C190: References to
the power and prevalence of “the media” are commonplace.
But what are “the media?” How do they work and
for whom? As media increasingly pervade the fabric of daily
life, and as fewer and fewer entities dominate the domain
of media ownership, the urgency of asking and answering these
questions only grows in importance.
Yet these questions are incredibly difficult to ask (much
less to answer), owing in part to the ways in which the structure
and functioning of the media remain, for many of us, taken
for granted, perhaps even something of a mystery. Thus, this
course will introduce you to the basic vocabularies of visual
and media literacy and hone your skills at analyzing media
texts, institutions, apparatuses, and audiences critically.
We will focus on five specific (and ubiquitous) media genres—film,
television, digital technologies, radio, and advertising—and
our goal will be to explore the relationships between and
among form, content, ownership, and meaning with respect to
each. C190 will help you to appreciate more fully the complex
ways in which the media inhabit and affect cultural, political,
and economic life. More importantly, it will provide you with
the analytical, interpretive, and critical skills by which
to navigate and begin to make sense of the densely mediated
landscapes we inhabit.
Kolker, R. (2005). Film, form, and culture (3rd ed.).
New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN: 0073123617
Newcomb, H. (Ed.) (2000). Television: The critical view
(6th ed.). New York: Oxford U.P. ISBN: 0195119274
Additional required readings for C190 are available on reserve