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. The course will also include excerpts from the films The Dark Knight Rises, The Matrix, The Truman Show, Network, and Idiocracy , television shows 60 Minutes, Family Guy, The Simpsons, South Park and The X-Files , as well as a selection of other media forms, including blogs, podcasts, radio programs, graphic novels, newspapers, magazines, music videos, television commercials, social media sites and video games.
Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)