Department of Media, Culture, and Communication

Master's Programs - Media, Culture, and Communication

Graduate Courses

MCC-GE 2001 Media, Culture, and Communication Core Seminar (for MA students only)
sample syllabus
Examines theoretical approaches that are central to the study of media, culture and communication. Provides students with a historical and critical framework for understanding the literature and research traditions within the field of media studies with an emphasis on media and communication as institutional actors, technological artifacts, systems of representation and meaningful cultural objects.
MCC-GE 2010 Censorship in American Culture
sample syllabus
This course examines censorship in American culture, from the late 19th century to the present and surveys areas where debates about censorship have been urgently contested, from discussions about birth control, to literature, film, theatre, art galleries and history museums, to sidewalks and lecture halls, to the internet. Students will explore the historical contexts in which important cultural and legal struggles over censorship took place and how this history affects contemporary debates about the arts, sexuality, national security, technology, privacy, and government involvement in the marketplace of ideas and images.
MCC-GE 2025 Race and Media
sample syllabus
The racial and ethnic diversity of the United States – from Europeans’ first encounter with Native Americans, through colonialism and American slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights era and beyond – has made the issue of race one of the United States’ principal sites of conflict and conversation. For many years, scholarship on race and media has focused on a myriad of theories and issues surrounding representation, concerned with the presence or lack of people of color in media of all kinds, and the stereotypical ways they are portrayed when they are present. But this is only one part of the story. While this course highlights many of these issues, it focuses on the ways that media can and have shaped public discourse about race and racism both within and beyond the confines of the United States. The course considers a variety of media – television sitcoms and drama, television and print news, film, popular music, the internet and others – for the purpose of investigating how media have and continue to variably influence the public’s “racial agenda,” and the general content, tone and tenor of racial conversation in the public sphere.
MCC-GE 2100 Seminar in Media Criticism
sample syllabus
Analysis of the media environment from a variety of critical perspectives. Emphasis on writing as well as reading media criticism.
MCC-GE 2112 Politics of the Gaze
sample syllabus
The mediation and technological development of vision and its dominance over the human sensorium is integral to the emergence of the modern, including experiences of urbanism, consumer desire, gender/sexual identities, race and ethnicity, trans-cultural image systems, aesthetic production, and the making of power and political truth claims. This seminar will focus on introducing participants to the core theories and analytic methods of visual culture, and the socio-political history of the human sensorium in a variety of disciplines, including ethnography, social history, urban studies, cinema studies, social geography, material culture studies, and media studies.
MCC-GE 2120 Media Policy and Regulation
sample syllabus
This course provides a general introduction to key media policy debates. It is intended for students with an interest in how our media system is governed, ranging from the Internet and telecommunications to mainstream news and entertainment media. The goal of this course is to introduce students to the ways in which media policy gets hashed out in and outside Washington D.C., and to understand how these policies structure the kinds of media in which we are immersed. We will survey the history of media policy; explore the politics underlying basic problems and questions in designing media policy; discuss how media policy relates to democratic theory and ethical concerns; and consider what an ideal media system would look like. The first third of the course will focus on U.S. media policy history, the second third on current media policy debates, and the final third on future trajectories for our media system.
MCC-GE 2125 Evolution of Technology
Traces the development of technology from historical, current, & future-oriented perspectives. Attention given to intended & unintended consequences of technological events.
MCC-GE 2129 New Media Research Studio
sample syllabus
A project-based, research-intensive course that explores emerging practices and trends in new media with particular emphasis on interactive and immersive environments, such as social networking sites, multi-player online environments, the blogosphere, the open source movement, social activist groups, and Internet-based art. Students engage in a semester-long participatory research project using collaborative Web tools.
MCC-GE 2130 Topics in Digital Media
sample syllabus
Designed for current theoretical research in digital media. It is expected that course themes will vary to reflect debates in the field. Topics may include the following: computers & pedagogy: on-line communities; on-line publishing; the cultural history of software; video games studies.
MCC-GE 2131 Topics in Digital Media: Game Studies
sample syllabus
A critical approach to the medium of the video game. Examination of the concept of ?play? using methods from literary criticism, cultural anthropology, post structuralism, & cinema studies. Discussion of approaches to the philosophy of action, ludology, & theories of mechanic & gamic visuality. Themes will include simulation, social realism, & war games. The seminar will include screenings & require game play.
MCC-GE 2132 Topics in Digital Media: Visions and Revisions of Cyberspace
sample syllabus
Today, for the first time in history, computer-mediated culture has become mainstream for a majority of individuals in technologically developed societies. From email to texting, from online gaming to online banking, from YouTube to Hulu, from DoS attacks to Second Life sit-ins, nearly every traditional aspect of our lives has found a new expression in its digital proxy.

