Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.

Media Studies

Director, 2007-08: William Sonnega (Theatre)

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 ultimately is burned to a DVD that students can take with them and reproduce as needed.

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 will 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 personal internships and consult 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.

260 Media and Contemporary Culture

This course focuses on contemporary media, primarily film and television, from theoretical and critical perspectives. Primary emphasis is given to the specific identifying characteristics of news, advertising and entertainment 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.

270 Film Genres

This course explores the development of selected film genres (such as horror, film noir, and documentary film) from the beginnings of film to the present, assessing the impact of each genre on the cinema of one or more nations. Students examine how genres have been re-imagined in different cultures or time periods and how cultural rituals and myths, icons and archetypes, and hybridization affect the development of genres. Prerequisite: Media Studies 160 or permission of the instructor.

294, 394 Internship

298 Independent Study

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. Offer 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 117, Foundation Digital Media
Art 124, Foundation Photography
Art 228, Computer-Generated Imagery
Art 230, Motion Graphics
Art 238, Intermediate Photography
Art 239, Video Art Production
Asian Studies 124, Introduction to Japanese Film
Asian Studies 156, Contemporary China Through Film
Asian Studies 270, Visual Culture and Modern China
Dance 150, Dancing with the Computer
English 239, Literature of the Vietnam/American War
English 255, Journalistic Writing
English 275, Literature and Film
English 374, Screenwriting
Family Studies 130, Families in Film and Literature
German 249, German Cinema Before and After Hitler
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
Theatre 275, Writing for Performance
Theatre 380, Theater in Society

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

American Conversations 202, Pursuits of Happiness, 1920-2000
American Studies 100, American Culture
American Studies 301, American Culture: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Art 246, Manhattan Interim in New York City
Art 253, Art Since 1950
Asian Studies 124, Introduction to Japanese Film
French 272, Contemporary France
General Education 111 , "Writing on Film"
History 175, American Consumer Culture
History 375, Problems of Contemporary America
Integrative Studies 202, Sociology of Sports
Management Studies 250, Marketing
Religion 121, The Bible in Culture and Community, "The Bible as Film"
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
Sociology/Anthropoly 120, The Anthropology of Jazz