Notes   /   1 October 2018

Discussing Raymond Williams

There is a lot going on this chapter, and I think the best way to get into something like this is to discuss our individual readings and compare our takeaways with respect to some key ideas and the ways they help us answer the overall question that motivates this section of the semester:

What is videogaming's Relationship to Culture?

Here are some specific questions and terms that relate to this question from Williams' perspective on 1970s TV. Discuss these in a small group to prepare some answers for a larger group conversation:

  • What is technological determinism, and what is its alternative? Why does Raymond Williams want to move beyond these points of view?

  • Why does the form of TV precede the content, and why does he use the term "parasitism" to describe the way content develops?

  • How do preceeding inventions foresee both the technology of TV as well as its uses?

  • More narrowly, what is telegraphy and what does it have to do with the history of TV?

  • Why is radio so important in this history?

  • Finally, how does Netflix and its competitors change the assumptions we make about televisual form and content?