In order to understand the cultural, social, political and economic consequences of this development, we must look to the origins of today's cyberculture, in the futuristic visions (both dystopian and utopian) that shaped the development of today's networked technologies. We will trace the genealogy of these visions, as they developed in tandem with the growing digital communications infrastructure over the past three quarters of a century, and evolved into new forms that even the most forward-thinking of visionaries could not have predicted. Ultimately, one can argue that the Internet has both exceeded and fallen short of the hype that surrounded its birth and development, and, by comparing the myth to the reality, we may better understand what aspects of the human condition are likely to persist regardless of technological development.
MCC-GE 2134 Media Archaeology
sample syllabus
Over the last decade or so, scholars in several disciplines have embarked on a series of media-archaeological excavations, sifting through the layers of early and obsolete practices and technologies of communication. The archaeological metaphor evokes both the desire to recover material traces of the past and the imperative tosituate those traces in their social, cultural, and political contexts - while always watching our steps. This eminar will examine some of the most important contributions to the field of media archaeology and, most importantly, provide an ongoing research studio in which participants undertake archaeological projects of their own.
 
MCC-GE 2135 Media, Memory, and History
sample syllabus
This seminar will focus on introducing participants to the basic theory and core methods of visual culture studies in a variety of disciplines, including ethnography, social history, urban studies, cinema studies, social geography, art history and media studies.
MCC-GE 2136 War and Media Theory
sample syllabus
Communication studies traditionally focus on how war is propagandized by mass media. In contrast, this seminar proposes that war is an encompassing mode of political communication in which media is militarized and violence is mediatized. We will examine how modern warfare has generated new visual cultures and new media networks. This seminar proposes that the visual technology of war and the technologies of event dissemination are linked problems in the political history of representation. The triangulation of person, place and time as the basis of perceiving history can only be accounted for by a history of mediated perception-a history increasingly characterized by military technologies and military visual culture, and their fashioning of the modern sensorium. The seminar will examine the thesis that the "informationatization" of contemporary consciousness can only be understood through a media theory of war.
MCC-GE 2138 Politics of Digital Media
sample syllabus
This seminar examines various political features and scales concerning networked technologies-from the informal to the formal-in relationship to three different though overlapping categories: the politics of regulation and architecture (domain name registration, filtering, protocols, censorship, ICANN), the politics of hacking (transgression, intellectual property law and free software, etc.), and finally explicit grassroots and media activism that makes heavy use of digital media and networked technologies (Indymedia, Tactical media, Burma protests etc.). Students will be introduced to and interrogate a number of political theories about democracy, liberalism, social movements, and neoliberalism as they assess the politics of technology. By the end of the course students should be familiar with an array of political questions and tactics that emerge out of the use, invention, circulation, dissemination and production of networked technologies. We will pay close attention to the ways in which technology is at once imagined as an agent of political change and contrasts this with how these technologies work to enable and curtail various political possibilities.
MCC-GE 2140 Issues in Organizational Communication
This course examines organization communication & the influences that create & define organizational climate. Topics include: diagnosing organizational cultures; the effects of gender, culture & race on organizational communication; communication & leadership; & organizational conflict.
MCC-GE 2143 Cultural Analysis of Design
sample syllabus
This class introduces design as an intersection of practice, philosophy, aesthetics, politics, and material culture. In the course of bringing students into the contemporary conversation that organizes design discourse increasingly in terms of “interaction” this class prepares students to conduct original project work on the history, culture, and aesthetics of contemporary material and visual culture at the scale of computers, media, architecture, and product.
MCC-GE 2145 Methods in Interpreting Popular Culture
sample syllabus
This course provides an introduction to the fundamental methods for understanding the construction of meaning in film, television, popular music, and advertising, tracing the study of popular culture through film theory and mass media analysis to cultural studies. Recent theoretical analysis of popular culture has examined the notion of the popular, spectatorship, methods of reading audiences, global popular culture, and the concept of cultural practices. This course surveys methods of analysis such as structuralism, semiotics, genre analysis, psychoanalysis, socio-historical analysis, ideological analysis, discourse analysis, political economy, reception theory, feminist method, and ethnography as tools through which to understanding popular culture in depth. It will include screenings of excerpts of film and television in class. Readings will include works by Roland Barthes, Pierre Bourdieu, Michel de Certeau, Umberto Eco, Dick Hebdige, George Lipsitz, Toby Miller, Tania Modleski, David Morley, Janice Radway, Ellen Seiter, Lynn Spigel, and Raymond Williams, among others.
MCC-GE 2146 The Sitcom
sample syllabus
This course examines the history and politics of television’s most enduring genre, the situation comedy. The sitcom occupies a particularly important place in U.S. cultural hierarchies. Both lauded as an innovative, quintessentially televisual form and denigrated as the epitome of mass media’s formulaic cultural dross, the genre is a discursive locus in which U.S. preoccupations with class, race, gender, and other forms of difference are negotiated.
MCC-GE 2149 A Cultural History of Television
sample syllabus
A survey of the cultural and industrial history of American television; focus on how technological innovation, regulatory bodies, advertisers, network heads, creative producers, audiences have interacted with economic, social, and political forces to shape television over time. Examines the methodological practices and concerns involved in the writing of media histories and specifically the history of broadcasting.
MCC-GE 2150 The Origins of Modern Media: 1880 – 1950
sample syllabus
Examination of the sociopolitical, technological, aesthetic, & institutional development of media from 1880-1950. Emphasis is placed on telegraphy, telephony, sound-recording, & amplification devices, radio (both point-to-point & broadcast) & film. Students are introduced to a variety of historiographical techniques & are encouraged to reflect upon the relationship between origins of the mass media & current technological institutional, sociopolitical & aesthetic dynamics of media.
MCC-GE 2153 Media Activism
sample syllabus
This interactive and discussion-oriented course provides an introduction to the politics and tactics underlying five broad categories of media activism: media interventions at the levels of representation, labor relations, policy, strategic communication, and “alternative” media making. The course will rely on both a survey of the existing scholarship on media activism, as well as close analyses of actual activist practices within both old and new media. As a class, we will examine a wide-range of digital media as well as local, national, and global media activist institutions.
MCC-GE 2157 The Communications Revolution and Culture in America
sample syllabus
An examination of the nature of the communications revolution in the 20th century & its impact on American cultural life & institutions. First semester focuses on the political economy of media from a critical perspective; second semester focuses on current developments in the communications industry & their impact on the U.S. & global culture, from an industry perspective. Either half may be taken independently.
MCC-GE 2165 Transnational Communities and Media Cultures
sample syllabus

