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Unit information: Past, Present and Futures in 2016/17

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Past, Present and Futures
Unit code INOV20001
Credit points 10
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Piccini
Open unit status Not open




School/department Centre for Innovation
Faculty Faculty of Arts


Both Angela Piccini and Tim Cole will be Unit Directors for this unit.

The unit will consider key moments and texts in the history of creative technology and its associated media networks. Specifically, the unit will explore historical transformations of creative media technologies as they pertain to the intersections of art and science. Each year, the unit will focus its case-study approaches through the annually chosen programme thematic (e.g. Health, Environment and Learning).

The unit aims to:

  • develop knowledge and critical understanding of histories of creative media technologies, through considering key conceptual and material underpinnings of how our contemporary culture is designed as and through media, using a case-study approach in both teaching and assessment;
  • develop an in-depth understanding of theoretical contexts of creative media technologies, ranging from classic texts by Marshall McLuhan and Raymond Williams to the current focus on media ‘archaeologies’;
  • develop the ability to analyse and evaluate competing perceptions of creative media technologies;
  • develop the ability to describe, evaluate, analyse and critique creative media technologies;
  • develop the ability to design and undertake a site-specific case study of a creative media technology as part of a complex network of human and non-human actors.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of histories of creative media technologies;
  2. engage in a detailed and informed fashion with the theoretical contexts of media technologies;
  3. analyse and evaluate competing perceptions of media technologies;
  4. work constructively and creatively in a group-based case-study;
  5. work independently and reach individual/personal judgements within a collaborative context;
  6. undertake a site-specific case-study approach to producing an ‘archaeology’ of a media technology or network within the university.

Teaching details

A combination of interactive lectures and workshops, research and case-study fieldwork (group-based).

Assessment Details

Creative technology case study, including 1500-word report (50%) ILO 4-6

2000-word individual reflexive account of practical work (50%) ILO 1-3

Reading and References

  • Jenkins, Henry. 2008. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. NYU Press.
  • Kittler, Friedrich. 1999. Gramophone, Film, Typewriter. Stanford University Press
  • McLuhan, Marshall. 1994. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. MIT Press.
  • Parikka, Jussi, 2012. What is Media Archaeology? Cambridge: Polity Press
  • Suchman, Lucy. 2007. Human-Machine Reconfigurations. Cambridge University Press.
  • Williams, Raymond. 1971. Television: Technology and Cultural Form. London: Technosphere