The Media, Society & the Arts BA Program | Academic Requirements | Student Learning Outcomes | Minor in Media, Society & the Arts | Courses | Faculty

The Media, Society, and the Arts Program: Courses

1000–2999 (lower level, freshman–sophomore)
3000–4999 (upper level, junior–senior)


Note: Students who have taken MSA 1530/Introduction to Media, Society, and the Arts (discontinued in Fall 2012) will have satisfied a prerequisite of MSA 1050.


1000–2999:

Introduction to Media Studies
MSA 1050
/ 3 credits / Every year
An introduction to theories of the media, visual, and performing arts. Using semiotics as a point of departure, students explore the language and iconography of visual communication. The course focuses on works of art, advertising, television, and the Web as social contexts of cultural production and analyses the role that ordinary people play in the production of media.
Formerly also offered as NME 1050.

Language, Culture, and Society
ANT 2175
Refer to Anthropology Courses (School of Natural & Social Sciences) for description. Formerly also offered as MSA 2175.

Italian-American Literature and Popular Culture
LIT 2195
Refer to Literature Courses: 1000–2999 (School of Humanities) for description. Formerly also offered as MSA 2915.

Frequency changed Fall 2014 (3/26/14); description revised 11/12/13, prerequisite clarified 11/14/13:
Media Institutions and Forms
MSA 2200
/ 3 credits / Spring
An examination of media forms (e.g., postcards, radio, TV, Internet, mobile media technologies) and media institutions (e.g., movie studios, marketing and advertising companies, regulatory agencies) within historical and cultural contexts. Students explore the multiple ways that human engagements with the world are mediated and how media forms contribute to the production of social norms, practices, and senses of identity and community.
Formerly also offered as NME 2200.
Prerequisite: MSA 1050

Prerequisite clarified 11/14/15:
Computers and Culture
MSA 2235
/ 3 credits / Fall
Examines the connections between computers and culture, with a critical look at how computers may be changing and shaping culture, and how culture affects people’s use and understanding of computers. The course focuses in particular on the ways in which gender, race, and class affect people’s experiences with and understanding of computers. Both work and leisure uses of computers are considered.
Formerly also offered as NME 2235.
Prerequisite: MSA 1050 or SOC 1500 or permission of instructor

Art and Technology
NME 2250
Refer to New Media Courses for description. Formerly also offered as MSA 2250.

Performing Arts in Cross-Cultural Perspective
ANT 2320
Refer to Anthropology Courses (School of Natural & Social Sciences) for description. Formerly also offered as MSA 2320.

Drugs, Bodies, Design
ANT 2340
Refer to Anthropology Courses (School of Natural & Social Sciences) for description. Formerly also offered as MSA 2340.

Museum Anthropology
ANT 2470
Refer to Anthropology Courses (School of Natural & Social Sciences) for description. Formerly also offered as MSA 2470.

Introduction to Ethnomusicology
ANT 2610
Refer to Anthropology Courses (School of Natural & Social Sciences) for description. Formerly also offered as MSA 2610.

Discontinued 11/11/13:
Locative Media: Place and Mobility
MSA 2700
/ 3 credits / Alternate years
Histories of media technologies are explored as histories of location and movement. The first half of the course provides a historical overview of media technologies and industries. The second half focuses on contemporary mobile media—especially handheld computational devices, cloud computing, and social media—and the ways in which they are shaping cultural beliefs and practices. [Was also offered as NME 2700.]
Prerequisite: MSA 1050, ANT 1500, or permission of instructor

3000–4999:

Cross-Cultural Video Production
NME 3010
Refer to New Media Courses for description. Formerly also offered as MSA 3010.