This course examines the emergence of transnational communities, recent patterns of migration, and the role of media forms and practices in redefining culture and national belonging. We will explore how media practices define culture and identity for diasporic groups within the landscape of global cities. What role do media play in the (re)imagining of cultural politics, nationalism, and everyday life in the context of global relocations? How do technology and media enable new configurations of cultural resistance and identification within (and between) different immigrant groups? What does this mean in terms of negotiating the global and local in various aspects of immigrant lives? Through field trips, field work, discussion, and lectures, students will be exposed to contemporary issues and research.
MCC-GE 2166 The Global City and Media Ethnography: Practice-led Transcultural Media Research
sample syllabus
The course focuses on the theories and methods of media/sensory ethnography, visual culture, media archeology, through the linked topics of transcultural and trans-local processes, diaspora identities, the post colonial and human rights. The curriculum is aimed at graduate students from diverse disciplines who want to explore creative media practice as a research methodology. This course provides students with theoretical and practical grounding in multi-sited action research in trans-cultural and transnational settings. Through social historical and trans-cultural ethnographic perspectives practice-led pedagogy promotes a self- reflexive contextual and critical understanding of the use of media for the conduct and dissemination of research and the creation of social knowledge through participatory cultural production. Practice-Led Media Research is the theory, social history pedagogy and circulation of social science and humanities research through the production of film, video, internet, visual arts and other screen/audio based media. Practice-led research overcomes divisions between social theory and action-research, and between creative practice and evidence-based research. An important focus is the use of visual media to convey ideas and distinctive understandings about the world. There is a strong emphasis on comprehending visual phenomena in cross-cultural perspective and on the multifarious roles played by media in processes of identity and cultural formation in the world today.
MCC-GE 2167 Transnational Media Flows
sample syllabus
This class will study the global landscape of media flows, particularly television and film, and its specific configurations at regional and national levels. Rooted in the idea of media as cultural industries we will identify the supranational regional players from some of the most important geo-linguistic markets around the world, where the tensions of global/transnational media and cultural audience's dynamics at local levels become more evident. We will examine the implications of these industrial/cultural dynamics from both theories that denounce the homogenizing cultural effect produce by global media, as well as approaches that underscore the rising of counter-flow trends based on audiences' preferences.
MCC-GE 2169 Globalization, Memory, and Visual Culture
This course examines the intersections of global visual culture & cultural memory, with a particular focus on the tensions that arise between the largely national tendencies of cultural memory & the global circulation of cultural meaning. It has a comparative focus with an emphasis on the differences & distinctions of visual culture & cultural memory in the U.S. & other nations.
MCC-GE 2170 Communication and Persuasion: Film Classics of Propaganda
sample syllabus
Viewing and analysis of the cinematic and persuasive techniques used in classic propaganda films (features and documentaries) to shape their viewers' constructions of reality.
MCC-GE 2173 Research for Communication Professionals
sample syllabus
The course has two parts. One is providing the student with an understanding of media research as used to measure usage and behavior and to commodify audiences for sale to support content. Exposure to the measurement tools such as ratings, time spent, reach, engagement, WOM, CTR, by such firms as Google, ComScore, Nielsen, Arbitron, and others, will be part of this. Two is how research is done on the media to understand people's attitudes, opinions and behavior. This will consist of exposure to a variety of different studies on different aspects of the media as well as exposure to different methodologies and techniques. It will also consist of the student participating in a simulated media research project on how to conduct a research study. Both these parts of the class will be taught in the context of the digital media environment that is causing a revolution in measurement, re-shaping platforms and the economics of the business. Digital media is upsetting the media business as not only can it measure people's individual behavior but creates research data that can predict behavior as well as tell people what they want to consume.
MCC-GE 2175 Political Communication
sample syllabus
Communication aspects of international politics, including changing media roles, powers, and constraints in international politics, relations media-government/media-opposition in international conflicts, crises and peace processes; war journalism and peace journalism; traditional and public diplomacy. Case studies include The Middle East (Iraq, Israel-Palestine, etc.), Africa, former Yougoslavia, and others suggested by students.
MCC-GE 2182 Communication Processes: Gender, Race and Cultural Identity
sample syllabus
Course examines past & current studies on language, communication theories, speech perception, & other aspects of verbal & nonverbal behavior. Students relate these studies to how gender, race, culture & sexual orientation are developed & reflected in society in both personal & professional relationships.
