This interdisciplinary seminar will provide an intensive introduction to the study of mass media. Utilizing wide ranging critical and theoretical methodologies, the course will consider how media alternately reflects and forms our sense of politics, economics, race, gender, sexuality and citizenship. The course will be concerned with questions such as: What function does mass media serve for society? How does a media saturated cultural environment shape our identity? How do mass media forms delineate and naturalize prevailing ideologies and ways of being in the world? Can media provide a means to challenge cultural and political hegemony? Readings will be drawn from Berger’s Media Analysis Techniques and Jenkins’ Convergence Culture as well as the anthologies The Media Studies Reader and Gender, Race and Class in the Media and the course will include excerpts from the films The Dark Knight Rises , IdiocracyTheTruman Show , Network, The Secret and The Bling Ring , television shows 60 Minutes, Ways of Seeing The Simpsons, South Park and The X-Files , radio programs Amos ‘N Andy, Burns and Allen, This American Life and The War of the Worlds , as well as a selection of other media forms, including blogs, graphic novels, newspapers, magazines, music videos, social media sites and video games.