Communication and Culture | Introduction to Media
C190 | 14561 | Ted Striphas


Required for all majors in the Department of Communication and

Fulfills COAS A&H Requirement

Instructor: Ted Striphas
Office: Mottier Hall 200
Phone: 856-7868

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 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 critically analyzing media texts,
institutions, apparatuses, and audiences.  We will focus on four
specific (and prevalent) media genres—film, radio, television, and
the internet—and our goal will be to explore the relationships
between and among form, content, ownership, and meaning with respect
to each.   C 190 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

Required Reading:

Kolker, R. (2001).  Film, form, and culture (2nd ed.).  New York:
	ISBN: 0072416491

Newcomb, H. (Ed.) (2000).  Television: The critical view (6th ed.).
New York: Oxford U.P.  	ISBN: 0195119274

Additional required readings are available on electronic reserve.

Assessment likely will be based on attendance and participation, two
exams, and two writing assignments.