MCC-GE 2184 Comparative Media Systems
sample syllabus
How does journalism differ around the world? And to the extent that it does, why? Beyond the personal idiosyncrasies of individual journalists and media owners, which factors play the greatest role in shaping "national news cultures": professional values and traditions, level and type of commercialism, government regulations, bureaucratic pressures or organizational dynamics, and/or audiences? Too much of our media criticism proceeds from hunches and assumptions, rather than real evidence, for the simple reason that it limits itself to a single national context (and often a single time period). Adequately sorting out the factors that shape our media environment can best be accomplished via comparative research. This course offers a conceptual roadmap to such a project as well as a close empirical look at the news media in a variety of national contexts. After a general consideration of the factors that structure news media systems and the roles that media play in democratic societies, the course incorporates (1) a survey of comparative methodologies: surveys, ethnographies, news content analyses, etc., and (2) national and comparative case studies, representing the major types of Western European journalistic "models" as well as some important non-European variants.
MCC-GE 2185 Critical Issues in Conflict Resolution
sample syllabus
Students examine transformations in the communication processes that influence conflict management as manifested in diverse contexts. Issues will be explored from the perspectives of gender, culture, & ethnicity.
MCC-GE 2190 The Languages of Communication: From Cave Painting to Print
sample syllabus
The historical development of various non electronic media--language, painting, writing & print & their consequences for consciousness, information processing, & sociopolitical structures.
MCC-GE 2191 Print Media and Modernity
sample syllabus
This seminar will explore the evolution of print technology and culture since Gutenberg's first experiments with movable type. Our objective will be to arrive at an understanding of how print media have formed and transformed essential features of the culture of capitalism. Themes will include the rise of the bourgeois individual, public/private spheres, production of difference, erotics of reading, urban space and spectacle, high/low culture, bureaucracy. Although the emphasis will be on the history of the book, the course will also examine newspapers, paper money, identity documents, and other printed matter.
MCC-GE 2200 Media Events and Spectacle
sample syllabus
An inquiry into those forces in our technological society, especially those of the mass media that significantly influence our beliefs, attitudes & actions.
MCC-GE 2201 Mediating the Bio-political Body
sample syllabus
This seminar seeks to build media theory within the material histories, philosophy and political culture of embodiment/disembodiment. The body is situated as the interface of our era's most contentious political terrains including human rights violations, epidermal stigma, gendered gazes, targeting gazes, and confinement in refugee, detention, torture and concentration camps. For Foucault the formation of the political subject is isomorphic to the formation of the body as a communicative, mediating and mediated site. The body has become the screen, the archive and the stylus for political inscription and encryption. For Foucault, Agamben and Esposito the political is concerned with producing forms of life as biopower-- the governing of life and death through subject forming and deforming body-media from surveillance to violence. Previously Hegel, Kojeve, Lacan and Fanon theorized political domination as the spectral occupation and remediation of one body by another. Derrida described the current war on terror as the shift from communitas to immunitas, to auto-co-immunity in which the body-politic sacrifices its actuality to protect itself as virtuality. In the above theories the body unfolds as the place where our current historical actuality originates and culminates in a politics of somatic virtuality. We will examine the body as a political semiotechnique, as material support for political ideology and spectacle and as enabled/disabled by techno-political prosthetics and as the means of political virtualization. We will track several orienting genealogies of the body that roughly run from Hegel and Kojeve to Lacan and Fanon; from Spinoza, Nietzsche and Heidegger, to Deleuze, Foucault, Agamben, Esposito and Derrida; from Merleau-Ponty to Lefort and Ranciere. Among the themes to be explored are: exposability and disposability of the body; torture, embodied witnessing and truth; postcolonial typographies of the body; second bodies, subversive mimesis and political virtuality; political animality and monstrosity; communicable and excommunicated bodies; political violence as auto-immunization.
MCC-GE 2202 Public Sphere Formation
sample syllabus
The unprecedented visibility both of everyday life, and of the mediatization that makes this visibility possible, shift and transform society and the conditions of knowledge about it. We will approach these issues as questions pertaining to public sphere formation. We will begin with two distinct but related arguments about the public-private opposition, namely Habermas’s influential formulation drawing on Kant, and Hannah Arendt’s, that draws on ancient Greek philosophy. In this course we will consider the problems attending any attempt to construct a theoretical genealogy for the terms ‘public’ and ‘private,’ and examine as well specific cultural-political mobilizations, and techno-institutional elaborations of these terms, and some of the implications arising from these definitions, mobilizations and instantiations.
