Media Studies

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Wesley O'Brien
CHAIRPERSON
Temporary 6, Room 119
(203) 392-5884 – Fax (203) 392-5242
obrienw1@SouthernCT.edu
Department Secretary: (203) 392-5157

Karen Burke, Associate Professor
Rosemarie Conforti, Associate Professor
Charlene Dellinger-Pate, Associate Professor
Wesley O'Brien, Professor

MAJOR IN MEDIA STUDIES

The B.A. degree program in media studies emphasizes how media create and change cultural environments. It provides students with an understanding of media and technology, their cultural contexts, and their influences on the individual and on society. Students examine media theory within cultural, historical, political, legal, economic, and social contexts, and explore aesthetic properties of media artifacts. In sum, students learn how to create meaning from their study of mediated experiences.

Using diverse research methods, both qualitative and quantitative, students learn to question effectively, to research, and to analyze critical media issues and problems that impact their daily lives as well as the world. Students are empowered with the skills and curiosity to become avid researchers in graduate education, industry, and their everyday worlds. Thus, the course of study prepares students for both graduate and professional work in a variety of media-related fields.

By stressing critical thinking and analysis and by developing professional research and writing skills, the curriculum provides students with the highest quality liberal education and increases their appreciation of the pursuit of knowledge that enables them to strive toward the ideal of an educated person.

MDS 101 - Media Persuasion and Everyday Life

An exploration of classical forms of persuasion as compared to the form and structure of persuasion in contemporary media sources (e.g., mass media advertising, opinion news, political messages, etc.) and the way those sources exemplify, modify, and/or avoid these classic forms.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

MDS 150 - Buy This Course: Media and Self

The dynamic relationships between media, culture, and self that render a consumerist world view. Using a critical lens, this course explores research and theory of media’s role in sustaining the American way of life and its consequences on the individual. Open to freshmen, sophomores, and non-majors only.

Prerequisite(s): Freshman or Sophomore, non-MDS major.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

MDS 200 - How Media Means

Analysis of media composition, contexts, and intentions using visual and language theories. Addresses how overall perceptual impact of specific words and images influences our response to the content itself.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

MDS 222 - Media Theory

An introduction to media theory that explores ways to observe, explain, and predict the role and place of media in society and culture.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

MDS 224 - Reading Film: Form, Genre, Culture

A study of the various structures and codes from which an audience makes meaning from mainstream narrative cinema.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

MDS 245 - Introduction to Media Studies

Provides an introduction to the field of media studies by studying forms of the mass media.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

MDS 280 - Media Issues and Problems

An examination of the ethical, economic, political, and social issues that influence the characteristics and content of contemporary media.

Prerequisite(s): MDS 245, may be taken concurrently.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

MDS 294 - Media Studies Tier 3 Capstone

Topics vary.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2015

MDS 298 - Special Topics

Examination of developments, issues, and/or creative work in the field of media studies.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

MDS 320 - Propaganda in Media

Explores historical and current perspectives of propaganda in various forms that affect and shape attitudes, perceptions, beliefs, and behavior. It explores propaganda at institutional and personal levels.

Prerequisite(s): ENG 112 and LEP Tier I Critical Thinking requirement.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

MDS 324 - Reading Film II: Approaches to International Film

A critical exploration of cinematic forms and their social, economic, and cultural contexts that depart significantly from (and are at times a reaction to) films constructed in the classical Hollywood style.

Prerequisite(s): MDS 200 or MDS 224, or departmental permission.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2015

MDS 333 - Media Research

An introduction to the development, design, analysis, and implementation of a variety of media research methods.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2015

MDS 340 - Media Literacy Education for Students and Teachers

Students learn to critically read media texts, analyze the impact of media and technology on society and culture from the perspective of educators and educational institutions, understand and evaluate the current place of media and technology in curriculum, and design and develop improved curriculum based on theory and research.

Prerequisite(s): ENG 112 or MDS 280 or departmental permission.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

MDS 350 - Resistive Vernaculars: Hip Hop, Rap, and Signifyin(g)

Analyzes and critiques the historical, cultural, and artistic elements of Hip Hop and Rap from the Signifyin(g) Monkey legend to contemporary trends and assesses its position in various mediated texts.

Prerequisite(s): MDS 245.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

MDS 360 - Romance to Ruin: Media and Relationships

A study of culturally created ideologies concerning intimate relationships including attraction, romance, intimacy, sexuality, commitment, power, and gender roles as systematic and mediated constructions.

Prerequisite(s): Sophomore status.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

MDS 370 - Music and Sound in Media

Explores and analyzes how music and sound function in our creation of meaning from mediated messages.

Prerequisite(s): MDS 200 and MDS 245.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

MDS 375 - Television, Comedy, Culture

Explores the relationship between television comedy and the American culture past and present. Through postmodern and comedy theory, students study television as a commercial enterprise, its potential and effectiveness for moral agenda, and its impact on cultural attitudes.

Prerequisite(s): Junior status.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2011

MDS 380 - Censorship in the Media

Examines censorship in the media through a variety of mainstream and alternative media sources and explores how censorship in the media helps define and shape cultural and political perceptions of the world.

Prerequisite(s): ENG 112.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

MDS 385 - Political Satire and New Media

Explores political satire of television and internet in our current postmodern era and satire's role in shaping political thought and public consciousness of social issues. From Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to more independent forms of satire, this course studies the conventions and transformations of irony, parody, and satire within new media practices.

Prerequisite(s): Sophomore status.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

MDS 398 - Special Topics

Examination of specific developments, issues and/or creative work in media studies.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2013

MDS 430 - Gender, Media, Culture

Explores gender construction analysis and contemporary theoretical perspectives of gender-resistant readings of mediated texts. Students practice testing media theories of gender as they conduct research and analyze audience-centered texts.

Prerequisite(s): Junior status and 6 MDS credits (3 at 300 level).

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

MDS 442 - Media Criticism

Examines and applies dominant critical perspectives used to critically analyze media.

Prerequisite(s): MDS 245 and MDS 280.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2015

MDS 450 - Sex, Violence, and the American Dream

Analyzes the merging of sex and violence in media treatments of the American dream from dime novels to films and music videos.

Prerequisite(s): Junior status.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2015

MDS 482 - Seminar in Media Studies

Application of historical knowledge, theoretical concepts, research methods, and critical perspectives to a media project that reflects the student’s individual research interest. Project involves conducting a review of literature, framing a research question, considering appropriate methodology, and designing a systematic plan for completion. This course can be taken twice.

Prerequisite(s): MDS 200, MDS 222, MDS 245, MDS 280, MDS 333, and MDS 442.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

MDS 497 - Media Studies Internship

A supervised internship permitting the opportunity to apply theoretical training and critical thinking of the media studies curriculum to an applied practical situation and/or career in a media related area.

Prerequisite(s): 12 credits in MDS and/or departmental permission.

1 to 6 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

MDS 499 - Independent Study

Prerequisite(s): Departmental permission.

1 to 3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2015