Pitzer College Professor Alexandra Juhasz Publishes Video-Book About YouTube

Claremont Calif. (February 7, 2011) —Pitzer College Professor of Media Studies Alexandra Juhasz authors Learning from YouTube, an innovative video-book published by MIT Press.

This video-book contains a series of more than 200 texts and videos – “texteos” – that encourage users to think about YouTube by experiencing and learning within this digital entertainment platform.

Juhasz shares what she uncovers in Learning from YouTube, which includes:

  • YouTube’s architecture and ownership undermine the fundamentals of academic inquiry — depth of dialogue, the ability to find and link data, the ability to sustain intimate and committed community, and structures of order and discipline.
  • YouTube is a good site for entertainment, a postmodern television tuned to the intimate needs of the individual user.
  • YouTube’s architecture and ownership rely upon popularity, humor, speed, shallowness, celebrity, and distraction.
  • YouTube’s standard fare is the funny and fast, ironic or sincere video that self- referentially refers to dominant media and corporate culture.
  • YouTube’s standard fare is also the simple expressed common knowledge, talents, or feelings of everyday people.
  • People use YouTube to waste time but also to meet people, communicate, share ideas and disseminate art.
  • YouTube uses its users to self-censor: what rises and falls reflects the best and worst of our society’s dominant ideas and values – usually the worst.

Learning from YouTube originated as a Pitzer College course taught by Juhasz beginning in 2007. All class assignments and homework for the course were created as videos and posted on YouTube and were open to the public.

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