MCC-GE 2206 Dis/ability Studies: Media, Philosophy, and Visual Culture
sample syllabus
Introduction to the concepts used in the new interdisciplinary field of disability studies. This seminar will be a joint exploration of the necessarily connected experience and representation of dis/ability, embodiment and the 'normal' in modern Western culture. It centers on questions of dis/ability in the three fields at three critical interfaces, namely the formation of Western rationality in the seventeenth century; the generalization and medicalization of the concept of the "normal" in the nineteenth century; and the emergence of dis/ability as a new form of identity in the past forty years.
MCC-GE 2210 Globalization and Gender
sample syllabus
This course will examine how definitions of gender and sexuality are reproduced, negotiated and deployed in the context of globalization and transnational flows.
We will examine key texts drawn from feminist/global cultural studies on the topics of citizenship, global labor flows, migration, militarization, neoliberalism and the construction of the gendered global subject. Through a reading of theoretical texts, ethnographic case studies and analysis of media representation, we will engage with questions of feminist epistemology and method research.
MCC-GE 2211 Decolonization and its Aftermath
sample syllabus
The advent of 20th century decolonization challenged the way in which world history had been conceived for four centuries, as centered upon the tiny landmass of Western Europe, rather than say, as plural and polycentric. The former view made it difficult to understand how the majority of the world's population mattered to history at all. With the onset of decolonization after the end of World War I, the world began to be seen, first through the lens of the nation, and secondly, as an extensive set of interconnections, where seemingly remote events could have major effects across countries. This course will combine a survey of select decolonization movements with analyses of the transformations from anticolonial nationalism through postcolonial developmentalism to the contemporary new world order. The course will consider decolonization in two senses: as the historical achievement of independence in former colonies, and, as a communicational concept illuminating socio-political change.
MCC-GE 2215 History of Consumer Culture
sample syllabus
Consumer culture by its nature is intensely local and inevitably global. Its locality is tied up with the intimacy of food, clothing, and shelter, and the elasticity of the relationship between bodies and things. At the same time, consumption is a flash point for basic social and political debates about the relationship between needs and desires. This course seeks to develop critical approaches towards dealing with both these dimensions of consumer culture by exploring the ways in which bodies and things shape each other through long histories of production, distribution, and fashion. Though consumption is conventionally regarded as the terminus of the social life of things, this course will seek to study the social world of consumers as an analytic entry point into complex networks of cultural practice which mediate the perennial tension between habituation and novelty in the shaping of consumer experience.
MCC-GE 2220 Communication and the Culture Industries
sample syllabus
An examination of the ways the entertainment industries exercise their communicative power. Provides a wide-ranging overview of theoretical & empirical research on the industrial manufacture of popular culture, focusing on sociologies of production & on the ongoing processes of digitization & globalization.
MCC-GE 2225 World Communication: Principles, Politics and Law
sample syllabus
The course considers the emergence of, and global responses to, the cross-border flow of information and cultural products. It considers where and how globalization, mediation and global governance intersect. The course begins with a close examination of the rationales for (and against) some form of control or influence of world communication. It then considers in detail the various existing legal and institutional mechanisms designed to influence the way information crosses borders (within or across nation-states). The course focuses, in particular, on the international, regional or bilateral regimes that govern the content and flow of world communication.
MCC-GE 2229 Contemporary Theory and Research in Globalization
sample syllabus
This course seeks to cover the landscape in contemporary theorizing and research on cultural globalization. It is organized broadly around three partially competing/partially complementary theories of globalization – homogenization, enduring cultural differences, and hybridization. We will attempt to bring each of these theories to life with case studies of the production, distribution, and reception of cultural forms and experiences from across the globe.
MCC-GE 2232 Language and Culture
sample syllabus
Readings and research on the ways in which language is implicated in different cultures & constructions of time, space, consciousness, self, truth, knowledge, & gender.
MCC-GE 2251 Communication Environments: Macroanalysis
sample syllabus
Inquiries into “the business behind the box”: the economic & decision-making structure of broadcast television.
MCC-GE 2265 Communication and Persuasion: Sociological Propaganda
sample syllabus
A series of analyses of the history, theories, techniques, & results of propaganda in society with special focus on the relationship between interaction (sociological) propaganda & communication in our increasingly technological society; case studies drawn from public relations, commercial advertising, social movements, & the mass media.
