Mediating The Wild

MDS4620 Mediating the Wild
4 Advanced Liberal Arts Credits
Wilderness is disappearing faster than ever due to humans' radical transformation of the earth. Yet, consumer cultures have developed an ever so strong desire for the wild. In the industries that sell "Wildness", media have played a large role in telling it, showing it, measuring it, and manufacturing it. This course focuses on the ideologies, discourses, and technologies that mediate between contemporary consumers and the disappearing Wildness. We will explore a variety of cultural phenomena including the usage of smart phones, selfie sticks, and Go Pros in ecotourism, backpacking cultures, and outdoor adventure sports industries, the appropriation of drones and GPS-tracking devices by environmentalists, wildlife poachers, and virtual/augmented reality game designers, the trending of the "wild food" diet and the NGO campaigns protesting it, as well as the adoption of sound recordings of wild landscapes as new age music therapies. This course incorporates a multicultural and "multinatural" view to look at technology's role in representing, mediating, and recreating nature. We also address difficult ethical questions such as: How to maintain a proper distance with the Wild? Should we tame it, save it and thereby annihilating it? Or should we leave it on its own terms, and thereby letting it live or die?

Prerequisites: Any combination of 2 ILA (HSS, LTA, CSP, LVA, CVA)

  • Program: Undergraduate
  • Division: History and Society
  • Level: Advanced Liberal Arts 4600 Requirement (UGrad),Advanced Elective (UGrad),Advanced Liberal Arts (UGrad)
  • Course Number: MDS4620
  • Number of Credits: 4