Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Course Description

Introduction to Media Studies is designed for students who have grown up in a rapidly changing global multimedia environment and want to become more literate and critical consumers and producers of culture. Through an interdisciplinary comparative and historical lens, the course defines "media" broadly as including oral, print, theatrical, photographic, broadcast, cinematic, and digital cultural forms and practices. The course looks at the nature of mediated communication, the functions of media, the history of transformations in media and the institutions that help define media's place in society. Over the course of the semester we will explore theoretical debates about the role and power of media in society in influencing our social and cultural values and political beliefs. Students will also have the opportunity to analyze media texts, such as films, television shows, and videogames, and explore the changes that occur when a particular narrative is adapted into different media forms. Through the readings, lectures, and discussions as well as their own writing, students will have the opportunity to engage with critical debates in the field as well as explore the role of media in their own lives.

Course Objectives

After taking this class, students will be able to:

  1. Articulate major shifts in the development of media and how they have played a role in everyday life.
  2. Better understand the media production process and how it constrains content in variable ways.
  3. Perform a critical analysis of media content.
  4. Explain some of the multiple reasons individuals and groups engage with and understand media.

Required Readings

There is no required textbook for the course. Readings from a variety of sources are assigned for each class session.

Course Assignments and Grading

Below is a list of course assignments and their grading weights.

24 Hours 20%
Media Artifacts 10%
Media Analysis Paper 1.0 20%
Media Analysis Paper 2.0 10%
3 Interview Transcripts Posted 15%
Media Studies Project 25%

Course Schedule

1 Welcome  
2-7 From Old Media to New Media to Banal Media 24 Hours without the Internet
8-9 Methods matter Decide on interview questions
10-11 Seeing more clearly: the visual Media analysis paper 1.0
12-15 Hearing and sound Conducting interviews
16-17 Convergence Media analysis paper 2.0
18-19 Transmedia Interview transcripts posted
20 Games and social media  
21-23 Transnational/global media  
24-25 Summing things up Final project presentations