MCC-GE 2270 Communication and Political Propaganda
sample syllabus
In this course, students examine some of the major historical moments in political propaganda as well as current propaganda campaigns. We start with a brief analysis of the Nazi Party propaganda system and then examine the political propaganda tools and techniques that contemporary political parties, government officials and candidates use in their quest to manufacture political consent. Students should leave this class with an intellectual overview of the field of political propaganda as well as the various analytical methods that will help them recognize, describe and explain the propaganda techniques of contemporary political actors.
MCC-GE 2275 Middle East Media and Cultural Politics
sample syllabus
Examines developments of culture, politics, & media in contemporary Middle East through an historical & cultural lens. Course is organized by theoretical theme & geographic location & addresses culture as a site of struggle; the impact of globalization on Arab mass media; the connections between civil society, democracy & Islam; & gender, national & diasporic identities.
MCC-GE 2282 Information Law and Policy
sample syllabus
Examines the emergence of a specific body of laws & public policies that influence the production, distribution & use of information technologies, with a focus on issues of privacy, online speech, intellectual property, the creative commons, computer crime, & governance in general.
MCC-GE 2284 Religion and Media
sample syllabus
Bertrand Russell long ago declared that religion belonged to the infancy of human history, in a statement that expressed the secular self-understanding of an enlightened European of his time. By comparison, at least from the time of Alexis de Tocqueville, it has been clear that in a country like the United States, religious affiliation has not diminished with the advance of historical time. If anything the movement has been in a contrary direction, with religion having increased in social and political influence, with effects that reverberate across the globe today. The disparity between Continental and American perceptions reflects a failure to understand the place of religion in modern society, and to relate changes in religious practice to historical change. It is not simply in traditional, backward or disadvantaged societies that religion thrives, but in the very heart of modern society, so to speak. The legislative approach to sequester religion and keep it in its place, widely practiced, rarely has the desired results. Religion turns out to be mediated in new ways, to sacralize new forms of connection, to mark out new relations between the sacred and the profane.
MCC-GE 2285 Integrating Media Education in School and Community Work
sample syllabus
Hands-on video production, media literacy program design, readings, & reflection on approaches & strategies educators can use to incorporate media education into their schools & community-based organizations.
MCC-GE 2286 Young People & Media Cultures
sample syllabus
In this course students explore the debates and issues raised by various media environments as these relate to young people's growth and experiences. Students investigate how young people actually use, value, and find meaning in multiple media in different social contexts, and discuss the social, cultural, and political implications of these situations. Finally, students propose how to deal with the issues raised by the readings and discussions.
MCC-GE 2290 Interpersonal Communication
sample syllabus
The application of various systems of communication analysis to specific behavioral situations. Through case-study method, students apply communication theories & models to practical, everyday situations.
MCC-GE 2295 Values Embodied in Information and Communication Technologies
sample syllabus
Studies social, political & ethical values embodied in computer & information systems, & new media. Students examine work in the philosophy & social study of technology to understand the rich & sometimes troubling relationship between values & technical design. Course will ask: Is technology neutral? Who should make key decisions? What is the role of scientists & engineers? The course examines specific cases, such as, the Internet, search engines, web-cookies, & data mining from philosophical, empirical, & technical perspectives.
MCC-GE 2304 Global Media and International Law
sample syllabus
This course examines the history and role of international law and international regulatory instruments as they pertain to global media governance. It provides an historical overview of the various institutions and actors involved in global media governance, and assesses the various principles and practices that constitute the regime of global media governance, including the regulation of broadcasting, telecommunications, the Internet, and trade in media products. Students will undertake original research in a selected area of global media governance with careful attention to original documents in the field.
MCC-GE 2310 Sound Studies
sample syllabus
This course examines central themes in the emerging field of "Sound Studies". We explore a range of histories, archeologies and ethnographies of sound and listening, as it intersects with topics in media studies, science and technology studies, political economy and musicology. How has our experience of sound changed as we move from the piano to the personal computer, from the phonoautograph to the mp3? How have political, commercial, and cultural forces shaped what we are able to listen to, and how we listen to it? Finally, how have performers, physiologists, acousticians, engineers and philosophers worked to understand this radical transformation of the senses?

