Curriculum: Mass Media
In this course, the arts are discussed as forms of communication and forms of social practice. The structural and functional changes of the arts in modern societies are analyzed and emphasis is placed upon the relevant phenomena observed in postmodern (or late modern) societies.
The main theoretical approaches of the aesthetic and artistic functions of the mass communication are presented and discussed, as well as some of the most significant artistic movements from the end of the 19th and during the 20th century.
Special emphasis is placed upon the various forms of artistic avant-guardism and the attitudes of the artists concerning the mass culture. The aesthetization of the mass communication and the massification of the artistic communication are explored, as well as the complex impact of the mass media on creativity, on the production, distribution and reception of artistic goods. The course focuses also on the relation between art and advertisement, on the taste industry, the emergence and the functions of the star system, the relation between mass communication and collective representations about the arts and the artists, and on the convergence between different forms of artistic communication.
Access to the materials of the course
- To Understand the significance of the artistic communication and the complexity of its functions related with the mass communication phenomena and the media.
- To discuss the intrinsic features of the various forms of art as forms of communication and their peculiarities in late modernity.
- To contribute for a better understanding of the relations between aesthetic values, ideology, politics and economy in the field of the artistic communication.
- To contribute for a better understanding of the importance these relations have for the social practice in those societies where mass communication is dominant.
Main issues covered – general syllabus
A more detailed outline of the course and the PowerPoint files used during the lectures may be found in elearning.auth. A username and a password are required to get access to this system. Information is available at the Department library.
- Introduction – the arts in the context of mass communication
- Cultural industries – communication theories
- The debate on the technical reproduction of art
- "High" arts and mass culture
- Cultural distinctions & artistic avant-garde
- Appropriation of mass culture by the arts
- Appropriation of the arts: art and advertisement
- Pluralism & postmodernism
- John Walker, Art in the Age of Mass Media (Greek edition). Thessaloniki: University Studio Press, 2010 (available through the Eudoxus system).
- N. Vernikos, S. Daskalopoulou, F. Badimaroudis, N. Boubaris (eds.), The Cultural Industries. Processes, Services, Goods. Athens: Kritiki, 2005 (available at the School Library with Call No. NX634.P655).
- Walter Benjamin (1978), Essays on Art. Athens: Kalvos. Chapter: "The Work of Art in the Age of its Technical Reproducibility".
- Paul Oskar Kristeller (1951), "The Modern System of the Arts: A Study in the History of Aesthetics", part I. Journal of the History of Ideas, 12(4): 496-527.
- Paul Oskar Kristeller (1951), "The Modern System of the Arts: A Study in the History of Aesthetics", part II. Journal of the History of Ideas, 13(1): 17-46.
- William Goetzman (1993), "Accounting for Taste: Art and the Financial Markets over Three Centuries". The American Economic Review, 83(5): 1370-1376.
- Alexandros Baltzis (2005), "Artistic Communication, Mass Media and Democracy". In Mass Media. Society and Politics. Role and Functions in Contemporary Greece (editor: Christos Fragkonikolopoulos), pp. 611-642. Athnes: I. Sideris Publications.
- Howard S. Becker (1984), Art Worlds. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press.
- Pierre Bourdieu (2006), The Rules of Art. Athens: Patakis.
- Chin Daryl (1991), "From Popular to Pop. The Arts in/of Commerce: Mass Media and the New Imagery". Performing Arts Journal, 13(1): 5-20.
- Joan Gibbons (2005), Art and Advertising. London, New York: I. B. Tauris.
- Susanne Janssen (1999), "Art Journalism and Cultural Change". Poetics, 26(5-6), 199, 329-348.
- Gemma Harries, Karin Wahl-Jorgensen (2007), "The culture of arts journalists. Elitists, saviors or manic depressives?". Journalism, 8(6): 619-639.
- John Ryan, Deborah A. Sim (1990), "When Art Becomes News: Portrayals of Art and Artists on Network Television News". Social Forces, 68(3): 869-889.
- Victoria Alexander (1996), "Pictures at an Exhibition. Conflicting Pressures in Museums and the Display of Art". The American Journal of Sociology, 101(4): 797-839.
Performance is evaluated through an exam on the readings announced each semester and through the e-learning system. The exam is a test including multiple choice, true/false, and matching questions that cover all topics discussed during the lectures. To familiarize themselves with the various types of question and this system, students are invited to try the mock test available in the folder "Exams". Information about the next exam session, exam dates and essay due-dates can be found in the announcements page (provided that the exam dates have been announced).