46491 - Semiotics of the New Media (1)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Giovanna Cosenza

  • Credits 6

  • SSD M-FIL/05

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students will be able to comprehend the main concepts (e.g. software interface, interactivity, multimedia, usability) which are related to the digital world in terms of some semiotic theory. They will also be able to analyse both the variety of texts which can be found on the Internet (from the most traditional web sites to the social media) and the interpersonal practices whic occur on line (from virtual communities to multiplayer games) through some semiotic methodology.

Course contents

The course presumes that students have a solid understanding of the concepts and methodologies which have been introduced by both the fundamental courses of Semiotics (first year of the Communication Studies undergraduate programme), on one hand, and Semiotics and Storytelling on the other (second year of the Communication Studies undergraduate programme).

In particular, for students coming from undergraduate programmes others than Communication Studies, it is necessary to know at least:

(1) the textbook C. Marmo, Segni, linguaggi e testi: semiotica per la comunicazione, Bologna, Bononia University Press, 2015 (2nd up-to-date edition):

(2) at least one of the following textbooks:

M.P. Pozzato, Semiotica del testo. Metodi, autori, esempi, Roma, Carocci, 2001 (o edizioni successive),

or M.P. Pozzato, Capire la semiotica, Roma, Carocci, 2013,

or S. Traini, Le basi della semiotica, Milano, Bompiani, 2013,

or U. Volli, Manuale di semiotica, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2000 (and following editions).

The lessons will approach some topics and concepts, which are today much-discussed within academic and scientific debates upon the new media, from a semiotic viewpoint.

Particular attention will be paid to the Web 2.0, the social media and the distribution of viral videos and contents through the Internet.

Since the field of the new media is continuously changing, lessons will focus especially on topics which are not dealt with by the textbooks.



Required textbooks:

Giovanna Cosenza, Introduzione alla semiotica dei nuovi media, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2014 (last edition, i.e. the book with the red cover).

Giovanna Cosenza, «Il "popolo del web” fra apocalittici e integrati, determinismo e antideterminismo tecnologico», in Nuove forme d'interazione: dal web al mobile, Tricase (LE), Libellula Edizioni, 2016, pp. 31-42. The paper is available for download here.

Piero Polidoro, «Teoria dei generi e siti web», in Giovanna Cosenza (ed.), Semiotica dei nuovi media, numero monografico di Versus, 94/95/96, Milano, Bompiani, 2003, pp. 213-229 (available at the Department of Philosophy and Communication Library).

Two textbooks to be chosen by the student from the following list:

Dario Caiazzo, Andrea Febbraio, Umberto Lisiero, Viral video. Content is King, Distribution is Queen, Bologna, Lupetti, 2012.

Guido Di Fraia (ed.), Social Media Marketing. Manuale di comunicazione aziendale 2.0, Milano, Hoepli, 2011.

Guido Di Fraia (ed.), Social Media Marketing. Strategie e tecniche per aziende B2B e B2C, Milano, Hoepli, 2015.

Guido Ferraro e Anna Maria Lorusso (ed.), Nuove forme di interazione: dal Web al mobile, Tricase (LE), Libellula Edizioni, 2016.

Ippolita, Luci e ombre di Google. Futuro e passato dell'industria dei metadati, Milano, Feltrinelli, 2007 (scaricabile dal sito www.ippolita.net ).

Ippolita, Nell'acquario di Facebook, 2012, acquistabile sul sito: http://www.ippolita.net/it/nellacquario-di-facebook/.

Ippolita, La Rete è libera e democratica. FALSO!, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2014.

Sebastiano Paolo Lampignano, Digital Reputation Management. Come gestire, promuovere e difendere la reputazione online, ApogeoEducation, Milano.

Geert Lovink, Ossessioni collettive. Critica dei social media, Milano, Egea, 2012.

Agata Meneghelli, Dentro lo schermo. Immersione e interattività nei god games, Milano, Unicopli, 2007.

Agata Meneghelli, Il risveglio dei sensi. Verso un'esperienza di gioco corporea, Milano, Unicopli, 2011.

Agata Meneghelli, Time Out. Come i videogiochi distorcono il tempo, Libreriauniversitaria, 2013 (acquistabile QUI).

Tiziana Migliore (ed.), Rimediazioni. Immagini interattive, Roma, Aracne, 2016.

Evgeny Morozov, L'ingenuità della rete. Il lato oscuro della libertà di Internet, Torino, Codice Edizioni, 2011.


Teaching methods

Since the field of the new media is continuously changing, lessons will especially focus on topics which are not dealt with by the textbooks.

Several company managers and professionals working in the area of digital media and web 2.0 communication will be invited to present case studies and share their business expertise with students during lessons.

Given the eminently practical nature of the course, regular attendance of the lessons is recommended.

Assessment methods

Students will have the choice between two kinds of exams:

(1) an in-class written exam (for all students, who will have both attended and not attended the whole course): students will have to hours to answer some open questions, concerning both the mandatory textbooks (and papers), and the optional textbooks;

(2) a 5-to-15-page paper (2000 characters per page) (only for students who will have attended the whole course): the topic of the paper has to be agreed upon with the professor either in person or via email. During lessons the professor will give several suggestions for possible research topics.

The paper has to be prepared by students at home and delivered by deadlines which will be published on the website of the undergraduate programme in Communication Studies.

Teaching tools

During lessons the professor will use the multimedia tools of the Department, in order to show some PowerPoint presentations, to  analyse images and audiovisual products (videoclips, commercials, etc.), and to browse the Web.

The professor will publish her lecture notes and PowerPoint presentations on her personal website www.giovannacosenza.it.

Office hours

See the website of Giovanna Cosenza