Monday, June 1, 2009

The Astounding World of the Future

As often as possible I teach a course called COMM 149: Rhetoric and Public Life. At a basic level, this class examines the dialectical continuum of utopianism and dystopianism in historical and contemporary visions of the future.

A broader focus of this course calls for students to analyze various versions of "the future" as a collection of communication artifacts, each subject to rhetorical analysis while collectively reflecting a lens to critique the construction of public life. Toward that ultimate goal, students are encouraged to consider three common questions: Who's in? Who's out? Who decides?

This video, while occasionally disturbing, does a swell job of presenting an intro-version of one future we study in class. Notice how the opening images preview the 1939-40 New York World's Fair. More importantly, the video illustrates a key notion of Rhetoric and Public Life: We got pretty much the future we were promised. Now we're faced with the consequences.

Difficulty seeing this video? Point your browser here:

No comments: