- Media: Texts and Images
This course is an introduction to one branch of Media Studies scholarship: namely, the close analysis of texts. It introduces the kinds of visual media texts which you may encounter in Media Studies courses and the methods of close analysis generally associated with them. In addition, it asks what the text is and what its function is in the context of our day to day experience of the mediated world. How do we use media texts in order to understand who we are and how we live, and how do we become literate in the skills necessary to understand them?
- New Media: Theory and Practice
This course examines how new media transform contemporary culture and how cultural, economic, and political forces shape these new media technologies. We ask: what constitutes a network culture? What media practices are specific to such a culture? What theories and concepts aid our study of these social and technological changes?
- Television and Digital Media Convergence
This course examines various forms of media convergence (industrial, regulatory, technological, and cultural) and how interaction between television and digital media can alter sociocultural understandings of mass media industries and technologies. In addition, it examines the evolution of a formerly passive audience into active 'produsers' and investigates the democratizing potential of interactive and user-generated media.
- The Politics of Digital Media
The increasing ubiquity and accessibility of online digital media has led to popular and academic discourse that extols their liberating and even revolutionary potential. Others, however, have noted how this discourse masks the exploitation and surveillance of users and inhibits, rather than promotes, civic participation. This course examines current issues and theories concerning "user-led" sites, social networking sites, and other user-generated media such as citizen journalism, and interrogates the current relationship between digital media, Internet freedom, and democracy.
- Radio and Television as Entertainment Media
Traces the development of the idea of "entertainment" in commercial radio and television, and situates the institutions of broadcast entertainment within wider debates around leisure, popular taste and culture. Theoretical and historical approaches to radio and television are introduced.
- The History of Communication
The course examines communication throughout history. It explores the relationship of communication media and technologies to society and culture. The course covers the history of different communication media, such as the printing press, telegraph, radio and television broadcasting, film and sound recording, and the Internet.
- Issues in Online Identity and Community
This course introduces issues of community, culture, identity, and diversity in online interaction. Online communities and immersive environments are discussed and compared their “real world” counterparts, and issues of identity development (gender, race, and sexuality) are also explored. In addition, online activism and cultural colonization are discussed in an effort to assess the potential of online communities.