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Advancements in physical transportation and infrastructure often make travel faster, easier, and cheaper. But this is not all! Identify and explain how an improvement in transportation led to changes in another sphere of human activity, be it economic, social, political, or conceptual.

Advancements in physical transportation and infrastructure often make travel faster, easier, and cheaper. But this is not all! Identify and explain how an improvement in transportation led to changes in another sphere of human activity, be it
economic, social, political, or conceptual.

MS 111 Mid-Term Exam
Fall 2020 Edition

Instructions
Overview: This exam contains two parts. The first part consists of six short answer questions; the second part is an essay question. The recommended length for short answers is 200-300 words. The recommended length for the essay question is 600-1000 words. These are recommended lengths only; the quality of your answers outweighs their quantity.

Composing your exam:
Please compose your answers in a word-processing document, indicating which questions you are answering using the format “Short Answer [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], and [6]” and “Essay Question.” The exam is intended to be both open note and open book. Nevertheless, you are expected to produce your own individual answers without coordination or discussion with
anyone else, including other members of the class.

Part One: Short Answer (60 pts)
Part One consists of six short answer questions. Answer all six questions to the best of your ability, drawing on your knowledge of course material. You may, but are not required to, introduce concrete historical examples to substantiate your answers.

Short Answer Question 1: Advancements in physical transportation and infrastructure often make travel faster, easier, and cheaper. But this is not all! Identify and explain how an improvement in transportation led to changes in another sphere of human activity, be it
economic, social, political, or conceptual.

Short Answer Question 2: Jurgen Habermas claims that the ideal public sphere took shape during the long eighteenth century in Europe. Characterize the ideal public sphere and then explain how we can see at least one feature of the public sphere in effect during a different period and/or in different place (the choice of period and/or place is up to you).

Short Answer Question 3: We have seen several ways that media technologies and media systems can affect psychology. Select one form of media and explain how that media form has contributed to or influenced a sense of selfhood.

Short Answer Question 4: We have seen several ways that new media systems alter or challenge notions of truth and legitimacy. Identify and explain one way that a media system can be used to reveal, manipulate, or undermine claims to truth.

Short Answer Question 5: The capacity to quickly and easily replicate images and visual information led to considerable shifts in the practice and outcomes of politics. Identify and explain one way the reproduction of images and visual information affects political activity.

Short Answer Question 6: Several nineteenth-century media technologies, including the railway and photography, provoked dramatic changes in the modes of human perception. Identify and characterize one of these shifts in perception.

Part Two: Essay Question (40 pts)
You may introduce concrete historical examples to substantiate your answers.

Essay Question: Elizabeth Eisenstein challenged standard histories of the Renaissance by highlighting the impact of the printing press as an agent of change. Compose an essay conveying your best understanding of Eisenstein’s argument as it relates to printing. In your explanation, draw on at least three of her key concepts. Options include typographical fixity, the preservative powers of print, standardization, individualization, dissemination, combinatory intellectual activity (cross-referencing/cross-fertilization/cross-cultural interchange), vernacularization, rationalization/reorganization, and publicity (art of puffery/cult of personality). Why was printing so consequential, according to Eisenstein?
Then, briefly consider how one of Eisenstein’s concepts applies to a different media technology of your choice. You can consider a media technology we have reviewed thus far in class or you may apply her argument to a more recent media technology. You may draw on other information you learned in lecture and other readings to substantiate your argument.

 

 

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