first section and “Greening the Media”)
- Chapter 2: the entire chapter, with a particular focus on pp. 46-52 and 60-64 (“The Ecological Context of Words,” “Changing Business, Persistent Environmental Issues,” and “Conclusion”)
- Chapter 6: the entire chapter, with a particular focus on pp. 147 to the end (“Imagining Green Citizenship for the Future”)
- Conclusion (pp. 157-165)
For those outside the class who do not have the book and aren’t willing to buy it, there’s this podcast:
Questions and comments to come.