Riot Grrls and Radical Women
MSA 3120
/ 4 credits / Alternate years
This interdisciplinary course underscores the linkage between feminist theoretical paradigms and genres of feminist art. Feminist theory is considered, from Betty Friedan to bell hooks, as well as diverse artists and art forms, including Judy Chicago, Karen Finley, the Riot Grrl movement, and feminist zines. Sexuality, reproductive rights, women’s work, pornography, race, violence, and activism are key themes that direct the analysis.
Formerly also offered as GND 3120.
Prerequisite: MSA 1050

Prerequisite added Spring 2015 (10/23/14), revised 11/18/14:
Outsider Art
MSA 3150
/ 4 credits / Every year
Examines the social construction of outsider art as an aesthetic category, focusing on such genres as folk art, prison art, primitive art, asylum art, and street art. Students explore how the creation and reception of art, along with the perceived inherent cultural value of aesthetic objects, intersect the categories of gender, ethnicity, and social class.
Prerequisite: A minimum grade of C in MSA 1050

Queer Media Convergence
MSA 3160
/ 4 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Media convergence refers to large-scale changes in the ownership and production of media content, as well as the role that audiences and consumers have in its development. This course examines media convergence from the perspectives of queer theory and history, and asks how queer identities, sensibilities, styles, and practices both shape and are shaped by media convergence.
Formerly also offered as NME 3160 and GND 3160.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Media Representations and Identity
ANT 3175
Refer to Anthropology Courses (School of Natural & Social Sciences) for description. Formerly also offered as MSA 3175.

Global Media, Local Cultures
ANT 3185
Refer to Anthropology Courses (School of Natural & Social Sciences) for description. Formerly also offered as MSA 3185.

Media Ethnographies
MSA 3200
/ 4 credits / Fall
Ethnography, one of the key methodological innovations of anthropology, is used in this course to examine life in a media-saturated world. Focusing on an emergent ethnographic literature that examines the relationships between mass media, popular culture, and social and technological networking, the course situates ordinary and everyday interactions with media within broader theoretical, historical, and cultural contexts.
Prerequisite: MSA 1050 and MSA 2200; or MSA 1050 and an elective in media, society, and the arts

Los Angeles/Mumbai: Cinematic City Cross-Culturally
ANT 3275
Refer to Anthropology Courses (School of Natural & Social Sciences) for description. Formerly also offered as MSA 3275.

Genres of Affect
CIN 3330
Refer to Cinema Studies Courses for description. Formerly also offered as MSA 3330.

The Body: Medium and Message
MSA 3350
/ 4 credits / Every year
An examination of the body as medium and media within larger social and cultural landscapes. The body is located in relationship to systems of power within the context of modernity/postmodernity, mass media, and art worlds. Topics include exercise and bodybuilding, beauty and consumption, 20th-century disease, body art, extreme body modification, plastic surgery, and subversive body play.
Prerequisite: MSA 1050 and permission of instructor

Avant-Garde Cultures and Everyday Life
ANT 3380
Refer to Anthropology Courses (School of Natural & Social Sciences) for description. Formerly also offered as MSA 3380.

Critical Perspectives on Language and Culture
ANT 3390
Refer to Anthropology Courses (School of Natural & Social Sciences) for description. Formerly also offered as MSA 3390.

Frequency changed Fall 2014 (3/26/14):
Critical Perspectives on Media, Society, and the Arts
MSA 3400
/ 4 credits / Fall
An intensive examination of critical and theoretical work on media, society, and the arts. Classic and contemporary theories (e.g., Marxism, structuralism, organizational and cultural production, various cultural studies approaches) and topics (e.g., hegemony, cultural capital, high vs. low culture, elite and commercialized culture) are explored.
Prerequisite: MSA 1050 and 2200

Prerequisite revised and limitation added to description Spring 2015 (10/23/14):
Visual/Social Analysis: A Practicum
MSA 3410
/ 4 credits / Spring
A hands-on introduction to the use of visual methods to study social phenomena. Each student designs a project within the medium of his or her choice: photography, video, or film. Selected problems of method and ethics are examined, and cross-cultural examples are provided. No previous working background in photography or other visual media is required. Limited to students majoring in media, society, and the arts.
Prerequisite: A minimum grade of C in MSA 1050 and 2200, and in one of the following courses—MSA 3120, 3150, 3160, 3350; ANT 3070, 3175, 3185, 3190, 3215, 3255, 3275, 3345, 3350, 3380, 3390, 3410, 3415, 3540, 3600, 3610; CIN 3330; ENV 3800; JST 3455, 3456, 3457

Title modified Fall 2014 (1/08/14):
Anthropology of Sound and Listening
ANT 3415
Refer to Anthropology Courses (School of Natural & Social Sciences) for description. Formerly also offered as MSA 3415.

