Media Studies

Deb Clark, Holland Hall 504

(Media and Film Studies)

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 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, 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 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.

Media Internship

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.

MEDIA 160: The Media Landscape

This introductory-level course 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 toward American studies major and film studies concentration.

MEDIA 260: Media and Screen Cultures

This course focuses on screen-based media, from television to movies, video games to the internet, from theoretical and critical perspectives. Primary emphasis is on the diverse ways screen media production, distribution, and consumption inform contemporary issues in the public sphere. In particular, the course examines media discourses on identity, agency, and privacy, and how media representations of race, class, and gender presently exist as both products and producers of contemporary cultures.
Prerequisite: MEDIA 160 or permission of instructor.

MEDIA 294: Academic Internship

MEDIA 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.

MEDIA 298: Independent Study

MEDIA 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. Offered alternate years.
Prerequisite: MEDIA 160 or permission of instructor.

MEDIA 394: Academic Internship

MEDIA 396: Directed Undergraduate Research

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. Offered based on department decision. May be offered as a 1.00 credit course or .50 credit course.
Prerequisite: determined by individual instructor.

MEDIA 398: Independent Research

Approved Courses

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.

AMST 100 American Culture: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

ART 205 Photography

ART 228 Animated Art

ART 229 Digital Filmmaking

ART 236 Graphic Design

ART 256 A History of Photography

ASIAN 270 Visual Culture of Modern China

ASIAN 156 Contemporary China Through Film (in English translation)

ASIAN 230 The Philosophy of Anime

DANCE 150 Movement, the Camera, and the Creative Process

ENGL 275 Literature and Film

ENGL 280 Topics in Genre

ENGL 285 Digital Rhetorics and New Media Literacies

ENGL 289 Journalistic Writing

ENGL 291 Intermediate Creative Nonfiction Writing

ENGL 296 Screenwriting

FILM 101 Introduction to Film Studies

FILM 201 American Film History

GERM 249 German Cinema (in English)

HIST 182 America Since 1945

HIST 290 Reel America: U.S. History in Film

MGMT 229 Arts Management

MGMT 250 Marketing

MUSIC 225 Music in the Electronic Medium

PHYS 252 Musical Acoustics

PSCI 211 Media and Politics

THEAT 275 Writing for Performance

The following courses are approved when they have media-related content:

AMCON 202 Pursuits of Happiness, 1920-Present

AMST 301 Seminar in American Studies

ART 246 New York Art Interim (off-campus)

ART 253 Art Since 1945

ENGL 266 Romanticism and Rock Music

FREN 250 Speaking (of) French

FREN 272 Contemporary France

HIST 375 Problems of Contemporary America

REL 121 Bible in Culture and Community: "The Bible as Screen Play" and "Jesus at the Movies"

RUSSN 254 Russian Culture and Civilization

RUSSN 265 Introduction to Russian and Soviet Film (in English translation)

RUSSN 372 The Russian Press

SOAN 264 Race and Class in American Culture

WRIT 111 First-Year Writing:  "Writing about Film" and "Page, Stage, and Screen"

Director, 2018-2019

William Sonnega

Associate Professor of Theater

theater; media studies

Karen R. Achberger

Professor of German

German cinema; 20th-century German and Austrian literature; Ingeborg Bachmann; Green Germany; fin-de-siècle Vienna

Carlos Gallego

Associate Professor of English

Chicano/a studies; 20th century American literature; comparative ethinic studies; philosophy and critical theory; cultural studies

Karil J. Kucera

Professor of Art and Art History and Asian Studies

Asian art history; text/image; sacred sites

Judy Kutulas

Professor of History

20th-century U.S. history; U.S. women's history; popular and material culture

Justin W. Merritt

Professor of Music

composition; theory; instrumentation; electronic music

Linda Y. Mokdad

Assistant Professor of English

film history; classical film theory; feminist film theory; art cinema; Arab cinemas

Sian E. Muir

Entrepreneur in Residence

marketing; entrepreneurship; strategy; arts management

Diana O. Neal

Associate Professor of Nursing

pediatric nursing; neonatal intensive care nursing; complementary therapies

Rebecca S. Richards

Associate Professor of English

rhetoric and composition; feminist/gender studies; media studies

Anthony W. Roberts

Artist in Residence in Dance

modern dance; dance technology; Companydance

Mary E. Trull

Professor of English

16th- and 17th-century English literature

Karen Wilson

Professor of Theater

theater; ethics and theater; directing; voice/phonetics