21L.015 | Fall 2003 | Undergraduate

Introduction to Media Studies


I. Core Concepts
1 Introduction to the Course: A Comparative Approach to Media Studies: Storytelling Across Media “Imaginary Social Relationships” through Media 
Narratives across Different Cultures and Media
2 Media Studies: An Interdisciplinary Field 
Technology and Meaning: Concepts of “High” and “Low” Culture

McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. Introduction by Lewis Lapham. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1999 and pp. 3-47.

Mukerji, Chandra, and Michael Schudson. “Introduction: Rethinking Popular Culture.” In Rethinking Popular Culture: Contemporary Perspectives in Cultural Studies. Edited by C. Mukerji, and M. Schudson. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991. Pp. 1-8.

Kellner, Douglas. “Cultural Studies, Multiculturalism and Media Culture.” In Gender, Race and Class in Media. Edited by Gail Dines, and Jean Humez. Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage, 1995. Pp. 5-17.

Core Definitions: McLuhan

The Official Marshall McLuhan Website

Wired Magazine’s Marshall McLuhan Archive

3 Lab/Discussion Section: Show and Tell (Media Artifacts) - See Handout 
Note: Sections meet in extended session for 1.5 hours.
4 Approaches to Studying Media: The Concept of Commodity - The Frankfurt School and the Birmingham School 
Questions of Ownership and Control of Media 
The Challenge of Cultural Pluralism

Horkheimer, Max, and Theodore Adorno. “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception.” In The Dialectic of Enlightenment. New York: Continuum, 1995. Pp. 120-167.

Debord, Guy. “The Commodity as Spectacle.” In Society of the Spectacle. Detroit: Black and Red Books, 1977. Pp. 1-18 and 42.

Williams, Raymond. “Culture.” In Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985.

Hall, Stuart. “Encoding/Decoding.” In Culture, Media, Language. Edited by Stuart Hall, et al. London: Hutchinson, 1980.

5 Applying the Frameworks: Advertising

Jhally, Sut. “Image-Based Culture: Advertising and Popular Culture.” In The World and I. Washington, D.C.: Washington Times Corp., 1990.

Kellner, Douglas. “Reading Images Critically: Towards a Postmodern Pedagogy.” Journal of Education 170, no. 3 (1988).

Goldman, Robert. “Constructing and Addressing the Audience as Commodity.” In Reading Ads Socially. London: Routledge, 1992.

Williams, Raymond. “Advertising: The Magic Game.” In Problems in Materialism and Culture. London: Verso, 1980.

Schudson, Michael. “The Emergence of New Consumer Patterns: A Study of the Cigarette.” In Advertising, The Uneasy Persuasion: Its Dubious Impact on American Society. New York City: Basic Books, 1986. Pp. 178-208.

Website: History of Advertising in America

Early Tobacco Advertisements

6 Screening/Discussion Section: The Power of Advertising 
Documentary Film Screening
7 Key Media Debates: Influence, Representation, Control 
Guest Speaker: Prof. Mark Lloyd

“Professor Jenkins Goes to Washington.”

Schiller, Herbert. “Not Yet the Post-Imperialist Era.” Critical Studies in Mass Communication 8 (1991): 13-28.

Professor Jenkins Goes To Washington

Key Debates in the Media Literacy Movement

Kids and Commercialism: Center for a New American Dream

NAACP Image Awards

National Asian American Telecommunications Association

National Organization For Women Mediawatch

Glaad Media Watch

II. Comparative Media Over Time
8 Comparing Oral and Print Cultures: Different Forms of Storytelling

Eisenstein, Elizabeth. “Some Features of Print Culture.” In Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984. Pp. 42-91.

Radway, Janice. “Interpretive Communities and Variable Literacies: The Functions of Romance Reading.” In Daedalus, Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 113, no. 3 (Summer 1974). Reprinted in Jessica Munns and Gita Rajan. A Cultural Studies Reader: History, Theory, Practice. London: Longman (1995): 334-350.

