Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.

Media Studies

(Media and Film Studies)

Director, 2014-15: William Sonnega (Theater), theater, media studies

Faculty, 2014-15: Karen Achberger (German), German cinema (on leave); Carlos Gallego (English), literature and film; Karil Kucera (Art and Art History/Asian Studies), Asian visual culture; Judy Kutulas (History), 20th-century American history, American women’s history, media history; Justin Merritt (Music), music and film; Sian Muir (Management Studies), entrepreneurship, management strategy, marketing, arts management; Linda Mokdad (Film Studies and English), film history and theory; Diana Neal (Nursing), wellness and media; Meg Ojala (Art and Art History), photography; Rebecca Richards (English), rhetoric, media; Anthony Roberts (Dance), dance and multi-media; Mary Trull (English), 16th- and 17th-century 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 and engaged digital citizens whose media use reflects not just market forces but the development of a civil society. 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 a mandatory meeting for all junior and senior media studies concentrators, in the fall semester. Graduating concentrators submit their completed portfolios to the program director by April 15 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 Piper Center for Vocation and Career 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 products 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.

220 Cybercultures: From the Personal to the Political

Artists and scholars hail cyberspace as a frontier for exploration, but where is cyberspace? This course examines cyberspace, its cultural artifacts as evidence of a new transnational society, and how participation in cyberspace shapes personal identities and political affiliations. Regardless of their relationship to the digital world--be it social networking, gaming, or texting--in this course students create and analyze new media texts and examine their personal cybercultural interactions to understand the larger impact of new media technologies. Offered occasionally.

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 160. Counts towards American studies and women's and gender studies majors and film studies and women's and gender studies concentrations.

294, 394 Internship

295 Internship and Reflection Seminar

This seminar integrates the liberal arts with the experience of work and the search for a vocation or career. Course content will include both an off-campus internship and on-campus class sessions that connect academic theories/analyses of work with their particular internship experience. Students will also consider and articulate the value of the liberal arts for their pursuit of a creative, productive, and satisfying professional life.

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 Globalization. Prerequisite: MEDIA 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. May be offered as a 1.00 credit course or .50 credit course.

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.

American Studies100: American Culture: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Art 205: Photography
Art 228: Animated Art
Art 229: Digital Filmmaking
Art 236: Graphic Design
Art 256: History of Photography
Art/Asian Studies 270: Visual Culture of Modern China
Asian Studies 156: Contemporary China Through Film
Asian Studies 230: Philosophy of Anime
Dance 150: Movement, the Camera, and the Creative Process
English 275: Literature and Film
English 280: Topics in Genre
English 285: Digital Rhetorics and New Media Literacies
English 289: Journalistic Writing
English 291: Intermediate Creative Nonfiction Writing
English 296: Screenwriting
Exercise Science Theory 290: Sport Ethics in Society
Film 101: Introduction to Film Studies
Film 201: American Film History
German 249: German Cinema
History 182: America Since World War II
History 290: Reel America: U.S. History in Film
Management Studies 229: Arts Management
Management Studies 250: Marketing
Music 225: Music in the Electronic Medium
Nursing 120: Images of Wellness
Physics 252: Musical Acoustics
Political Science 211: Media and Politics
Religion 121: The Bible in Cuture and Community (per approval of Program Director)
Sociology/Anthropology 264: Race and Class in American Cuture (with approval of Program Director)
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 (offered every year)
American Studies 301: Seminar
Art 246: New York Art Interim
Art 253: Art Since 1945
English 266: Romanticism and Rock Music
French 250: Speaking of French
French 272: Contemporary France
History 375: Problems of Contemporary America
Media 220: Cybercultures
Religion 121: The Bible in Culture and Community, the "Bible as Screen Play" and "Jesus at the Movies"
Russian Language and Area Studies 254: Russian Culture and Civilization
Russian Language and Area Studies 265: Introduction to Russian and Soviet Film (in English translation)
Russian Language and Area Studies 372: The Russian Press
Writing 111:"Writing about Film" and "Page, Stage and Screen"