Jul 20, 2024  
College Catalog 2024-2025 
College Catalog 2024-2025

Media and Cultural Studies

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Areas of Study

Faculty Steering Committee:  Morgan Adamson (Chair, Media and Cultural Studies), Tia-Simone Gardner (Media and Cultural Studies), John Kim (Media and Cultural Studies), A. Kiarina Kordela (German and Russian Studies), J. Andrew Overman (Classical Mediterranean and Middle East), Khaldoun Samman (Sociology)

Part Time Faculty: Howard Sinker, Michael Griffin, Brad Stiffler

The Media and Cultural Studies major analyzes the poetics, politics, and production of media texts, in alignment with the College’s commitment to internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement, using theories and methods drawn from the humanities and the social sciences. The department offers an innovative ten-course major that includes opportunities for students to combine analysis, criticism, and production. The major provides a working knowledge of the methods of historians and critics of culture and the media, including new media, as well as traditional media such as film, newspapers, radio, and television; an ability to explicate a specific body of culture or type of media in depth; and opportunities to appreciate different kinds of media and to produce original work.

Cultural Studies has developed in response to what critics have seen as exclusions and gaps in programs in the traditional humanities. It has broadened categories of cultural analysis to include multiple traditions and has taken a more critical stance towards artifacts by adding concerns such as the following:

Attention to systems of meaning and attendant issues of power, particularly in terms of class, gender, nation, race, and sexualities.
Critique of the dominant tradition from perspectives associated with social outsiders, including critique of cultural evaluation connected to social privilege.

Explicitly political and social analysis of canonized texts.
Analysis of commercial culture and of its institutional determinants, and of signs and local expressions of culture that traditional humanists do not consider texts of art. Media Studies examines the forces that shape media texts and those that govern their meanings in global culture and provides students with experience producing digital, print, and video texts that investigate and represent that culture in journalistic and alternative forms, such as newspaper and broadcast reporting, political documentary, and experimental video.

Media and Cultural Studies faculty include media and film studies professors assigned to the department as well as professors in disciplines in the divisions of humanities and social sciences and other interdisciplinary departments who teach cultural studies, film studies, humanities, and media studies. Faculty are engaged in active research programs that may offer opportunities for student assistance or collaboration.

The major is designed to give students familiarity with a cultural heritage with a breadth of geographic and historical experience. It provides a working knowledge of the methods of historians and critics of culture, the ability to explicate a specific body of culture in depth, and opportunities to appreciate culture and to produce original work. The minor concentrates on media studies and offers opportunities for critical research as well as for pre-professional experience in journalism. Students in the department have found opportunities for internships with arts and other nonprofit organizations and with media companies. Graduates have found employment in the media, in government, and in social and cultural institutions as well as opportunities for further study in doctoral programs and professional schools.

General Distribution Requirement

Courses numbered MCST 110 , MCST 248 , MCST 249 MCST 258 MCST 268 MCST 275 MCST 276 MCST 278 MCST 279 MCST 281 MCST 284 , and MCST 388  count toward the requirement in humanities. Courses numbered MCST 114 , MCST 126 MCST 281 , MCST 321 MCST 357 , and count toward the requirement in social science. Course MCST 128  and MCST 232  meet the distribution requirement in the fine arts.

General Education Requirements

Courses that meet the general education requirements in writing, quantitative thinking, internationalism and U.S. identities and differences will be posted on the Registrar’s web page in advance of registration for each semester.

Additional information regarding the general distribution requirement and the general education requirements can be found in the graduation requirements  section of this catalog.

Topics Courses

MCST 194 , MCST 294 , MCST 394 , MCST 494  

Recent examples include: The Horror Film: History, Politics, and Theory; The River, the Gulf, and the Ocean; Blackness and Images; Oppositional Cinemas: Experiment and Critique through the Moving Image; Camera as Witness? The Role of Images in the Social Construction of Truth; Living in the Anthropocene: Earth in the Age of Humans. To be announced at registration. (4 credits)

Independent Study

The department offers independent study options in the form of tutorials, independent projects, internships, preceptorships and Honors independent projects. For more information contact the department and review the Curriculum  section of the catalog.


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Areas of Study