9 Written Media: The Press: Technology, Power and Influence

Hall, Stuart, et al. “The Social Production of News.” In Media Studies: A Reader. 2nd. ed. Edited by Paul Marris, and Sue Thornham. New York City: NYU Press, 1999. Pp. 646-652.

Habermas, Jurgen. “The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article.” In Critical Theory and Society: A Reader. Edited by Stephen E. Bronner, and Douglas Kellner. New York: Routledge, 1989. Pp. 136-142.

McChesney, Robert W. “Journalism, Democracy, … and Class Struggle.” Monthly Review 52, no. 6 (November 2000): 1-15.

Screening/Discussion Section: Written Media: The Press: Frameworks and Biases in Presenting Information 
Documentary Film Screening

“Journalism, Democracy, … and Class Struggle”

10-11 The Rise of Entertainment Culture in Late 19th Century America and the Growth of Modern Mass Media in Early 20th Century America

Lipsitz, George. “This Ain’t No Sideshow.” In Time Passages: Collective Memory and American Popular Culture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1990. Pp. 3-12.

Singer, Ben. “Modernity, Hyperstimulus and the Rise of Popular Sensationalism.” In Cinema and the Invention of Modern Life. Edited by Leo Charney, and Vanessa R. Schwartz. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995. Pp. 72-99.

Gunning, Tom. “An Aesthetic of Astonishment: Early Film and the (In)credulous Spectator.” In Viewing Positions: Ways of Seeing Film. Edited by Linda Williams. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1995. Pp. 114-133.

12 Screening/Discussion Section: The Rise of Modern Mass Media: Early Silent Film in the U.S.  
13 The Documentary Mode: Photography and Film 
Media and Social Reform

Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” In Illuminations. Orlando: Harcourt Brace, 1969. Pp. 217-251.

Sontag, Susan. On Photography. (Excerpt)

Selected Photographs of Lewis Hine and Jacob Riis.

Susan Sontag, On Photography-excerpt

Photographs of Lewis Hine

Photographs of Jacob Riis

Website: American Memory Collection Photos And Prints

14 The Star System: Origins in the Silent Era

Dyer, Richard. Stars. (Excerpt)

Sklar, Robert. Movie-Made America. (Excerpt)

15 Screen Culture: Movies and Music

Budd, Michael. “The German Film Industry and the Making of Caligari.” In The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Edited by Mike Budd. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1990. Pp. 8-25.

Marks, Martin. “Music and the Silent Film.” In The Oxford History of World Cinema. Edited by Geoffrey Nowell-Smith. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. Pp. 183-192.

Gorbman, Claudia. “Why Music? The Sound Film and Its Spectator.” In Unheard Melodies: Narrative Film Music. Bloomington: Indiana University, 1987. Pp. 53-69.

Copland, Aaron. “Film Music.” In What To Listen For in Music. New York: McGraw-Hill. Pp. 47-152.

16 Screening/Discussion Section: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Piano Accompaniment and Discussion: Prof. Martin Marks)  
17 Sound Genres And Audiences: Storytelling Across Media: Melodrama and Horror  
18 The Social Problem Movie: Storytelling Across Media Lab/Discussion Section: Screening: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956).
19 Filmic and Ethnic Images Selections, Unspeakable Images: Ethnicity and the American Cinema. Edited by Lester Friedman. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1991.
20 Storytelling Across Media: Film and Colonialism

Andrew, Dudley. “Adaptation.” In Concepts in Film Theory. New York: Oxford, 1984. Pp.96-106.

Kipling, Rudyard. “The Man Who Would Be King.”

Lecture: Stephen Brophy

Lab/Screening/Discussion Section: The Man Who Would Be King.

The Man Who Would be King

21 Broadcasting: Radio and Television: The Public Interest, Public Entertainment and the Commercial Imperative The Trouble With Television
22 TV as Consensus Narrative: Critiques of TV

Fiske, John. “Bardic Television.” In Reading Television. London and New York: Methuen, 1978. Pp. 85-100.

Thorburn, David. “Television As an Aesthetic Medium.” Critical Studies in Mass Communication 4 (1987): 167-173.

———. “Is TV Acting a Distinctive Art Form?” The New York Times (14 August 1977).