Students should be able to describe and analyze technologies of sound production and reproduction over the last two centuries. They should also be able to describe, contrast and analyze (1) disciplinary, (2) metaphysical, (3) ideological, and (4) musical approaches to sound and listening over the last two centuries. Finally, students should be able to critically assess the way various communicative media have shaped how sound is made, used and heard in our times.
MCC-GE 2344 The Social Life of Paper
sample syllabus

What is the cultural work performed by or with the technology of paper? How can a history of paper supplement and enrich recent histories of printing technology and printed artifacts like "the book"? What would it mean to imagine a paperless future? Organized around discussions of readings in common, this course considers the history, production, circulation and use of paper in the social production of knowledge, the shared imagination of value, and the mutual relations of consumers and commodities.
MCC-GE 2351 Global Food Cultures
sample syllabus

An interdisciplinary and intercultural examination of human communication through food. The course explores the social, economic, political, and cultural ramifications of the technology, production, acquisition, preservation, packaging, distribution, promotion, representation, selling, presentation, and consumption of food, as well as the disposal of food-related wastes. Students will have a unique opportunity to explore various local, regional, and transnational cuisines and food rituals in Hong Kong as the manifestation of changing social norms, economic realities, and cultural beliefs in an increasingly global and multicultural city.
MCC-GE 2381 Topics in Globalization: Global Consumer Culture
sample syllabus

