This course introduces the discipline of Communication Studies through the allied fields of media and cultural studies. Students gain foundational understanding in methods and critical approaches to contemporary media. The course begins with a survey of media structures and institutions (questions of media role in democracy), media texts and genres (questions of media form), and media and identity (questions of representation). The course transitions from this overview into topical or thematic views of media. Topics may include: (1) representation and ideology with attention to race and gender; (2) trauma and torture pre and post 9-11; (3) memories of war, trauma, and immigration with attention to imperialism, race, and gender; (4) media and social/economic systems; (5) public sphere deliberation and media as democratic processes; or (6) Disney Culture.
Prerequisites: First year or sophomore standing or permission of instructor.