MCA 101 - Introduction to the Theory, History & Analysis of Media
The study and production of Media can rightly be viewed as the quintessential liberal arts focus for the 21st century, and it remains an innately interdisciplinary venture. Media, Culture & the Arts (MCA) allows students to engage with histories and theories of media informed by philosophical, artistic, and technological traditions, while learning to produce creative works that interrogate these traditions. The term “media,” here, is understood in a very broad sense, including print, photography, film, sound & music, television, digital media, and other forms of visual art, both traditional and contemporary.
MCA101 is an introduction to critical theory, cultural studies, and media history, designed to both support and define students’ interdisciplinary work in the major and beyond. In the course, we engage in a series of media-focused case studies, employing influential theoretical approaches such as structuralism and post-structuralism, ideological analysis and psychoanalysis, feminist and queer theory, critical race theory, theories of post-colonialism and globality, and media and technology studies. Our approach emphasizes the study of media texts in their historical, economic, social, and political contexts. We examine cultural formations created and disseminated on many scales, by individuals as well as media by industries, and the ways in which these forms of communication resonate in everyday life, on personal, local, national, and global levels.
Corequisites: Students wishing to major in MCA should take a Media Production Workshop alongside MCA 101. Consult the MCA major requirements for a list of qualifying courses.
Anticipated Terms Offered: Fall