We help our students develop into media-literate and engaged citizens in their immediate surroundings and in wider, global contexts.
Enroll in one of our Intro to Media Studies sections to see what we’re about
What Media Do We Study?
We teach you how to analyze the ways in which media shape us and we shape each other through our use of media. For us, media includes:
- Texts (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, zines, graphic novels)
- Sound (music, noise, sonic environments)
- Image (photo, film/video, machinima)
- Plastic Arts (painting, drawing, sculpture)
- Performing Arts (theater, dance)
- Web-Based Platforms (social media, podcasts, games)
- Big Data
- Virtual Reality
- Artificial Intelligence
We also study media in its expanded sense to include bodies, chemicals, air, water, soil and ecologies.
How Do We Study Media?
We are a unique media studies program because we combine methods:
A signature skill you will learn in Media Studies at Purchase is how to conduct ethnographic research. The method comes from the field of anthropology. In fact, all of the media studies faculty are anthropologists.
Ethnographic research means participant observation: spending time with a cultural group or in a scene, interacting with people while observing the interaction, and taking careful notes.
We teach you how to observe, how to ask questions, how to listen, and how to take notes. Finally, we teach you how to analyze your notes and construct arguments.
Theory / Sci-Fi / Film / Art / Music
You’ll perform close readings of theoretical texts that will challenge you and open your mind to new ways of thinking. You’ll also learn by examining media other than texts.
In our courses, we read science fiction, watch films, listen to music and podcasts, and attend art exhibitions.
DIY Projects / Experimentation
You’ll also learn by making media—from zines and pop songs, to documentary shorts and art installations.
We find that spontaneous experiments with media, conducted individually and in small groups, is an effective way to understand what media does and what it can do.
The Media Studies at Purchase Community
Media Studies is a small department where you’ll feel like you’re part of a community of thinkers and makers. Students run weekly events (film screenings, artist talks, social gatherings) in the Anthropology and Media Studies Club.
Moreover, each cohort moves through the curriculum at the same pace and, as a result, each year students get to know each other better, making the classroom environment a comfortable space for open exchanges.
Mentoring For What Happens Next
We help you apply your skills in the world after graduation. We assist with internships and job placement. We also help you apply to graduate school.
The skills you acquire from Media Studies at Purchase are applicable in a wide range of fields.
What Our Graduates Are Doing Now
- television and film industries
- art galleries
- performing arts institutions
- social media marketing
- employment recruitment and training
- human resources
- social work
- library science
Media Studies graduates also go on to graduate programs in journalism, history, ethnomusicology, environmental humanities, anthropology, gender studies, creative writing, and fine arts.
Professor of Media Studies has been selected to join the advisory board for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the organization behind the Golden Globe Awards.
Hill is critical of the CDC’s response to COVID.