Arnheim, Rudolf. “A Forecast of Television.” In Film as Art. Berkeley: University of California Press. Pp. 188-198.

Williams, Raymond. “Programming: Distribution and Flow.” In Television and Cultural Form. Hanover: Wesleyan University Press, 1993 (rpt: 1976). Pp. 72-112.

Uricchio, William. “The Trouble With Television.” In Screening the Past: An International Electronic Journal of Visual Media and History 4 (1998).

Grey, Herman. “The Politics of Representation in Network Television.” In Watching Race: Television and the Struggle for ‘Blackness’. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995. Pp. 70-92.

Screening/Discussion Section: Episode 1, Six Feet Under (HBO 2001). 
“1961”, If These Walls Could Talk 2 (HBO 2000).

23-24 Cable TV and Independent Film

Wyatt, Justin. “From Roadshowing to Saturation Release: Majors, Independents and Marketing/Distribution Innovations.” In The New American Cinema. Edited by Jon Lewis. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1998. Pp. 64-86.

Lewis, Jon. “Money Matters: Hollywood in the Corporate Era.” In The New American Cinema. Pp. 87-121.

Supplementary: Hbo Online

Supplementary: Association Of Independent Video And Filmmakers

Supplementary: Sundance Institute

Supplementary: Sundance Channel

25-26 Globalization and Media Culture

Condry, Ian. “Japanese Hip-Hop and the Globalization of Popular Culture.” In Urban Life. Edited by G. Gmelch, and W. Zenner. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press, 2001.

Appadurai, Arjun. “Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Economy.” In Modernity at Large: The Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996. Pp. 27-47.

Screening/Discussion Section: Monsoon Wedding (2001).

27-28 Models of The Digital Revolution

Murray, Janet. Hamlet On the Holodeck. New York: Free Press, 1997. Pp. 273-283.

Gilder, George. Life After Television. New: Norton, 1994. Pp. 35-49.

Katz, John. “The Birth of a Digital Nation.” In Media Rants: Postpolitics in the Digital Nation. San Francisco: HardWired, 1997. Pp. 50-58.

Barlow, John Perry. “The Declaration of Independence in Cyberspace.”

Landow, George. “Reconfiguring Narrative.” In Hypertext. Baltimore: John Hopkins, 1992.

Hodges, M., and R. Sasnett. “New Views in Education.” In Multimedia Computing: Case Studies from the MIT Project Athena. Reading, Ma. Addison-Wesley, 1993. Pp. 29-37.

Murray, Janet. “Restructuring Space, Time, Story and Text in Advanced Multimedia Environments.” In Sociomedia: Multimedia, Hypermedia and the Social Construction of Knowledge. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1992. Pp. 319-345.

Schank, R., M. Jona. “Empowering the Student: New Perspectives on the Design of Teaching Systems.” Journal of the Learning Sciences (January 1991): 7-35.

The Media and 9/11

Links To Lecture 27 Presentations

Monday Lab: Panel/Discussion Section: Panel: Educational Applications of Digital Technology 
Speakers: Profs. Peter Donaldson, Kurt Fendt, Edward Barrett, Wyn Kelley

Links To Lecture 27 Presentations

29-30 Contemporary Issues: Media Convergence and Power in the Digital Age 
Audiences as Producers and Receivers

McChesney, Robert. “Oligopoly: The Big Media Game Has Fewer and Fewer Players.” The Progressive. (November 1999): 1, 20-24.

Jenkins, Henry. “Welcome to Bisexuality, Captain Kirk: Slash and the Fan-Writing Community.” In Textual Poachers: Television Fan and Participatory Culture. New York: Routledge, 1995. Pp. 237-265.

———. “Out of the Closet and Into the Universe: Queers and Star Trek.” In Science Fiction Audiences. Edited by John Tulloch, and Henry Jenkins. New York: Routledge, 1995. Pp. 237-265.

31-32 Discussion Section: Extended section 7-10  
33 Last Day Of Class  

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2003
Learning Resource Types
assignment Written Assignments
assignment Presentation Assignments