Communication and Culture | Introduction to Media
C190 | ALL | --

Required for all majors in the Department of Communication and

Fulfills College A&H Requirement

Course Director: Ted Striphas
Office: 800 E. 3rd St. – room 213
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.  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 four 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.  C190 will help you to
appreciate more fully the complex ways in which the media inhabit
and affect social, 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.

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

Required Reading:

Kolker, Robert.  Film, Form, and Culture.  3rd ed.  New York: McGraw-
Hill, 2005.  ISBN: 0073123617

Additional required readings will be available on electronic reserve.