MSA 1050: Introduction to Media Studies

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.

Credits: 3

Department: Media Society and Arts
MSA 2200: Media Institutions and Forms

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.

Credits: 3

PREREQ: MSA1050 Or NME1050

Department: Media Society and Arts
MSA 2210: Transhumanist Media

Students focus on how humans are represented and configured across media platforms, how the self is culturally constructed, and how technology continually redefines the meaning of “human.” The class also considers what these figurations indicate about contemporary political subjectivities, gender identities, and species belonging. The work of notable thinkers, including William Gibson, Masamune Shiroh, Stellarc, and Spike Jonze, is studied.

Credits: 3

Department: Media Society and Arts
MSA 2235: Computers and Culture

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.

Credits: 3

PREREQ: NME1050 Or MSA1050

Department: Media Society and Arts
MSA 2450: Sounds of Protest

Protest movements around the world are on the rise. Students explore the “sounds of protest”—the music, noises, chants, songs, speeches, soundtracks, music videos, and dances that form an essential component of modern political struggles. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to music theory and practice, students complete historical and theoretical surveys, case studies, and creative projects.

Credits: 3

Department: Media Society and Arts
MSA 3160: Queer Media Convergence

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.

Credits: 4

Department: Media Society and Arts
MSA 3200: Media Ethnographies

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.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: (MSA1050 Or NME1050 ) And MSA2200

Department: Media Society and Arts
MSA 3350: The Body: Medium and Message

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.

Credits: 4

Department: Media Society and Arts
MSA 3400: Critical Perspectives on Media, Society, and the Arts

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.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: (MSA1050 Or NME1050 ) And MSA2200

Department: Media Society and Arts
MSA 3410: Visual/Social Analysis: A Practicum

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.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: (MSA1050 Or NME1050 ) And MSA2200

Department: Media Society and Arts
MSA 3450: Research Methods in Media, Society, and the Arts

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 everyday interactions with media within broader theoretical, historical, and cultural contexts.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: (MSA1050 Or NME1050 ) And MSA2200

Department: Media Society and Arts
MSA 4100: Alternative Economies

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.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: (MSA1050 Or NME1050 ) Or ANT1500 Or CAN1500

Department: Media Society and Arts
MSA 4110: Lively Geographies

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.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: (MSA1050 Or NME1050 Or ANT1500 ) And (MSA3120 Or MSA3150 Or MSA3160 Or CIN3330 Or MSA3350 Or ANT3070 Or ANT3175 Or ANT3185 Or ANT3190 Or ANT3215 Or ANT3255 Or ANT3275 Or ANT3345 Or ANT3350 Or ANT3380 Or ANT3390 Or ANT3410 Or ANT3415 Or JST3455 Or JST3456 Or JST3457 Or ANT3540 Or ANT3600 Or ANT3610 Or ENV3800 )

Department: Media Society and Arts
MSA 4160: Material Cultures

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”?

Credits: 4

PREREQ: (MSA1050 Or NME1050 Or ANT1500 ) And (MSA3120 Or MSA3150 Or MSA3160 Or CIN3330 Or MSA3350 Or ANT3070 Or ANT3175 Or ANT3185 Or ANT3190 Or ANT3215 Or ANT3255 Or ANT3275 Or ANT3345 Or ANT3350 Or ANT3380 Or ANT3390 Or ANT3410 Or ANT3415 Or JST3455 Or JST3456 Or JST3457 Or ANT3540 Or ANT3600 Or ANT3610 Or ENV3800 )

Department: Media Society and Arts
MSA 4750: Special Topics in Media, Society and the Arts

The topics, which vary, are selected from among the special interests of faculty.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: MSA1050 Or NME1050

Department: Media Society and Arts