Consumer culture by its nature is intensely local and inevitably global. Its locality is tied up with the intimacy of food, clothing, and shelter, and the elasticity of the relationship between bodies and things, yet its meanings and messages are globally circulated and produced. Consumption is a flash point for social and political debates about the relationship between needs and desires. This course explores critical approaches to the globalization of consumer culture by exploring the ways in which bodies and things shape each other through long histories (colonial, postcolonial, global) of production, distribution, and fashion. Students will study the social world of global consumers as an analytic entry point into the complex networks of cultural practice which mediate the perennial tension between habituation and novelty in the shaping of consumer experience in the context of globalization.
MCC-GE 2382 Topics in Globalization: Communication and International Development
sample syllabus
This course introduces students to theoretical foundations in historical and contemporary issues in communication and international development. Topics include state-building, modernization, dependency and globalization, as they concern the ‘Third World.’

Part One of the course focuses on mainstream development, its proponents (such as the UN, the World Bank and international non-profit organizations) and its application and practice. Part Two will delve into the critiques of development and its connections to longer historical, political and economic inequalities, such as imperialism, colonialism and globalization. In Part Three, each class will be devoted to a particular topic or problem and relevant case studies from they key regions (Latin America/Carribean; Africa; Middle East; Asia; “The Fourth World”) that students will present on.
MCC-GE 2400 Topics in Visual Culture and Cultural Studies
sample syllabus

This umbrella course is designed to examine specific topics within the field of visual culture, one of the core areas of focus in the MCC MA program. Incorporates historical, theoretical frameworks & situates contemporary readings in relation to genealogies of the field. Specific themes may include globalization & memory; visual culture & eco-criticism; the visual culture of science & technology; visual culture, diaspora, & post colonialism; the politics of visual display; the history of screen; global flows & visual culture; & visuality & modernity.
E58.2402 Topics in Visual Culture and Cultural Studies: The Political History of Visual Display and Representation
sample syllabus

This course is a political analysis of the modern history of visual display and exhibition, tracing it from the Russian avant-garde to issues of spectacle, the ideological function of the museum, and public art. The critique of institutions such as museums is an area of inquiry in visual culture. This course analyzes concepts of the public, the avant garde, spectacle, the function of exhibitions in totalitarian political regimes, the concept of exhibition as resistance, and the relationship of urban economies and visual display.
MCC-GE 2403 Topics in Visual Culture and Cultural Studies: Visuality and Globalization
sample syllabus
Visual culture studies visuality as a key component of globalization. By visuality, we mean the visualization of history, composed of images, ideas and the imagination. This class introduces present-day visualized globalization in historical context and offers students ways to research visual culture in the intersections between globalizations past and present. In the first half of the class, lectures and discussion trace the concept of visuality from its emergence in the 19th century to its uses in imperial regimes and the neo-visuality of the present. We consider how visuality imagines history as war, visible only to the Hero, or Great Man, and consider alternatives proposed by abolitionists, indigenous people, and the labor movement. The second half of the class will be a series of visual media-based workshops from painting and photography to film and digital media, discussing strategies and approaches to research as well as offering students the opportunity to use primary and archival materials. Students will develop a project proposal that might be developed into a thesis, article or mixed-media project.
MCC-GE 2404 Topics in Visual Culture and Cultural Studies: Modernity and Climate Change
sample syllabus

This seminar class considers the ways in which modernity and climate change have been mutually constitutive as global phenomena. We ask whether climate can be considered a medium in its own right as the interface between humans and the biosphere, taking the sea as a particular example. 1) integrate a certain cultural studies tradition into the culture of climate change 2) argue for a mutually constitutive interface of modernity and climate change and 3) suggest that the so-called 'hard science' approach is not going to produce a political solution which will rather require a politics of the imagination as the UEA email scandal has amply demonstrated.

The class will examine how this interaction has been visualized and how it should be theorized in four sections. The first section introduces key concepts from visual and cultural studies, including a consideration of the outcome of the Copenhagen climate conference. a genealogy of the present crisis will be explored from the formation of the concept of the high seas and sovereign sea power in the seventeenth century; to the nineteenth century paradigm shift in which Darwin transformed the sea from a dead zone into the source of all life; and the emergence of a global environmental emergency that began with the contamination of the sea by radiation from nuclear weapons and waste in the 1950s to the present crisis of melting ice, water acidification and sea-level rise. Each moment is considered in media representation, contemporary writings and present-day critical theory and interpretation. Students will form a proposal for further study and actively shape our exploration of the topic by their presentations.
MCC-GE 2420 Visual Culture Methods
Visual culture is the comparative study of visualities. These visualities of course include visual images and visual media but also extend to visualizations of the social, the work of the imagination and their impact on questions of globalization. This seminar is a workshop-format, criticism-intensive, hands-on exploration of visual culture methods across media, time periods and critical methods, including new digital tools. In order to give coherence to the sequence of classes, it will center on a cross-cultural thematic exploration of the visualization of “race” in Africa and the Americas. Site visits, museum and gallery exhibitions and current visual media will form part of our investigation.

Readings include: Frederick Douglass, Joseph Conrad, WEB Du Bois, Frantz Fanon, Angela Y. Davis, Saidiya Hartmann, Coco Fusco, Wendy Chun, Lisa Nakamura, Jacques Rancière, Deleuze and Guattari, Okwui Enwezor
MCC-GE 2900 Thesis in Media, Culture, and Communication
sample syllabus
This course is designed to foster and support your thesis-writing process. Ours is a thesis-based seminar that serves as a writing workshop: we will write in class together, you will draft portions of your thesis, you will give and receive feedback on your writing. This class will also offer professional development for students interested in academic careers. Students apply research methodologies, engage in peer-reviewing and oral presentations, and develop their writing for academic journals.