Sensing and Knowing in Anthropology, Psychology, and the Arts
ANT 3540
Refer to Anthropology Courses (School of Natural & Social Sciences) for description. Formerly also offered as MSA 3540.

Formerly MSA 3980 (7/22/14):
Internship in Media, Society, and the Arts
MSA 3995
/ 4 credits / Every semester
A supervised work experience in an art- and/or media-related environment, including television studios, film production companies, art galleries, book and magazine publishing companies, and public relations firms.

Title modified Fall 2014 (1/08/14):
Alternative Economies
MSA 4100
/ 4 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Students look at forms of production and exchange in various contexts throughout the world that are alternatives to dominant, formal economies. These include trash picking and trash art-making, piracy and counterfeiting, independent farming, and alternative banking. Students consider the notion of value in a variety of ways and trace how production, exchange, circulation, and consumption elaborate new forms of social life.
Formerly also offered as ANT 4100.
Prerequisite: MSA 1050 or ANT 1500, and permission of instructor

Added Spring 2015 (6/24/14), prerequisite revised (10/23/14 and 11/04/14):
Lively Geographies
MSA 4110
/ 4 credits / Alternate years
In recent years, anthropologists, physical and cultural geographers, biologists, and media theorists have tried to account for the more-than-human world in order to emplace humans in a general ecology of liveliness. Using methods from multiple disciplines, students explore the animacy of ordinary and extraordinary places. Topics include landscape as a contingent process, geological time, energetics, dwelling, regenerative design, and industrial-chemical ecologies.
Prerequisite: A minimum grade of C in MSA 1050 or ANT 1500, and in one of the following courses—MSA 3120, 3150, 3160, 3350; ANT 3070, 3175, 3185, 3190, 3215, 3255, 3275, 3345, 3350, 3380, 3390, 3410, 3415, 3540, 3600, 3610; CIN 3330; ENV 3800; JST 3455, 3456, 3457

Title modified Fall 2014 (1/08/14); prerequisite revised Spring 2015 (10/23/14 and 11/04/14):
Material Cultures
MSA 4160
/ 4 credits / Alternate years
Students examine the material dimension of cultural life and explore how beliefs, sensibilities, and ways of relating to people and the environment get distilled in cultural matter. Matters include rocks, body matter, waste, water, houses, consumer commodities, and currency. Other questions explored are: How does matter become meaningful and acquire value? How do matters of the natural world become “cultural”?
Formerly also offered as ANT 4160.
Prerequisite: A minimum grade of C in MSA 1050 or ANT 1500, and in one of the following courses—MSA 3120, 3150, 3160, 3350; ANT 3070, 3175, 3185, 3190, 3215, 3255, 3275, 3345, 3350, 3380, 3390, 3410, 3415, 3540, 3600, 3610; CIN 3330; ENV 3800; JST 3455, 3456, 3457

Special Topics in Media, Society, and the Arts
MSA 4750
/ 4 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
The topics, which vary, are selected from among the special interests of faculty.
Prerequisite: MSA 1050 and permission of instructor

Senior projects changed to I and II, 4 credits each, and prefix changed from MSA to SPJ, Fall 2014:
Senior Project I and II
SPJ 4990
and 4991 / 4 credits (per semester) / Every year
The senior project, which is developed in consultation with advisors, can take a variety of forms, from an exploration of social phenomena or a creative effort, using a range of media (e.g., photography, video, film, performance), to a research project based on library and/or empirical research. In the second semester of their junior year, students are encouraged to consult with a member of the board of study to determine appropriate topics and research strategies. Must be taken for two semesters (8 credits total).

Updated Nov. 18, 2014

Arrow up icon 


Updates
Please direct updates for this page to the managing editor in the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs. To add a course, please refer first to the Faculty Handbook.


Course Search:
For the current (or upcoming) semester schedule, use the myHeliotrope course search at my.purchase.edu.