Communication and Culture | Media in the Global Context (Topic: Case Studies in Global Media: Representing Childhood and Children’s Culture)
C202 | 6213 | Gencheva, Y.

MW, 9:30 AM-10:45 AM, TE F256
Required Film Screening: W, 7:00 PM-10:30 PM, TE F260

Fulfills College S&H Requirement
Fulfills College Culture Studies Requirement (List A)

Instructor: Yuliyana Gencheva
Office: 800 E. 3rd St. – room 279
Phone: 856-7385

Required Texts - located on E-reserve

Course Description:

This course serves as an introduction to the terms, symbols, and
practices of global media through a particular thematic prism:
representations of the image of the child. Throughout the semester,
we shall be addressing two major questions: 1) How do various images
of children and of childhood become constructed in the public space?
What are the ways and perspectives in which – discursively and
performatively – the child inhabits global media forms such as
fiction and documentary film, television, legislative documents,
(inter)national events, and the general material culture of
modernity? 2) Why are children and childhood such recurrent tropes
in public imagination? Here, we shall explore critically the
significance of those representations in broader cultural and
political terms in order to see why the image of the child has
become an important repository of societal concerns and values.
Special attention will be addressed to the image of the “innocent
child” and its political utility. Through readings and screenings,
we shall look for specific examples across geographical space – the
Americas, Western Europe, Asia, and across time – including
comparisons with socialist Russia and Bulgaria.

Course Objectives and Policies:

1. One main goal of this class is to acquire a theoretical toolkit
for observing the nature of global media forms, as well as their
interaction with public discourse. Another significant goal is to
develop a critical awareness of the methods and rationale vested in
the construction of “the child” as a potent semantic vehicle.

2. Class materials will consist of required readings, mandatory
screenings, and web data. Class sessions and grading will be based
on group presentations, short lectures (also possible guest
lectures), short reading responses, and class discussions. There
will be a midterm and a final exam based on the materials viewed and
discussed in class.