Communication and Culture | Introduction to Media
C190 | 1791 | Ted Striphas
M-Th 11:45 AM-1:15 PM (BH 340)
Required Screenings for all sections on Wednesdays 6:15 PM-10:15 PM.
(Fulfills COAS A&H Distribution Requirement)
Required course for all Majors in the Department of Communication
Professor: Ted Striphas
Office: Mottier 214
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 come to 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 four specific (and ubiquitous) media genres – film, television,
advertising, and new media – 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 today. More importantly, it
will provide you with the critical/interpretive skills by which to
navigate and begin to make sense of the densely mediated social and
physical landscapes we inhabit.
In addition to supplementary readings likely to be drawn from Jay
David Bolter & David Grusin, Stuart Ewen, Naomi Klein, and possibly
others, primary texts for this class will include: Robert Kolker's
Film, Form, and Culture (2nd ed.) and Horace Newcomb (ed.)
Television: The critical view (6th ed.).
Evaluation likely will be based on attendance and participation, two
exams, and 2-3 short writing assignments.