Communication and Culture | Introduction to Media
C190 | 1111 | Amad


In our intensely visual culture, it has become increasingly important
for viewers to become aware of how the media work. This course is
designed to teach students visual literacy in relation to two media
which are omnipresent in their everyday lives: film and television. We
will examine how these media are made, studying narrative,
cinematography, lighting, special effects, editing, sound, and other
aspects of style. We encourage the mastery of terminology as a first
step toward visual literacy. But, as you learn to recognize the
technical and artistic components of film and television, you will
also gain analytical and critical skills–the ability to study specific
films and TV shows closely, relating their style to their meaning.
Thus, this course emphasizes the attaining of visual and critical
skills as essential to becoming an active viewer in the complicated
media mix that defines contemporary culture.



Throughout the course, we will discuss a variety of films and TV
shows, as they demonstrate the  key principles of storytelling, as
well as the traditions of documentary and avant-garde. One of the
purposes of C190 is to introduce students to different kinds of film
and television as they represent significant work from the histories
of both media. We will see works from classic and contemporary
Hollywood, as well as foreign and independent fare. Each week, we
screen a film or a television show that will serve as the basis of
discussion for that week’s particular topic.



C190 is designed with a wide variety of student interests in mind. It
should interest students who are intrigued by cinema or television and
want to learn more about them or simply want to understand how
entertainment forms work their “magic” on them, as well as for
students who plan to emphasize media in their studies at IU or prepare
for a career in the media industry.



Readings are comprised of a textbook and a packet of critical essays.
In addition, there will be three exams, including the final, and a
series of short papers.



C190 fulfills Arts and Humanities Distribution Requirements for COAS
(AHLA), Business, Journalism and most other schools.  It is also a
prerequisite for many upper division CMCL media classes.