Think of your SAT score, all of your Facebook friends, or even your DNA—we live in what’s been called the “age of data,” and yet, the concept of data has a long and complex history, one that dates back to the Enlightenment and arguably even before. This course will thus examine ideas about data—and in particular, ideas about data visualization—through examples of charts and tables, both historical and contemporary, as well as through literature, philosophy, film, and other media forms that engage the cultural and theoretical issues surrounding data, and related forms of visual display. Over the course of the semester, we will familiarize ourselves with several basic data refining and visualization techniques. In lieu of formal essays, students will develop analytical and creative data-based projects that are informed by the range of topics we’ve explored throughout the course.
Course site: http://lkleincourses.lmc.gatech.edu/data13/
Super Size Me. Top Chef. Your favorite cooking blog. Today’s food culture carries significant linkages to the range of media forms that we encounter in our everyday lives. This course will help you sharpen your critical eye through the analysis of food-related texts, images, and other media from the 19th century to the present day, including early American cookbooks; literary texts about food; mid-century television cooking shows; narrative, documentary, and experimental films about food; and a range of food-related websites. Throughout, we will be attuned to the relationship between sensory perception and textual (and visual) representation, issues of audience, medium, and form, as well as to the ways in which both food and form convey aspects of personal, social, cultural, political, and national identity.
Course site: http://lkleincourses.lmc.gatech.edu/food13/