CMS.100 | Fall 2014 | Undergraduate

Introduction to Media Studies

Calendar and Readings

1 Welcome, syllabus review, getting to know you games.

No readings assigned.


Graff, Gerald, and Cathy Birkenstein. “Entering Class Discussions” and “Reading for the Conversation.” In They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. W. W. Norton & Company, 2014. ISBN: 9780393935844.

Buy at MIT Press McLuhan, Marshall. “The Medium is The Message.” In Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. MIT Press, 1994. ISBN: 9780262631594.

3 Ong, Walter. “The Orality of Language.” In Orality and Literacy. Routledge, 2012. ISBN: 9780415538381. [Preview with Google Books]  
4 Sontag, Susan. “In Plato’s Cave.” In On Photography. Penguin Books, 2010. ISBN: 9780141035789. “24 Hours” notes due
5 Kim Vaeth lectures on writing. Bring a copy of your “24 Hours” notes to class.  
6 Solnit, Rebecca. “The Annihilation of Time and Space.” In River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West. Penguin, 2004. ISBN: 9780142004104. [Preview with Google Books]  
7 Chatman, Seymour. “What Novels Can Do That Films Can’t (And Vice Versa).” In Critical Inquiry: The Process of Argument. Michael Boylan. Westview Press, 2009. ISBN: 9780813344522.  
8 Dyer, Richard. “The Light of the World.” In White. Routledge, 1997. ISBN: 9780415095372. [Preview with Google Books]  
9 No new readings assigned. “24 Hours” paper due

McKee, Alan. “What Is Textual Analysis?” Chapter 1 in Textual Analysis: A Beginner’s Guide. SAGE Publications Limited, 2003. ISBN: 9780761949930. [Preview with Google Books]

Fiske, John. “The Codes of Television.” In The John Fiske Collection: Television Culture. Routledge, 2010. ISBN: 9780415596473. [Preview with Google Books]


Read these readings before you view Do the Right Thing. Directed by Spike Lee. Color, 120 min. 1989.

11 Adorno, Theodor, and Max Horkheimer. “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception.” In Dialectic of Enlightenment. Stanford University Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780804736336. [Preview with Google Books]  
12 Barthes, Roland. “The World of Wrestling.” In Mythologies. RHUK, 2009. ISBN: 9780099529750.  
13 Geertz, Clifford. “Thick Description: Towards an Interpretive Theory of Culture.” In The Interpretation of Cultures. Basic Books, 1977. ISBN: 9780465097197. Media Analysis paper due

McKee, Alan. “How Do I Know What’s a Likely Interpretation?” Chapter 4 in Textual Analysis: A Beginner’s Guide. Sage Publications Limited, 2003. ISBN: 9780761949930. [Preview with Google Books]

Radway, Janice. “The Readers and Their Romances.” In Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature. The University of North Carolina Press, 1991. ISBN: 9780807843499. 

Interviewing workshop.

15 Revision workshop with Kim Vaeth.“Media Analysis 1.0” papers returned.

No new readings assigned.

16 McLaughlin, Thomas. “Pedagogy and Vernacular Theory.” In Street Smarts and Critical Theory: Listening to the Vernacular. University of Wisconsin Press, 1996. ISBN: 9780299151744. [Preview with Google Books]  
17 Hall, Stuart. Encoding and Decoding in the Television Discourse. University of B’ham., Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, 1973. ISBN: 9780704404571.  

Buy at MIT Press Juul, Jesper. “The Classic Model of Games.” In Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds. MIT Press, 2011. ISBN: 9780262516518.

Fernandez-Vara, Clara. “Preparing for the Analysis.” In Introduction to Game Analysis. Routledge, 2014. ISBN: 9780415703277.



Watch and discuss La Jetée. Directed by Chris Marker. Black & White, 28 min. 1962.

Media Analysis paper revision due

Interview transcripts due

20 Visit the Trope Tank, Nick Montfort’s lab  
21 Jenkins, Henry, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green. “Where Web 2.0 Went Wrong.” In Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked. NYU Press, 2013. ISBN: 9780814743508. [Preview with Google Books]  
22 Gitelman, Lisa. “Media, Materiality, and the Measure of the Digital; or, the Case of Sheet Music and the Problem of Piano Rolls.” In Memory Bytes: History, Technology, and Digital Culture. Edited by Lauren Rabinovitz and Abraham Geil. Duke University Press, 2004. ISBN: 9780822332411. [Preview with Google Books]  
23 Jenkins, Henry. “Introduction: Worship at the Altar of Convergence.” In Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. NYU Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780814742952. [Preview with Google Books]  
24 No new readings assigned. Media Research Paper presentations
25 No new readings assigned. Media Research Paper presentations (cont.)

Wrap up. Discuss class improvements.

Turkle, Sherry. “Always On.” In Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. Basic Books, 2012. ISBN: 9780465031467.

Shirky, Clay. “Does The Internet Make You Smarter?The Wall Street Journal, June 4, 2010.

Media Research Paper due

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2014
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments with Examples