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.
After taking this class, students will be able to:
- Articulate major shifts in the development of media and how they have played a role in everyday life.
- Better understand the media production process and how it constrains content in variable ways.
- Perform a critical analysis of media content.
- Explain some of the multiple reasons individuals and groups engage with and understand media.