Media play a central role in politics, economics, culture, and our everyday lives. Our key concern is to understand both the direct and subtle operations of media power in society today: How do media construct meaning? How do new communication technologies shape our most intimate and personal relationships? How and why do data-driven corporations track and monetize their users often without their consent or political accountability? This class introduces students to different media studies traditions including medium theory, political economy, representation, media effects, and audience studies that examine media as technologies, institutions, narratives, and their audiences / users.
There are multiple growing concerns regarding issues of climate, class, race, gender identity, and the nature of democracy in our contemporary world. Science fiction has proven to be a thought-provoking genre to help raise awareness to many of these social and environmental issues. This course takes a global perspective on such pressing issues by examining science fiction films from around the world. As such, the course uses science fiction films as primary texts, accompanied by weekly readings. Students will engage in a critical analysis of the assigned films and readings in order to better appreciate what we can begin to anticipate regarding our future. (Gen. Ed. SB, DG)
This course deals with issues of racial stratification and inequality in the United States, and the ways in which we understand them - the stories we tell ourselves about WHY the world is organized as it. It deals with both the reality of race as well as the way that reality is represented, and why, as a society, we refuse to seriously address its disastrous consequences. (Gen. Ed. SB)
This course looks at how the industries of media and public relations have been used as instruments of social control and propaganda by economic and political elites. Examined will be the following: the historical roots of the public relations industry in government propaganda efforts; the contemporary influence of the public relations industry on public debate of social issues; the role of public relations in distorting discussion of the military/industrial complex; the effects of structuring media systems around the needs of advertisers; the role of media and public relations in how the public understands both domestic and international issues (such as war).
This course will examine the relationship between commercialized systems of representation and the way that gender and sexuality are thought of and organized in the culture. In particular, we will look at how commercial imagery impacts upon gender identity and the process of gender socialization. Central to this discussion will be the related issues of sexuality and sexual representation (and the key role played by advertising).
\This course looks at advertising from the viewpoint of social theory (that is, of how we can understand advertising's broad political, economic, social, and cultural role in modern society). The course will broadly examine the social role of advertising in consumer societies with a central focus its relationship to: the construction of individual identity, the quest for happiness; the evolving environmental crisis based on depleting resources and climate change; the process of globalization; the commercialization of childhood; the definition of health and wellness; and the crisis of financial debt.
Exploration of the types of writing associated with the discipline of communication. Development and improvement of the student's writing, research, and critical thinking skills. Fulfills Junior Year Writing requirement.