Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.

Media Studies

(Media and Film Studies)

Director, 2011-12: William Sonnega (Theater), theater, media studies

Faculty, 2011-12: Wendy Allen (French), 17th-century French literature, contemporary France, the Maghreb, content-based instruction; Guido Alvarez (Art and Art History), new media; Megan Feeney; Jan Hill (English), writing, journalism; Karil Kucera (Art & Art History), art history, Asian studies; Judy Kutulas (History), 20th-century American history, American women’s history, media history; Sian Muir (Management Studies), entrepreneurship, management strategy, marketing, arts management; David Nitz, (Physics), atomic physics; Meg Ojala (Art and Art History), photography; Diana Postlethwaite (English), 19th-century British literature, literature and film; Marc Robinson (Russian Language and Area Studies), Russian language, Russian film, theater, and literature; Mary Trull (English), 16th- and 17th-century literature; Irina Walter (Russian Language and Area Studies), Russian language, culture, and literature; Pin Pin Wan (Chinese), Chinese language and literature; Karen Peterson Wilson (Theater), theater, voice/phonetics, oral interpretation

The primary purpose of media studies is to promote media literacy and encourage students to become informed consumers and creators of media products and services. Students pursuing an interdisciplinary concentration in media studies in a liberal arts context take courses that survey the history of the mass media, the dominant theories and practices that shape media representation, and the effects of the mass media on individuals and groups. Media studies courses are taught from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and are united by the assumption that informed media users are better able to exercise ethical judgment in determining which media are best for themselves, their families, and communities and society in general.



With the approval of the program director, students assemble individualized programs of study involving a total of five courses. A concentration consists of a common introductory course, Media Studies 160, plus three approved courses drawn from departments and programs across the curriculum, an academic internship in a media-related field, and a digital portfolio. The purpose of the digital portfolio is to compile a variety of materials related to a media studies education in an integrative and useful way. The portfolio has proven valuable for students applying for jobs and other professional opportunities.

Requirements and plans for individual portfolios are discussed at two mandatory meetings for all media studies concentrators, one in each of the fall and spring semesters. Graduating concentrators submit their completed portfolios to the program director by April 1 of their senior year.


Students pursuing the media studies concentration enroll in and complete a credit-bearing, academic internship in a media-related field, e.g., film, television, video, radio, Internet, newspaper, magazine, book publishing, journalism, public relations, marketing, advertising, or graphic design. The internship may be undertaken at any time during a program of study. To secure academic credit for a summer internship, students must register for summer session II by June 1. Students are responsible for securing the internship placement and for consulting with the program director and director of academic internships in the Center for Experiential Learning for additional information and guidance.


160 Mass Media

This introductory-level course is part of a two-course sequence that encourages students to assess and shape their personal relationship to mass media. Its premise is that we are all, to some extent, uninformed and uncritical consumers of media projects and services rather than conscientious and socially-minded users of them. In this spirit, the course provides a comprehensive historical overview of the various print and electronic media that have shaped, and continue to shape, our lives. By examining the issues that have influenced the development of the mass media, the course considers ideological, cultural, aesthetic and ethical perspectives. Counts towards American studies major and film studies concentration.

240 World Cinema

This introductory survey course builds students' visual literacy skills (how to read a film). For each region explored cinematically Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa students study a classic film text (for a survey of twentieth-century film history), as well as a contemporary film. Both classic and contemporary films will explore the ways films negotiate the values of their respective societies, contributing to national history and identity; and reflect the modern phenomenon of globalization, via the trans-national language of cinema. Counts toward film studies concentration.

260 Media and Contemporary Culture

This course focuses on contemporary media from theoretical and critical perspectives. Primary emphasis is given to the specific identifying characteristics of news, advertising, entertainment, and social media and to how those media serve as forums for cultural negotiation in our society. In particular, attention is paid to how media representations of race, class and gender presently exist as both products and producers of contemporary cultures. Prerequisite: Media Studies 160. Counts towards American studies major and film studies concentration.

294, 394 Internship

298 Independent Study

360 Topics in Media

This course provides a capstone to the concentration. Taught as a seminar, it investigates critical and specialized issues in media from multiple and often competing perspectives. Topics change regularly and address a wide range of media-related concerns. Sample topics include Media and the Environment, Media and Religion, Media and Child Development, and Documentary Studies. Prerequisite: Media Studies 160 or permission of instructor. Offered annually in the spring semester.

396 Directed Undergraduate Research: "Topic Description"

This course provides a comprehensive research opportunity, including an introduction to relevant background material, technical instruction, identification of a meaningful project, and data collection. The topic is determined by the faculty member in charge of the course and may relate to his/her research interests. Prerequisite: determined by individual instructor. Offered based on department decision.

398 Independent Research


The following courses are offered annually or biannually: Additional courses that count for media studies may be offered on a periodic or one-time basis. Students interested in having a course approved for media studies should consult the program director.

Art 205: Photography
Art 228: Animated Art
Art 230: 3D Animation
Art 238: Intermediate Photography
Art 239: Video Art Production
Art/Asian Studies 270: Visual Culture and Modern China
Asian Studies 124: Introduction to Japanese Film
Asian Studies 156: Contemporary China Through Film
Dance 150: Movement, the Camera and the Creative Process
English 275: Literature and Film
English 289: Journalistic Writing
English 296: Screenwriting
Family Studies 130: Families in Film and Literature
German 249: German Cinema
History 182: America Since World War II
History 290: Reel America
Management Studies 229: Arts Management
Music 225: Music in the Electronic Medium
Physics 252: Musical Acoustics
Theater 275: Writing for Performance

The following courses, offered occasionally, are approved when they have media-related content:

American Conversations 202: Pursuits of Happiness, 1920-Present
American Studies 100: American Culture
American Studies 301: American Culture: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Art 246: Manhattan Interim in New York City
Art 253: Art Since 1945
French 272: Contemporary France
History 375: Problems of Contemporary America
Management Studies 250: Marketing
Religion 121: The Bible in Culture and Community, "American Values, American Films" & the "Bible as Screen Play"
Russian Language and Area Studies 254: Russian Culture and Civilization
Russian Language and Area Studies 265: Introduction to Russian and Soviet Film
Russian Language and Area Studies 372: The Russian Press
Writing 111: "Words on Film" and "Connecting Through New Media"