2019-2020 Academic Catalog 
    Feb 06, 2023  
2019-2020 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Media, Culture and the Arts Major

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Media, Culture and the Arts Overview

Media, Culture and the Arts combines hands-on media production experiences with the cultural and historical study, and critical analysis of media practice. Students engage with histories and theories of production informed by philosophical, artistic, and technological traditions, while learning to produce creative works that interrogate these traditions. MCA faculty members comprise specialists in the history of media, theorists of media, and practitioners/makers of media.

In the context of this major, the term “media” includes both art works and forms of mass communication; pre-electronic analog through digital forms; performance, broadcast, installations, print (from literature to journalism) and all “new” and developing manifestations. MCA will emphasize the study of media in their historical, economic, social, and political contexts. MCA courses draw on a broad range of cultural theories and historical approaches spanning a spectrum of concerns and historical periods, all centrally relevant to the functioning of media in a diverse and globalizing cultural environment. MCA pushes the boundaries of interdisciplinarity–a triangular nexus of history, theory, and practice, none of which assumes priority over the other.

Students considering declaring MCA as their major are strongly recommended to take MCA 101 and begin work on the major during, or prior to, the second semester of their sophomore year.

Media, Culture and the Arts Major Requirements

13 courses required:

  • One Core Course - MCA 101 - Introduction to the Theory, History & Analysis of Media  (Students may count toward their major one MCA course taken prior to taking MCA 101; all other MCA-qualifying courses must be taken either alongside or after MCA 101.  MCA 101 must be taken prior to declaring the major.  A minimum grade of B-minus is required in this course.)
  • Three Media Production Workshops (choose 3 from different program areas)

ARTS 100 - Visual Studies: 2D Design and Color  
ARTS 102 - Drawing: Eye, Mind, Hand    
ARTS 122 - Introduction to Digital Photography 
ARTS 120 - Introduction to Photography  
ARTS 124 - Introduction to Graphic Design  
MCA 282 - Radio Journalism and Podcasting in the Arts and Beyond  
MUSC 121 - Theory I: Principles of Tonal Analysis  
MUSC 141 - Computers and Music  
MUSC 220 - Composition Seminar  
SCRN 107 - Introduction to Digital Filmmaking  
SCRN 145 - Experimental Video Production  
SCRN 214 - Social and Cultural Issue Documentary Production  
TA 219 - Directing Seminar  
TA 230 - Playwriting  

  • Three Histories of Sight & Sound (choose 3, one each from Classical & Early Modern, Modern, and Contemporary categories; each course must be from a different program area)

Classical and Early Modern:
ARTH 109 - Greek Myth and the Classical Ideal in Art  
ARTH 114 - Ancient Cities and Sanctuaries  
ARTH 124 - Italian Art from Giotto to Botticelli  
ARTH 131 - Baroque Art in the Age of Bernini 
ARTH 234 - Pre-Columbian Art and Architecture  
ENG 227 - The Book in the Early Modern World  
MUSC 101 - Bach and Before: Studies in Music before 1750  

ARTH 140 - Modern Art: 19th Century  
ENG 225 - American Print Culture 1700-1900  
MUSC 102 - Music of the Classical and Romantic Periods  
MUSC 104 - Music and Modernism in Society, 1885-1945  
SCRN 119 - History of U.S. Film Until 1960  
SCRN 121 - History of International Cinema Until 1960  
SCRN 122 - History of American Broadcasting and Electronic Media  

ARTH 144 - Art Since 1970  
ARTH 243 - Design in the 20th Century: Arts & Crafts to Ikea  
MUSC 103 - Post-Music  
MUSC 151 - Jazz History  
SCRN 120 - History of U.S. Film Since 1960  
SCRN 124 - History of International Cinema Since 1960  

  • Three Theories of Culture (choose 3 from different program areas)

ARTH 216 - Architecture and Democracy  
ARTH 248 - Gender and Representation  
ARTH 230 - Caravaggio  
ARTH 250 - Special Topics in Visual Culture  
ARTS 274 - Contemporary Directions 
GERM 250 - German Film and the Frankfurt School 
MCA 285 - New Media, Youth Action & Social Change  
MUSC 210 - Topics in Music History and Criticism 
PHIL 224 - The Ethics and the Aesthetics of the Sublime in Art and Society 
 SCRN 168 - Image Theory [Inactive] 
SCRN 217 - Cult Logics  
SCRN 231 - Film Theory  
SCRN 261 - Critical Perspectives on Television  
SCRN 288 - Gender and Film  
TA 211 - Performance Philosophy  

  • Two Creative Intermedia Seminars (choose 2)

ARTS 209 - Motion Graphics 
ARTS 296 - Special Topics: Gallery Culture and Practice  
MUSC 125 - Musical Acoustics  
MUSC 142 - Recording Practice and Audio Art  
MUSC 225 - Jazz and Popular Music Composition and Performance  
MUSC 235 - Community Music and Social Action  
MUSC 270 - Senior Tutorial in Computer Music  
SCRN 209 - Genre Production Workshop  
SCRN 210 - Experimental Production Workshop: Glitch Aesthetics  
TA 206 - The Image and the Word  
TA 212 - Actor as Thinker  

  • One Capstone (choose 1) - During their senior year, MCA majors will complete either the MCA capstone (offered each spring) or, capacity permitting, an honors thesis/project or a capstone in another V&PA major in which they have taken the necessary prerequisites.  The capstone course in the major brings students together and provides an intellectual and technical support for ambitious independent and collaborative projects and will lean toward history/theory, and will be drawn from existing program capstone courses (as CSAC capstones already do). In the MCA capstone, both written and creative projects will be accepted for a final capstone project, pending instructor approval, will be unique to MCA, and will lean toward interdisciplinary media practice.  A completed/passing honors thesis in MCA replaces the capstone for eligible students who elect to pursue honors.


Students with a strong interest in and commitment to advanced work in the program, and who have completed at least six MCA-qualifying courses with at least a 3.5 grade-point average, may, with the program’s approval, elect to complete a one- or two-unit senior honors thesis.  Students are expected to use the honors course to develop an extensive research project, creative project, or a research/creative combination in consultation with faculty.

Students wishing to pursue MCA honors should identify an area of interest, choose an appropriate advisor, and apply for eligibility to the MCA program director before April 1 of their junior year.  Acceptance is determined by MCA core faculty in consultation with the program director.

A completed/passing honors thesis in MCA replaces the MCA capstone requirement.





Media, Culture and the Arts Faculty


Stephen DiRado
Ben Korstvedt
Matt Malsky
Hugh Manon
Meredith Neuman
Gohar Siddiqui
Toby Sisson
Robert Tobin
Kristina Wilson

Media, Culture and the Arts Courses

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