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Media & Film Studies

The Core

Media and Film Studies majors will be required to take a set of core courses designed to provide a foundation in the historical, theoretical, critical, behavioral, and analytical study of various media. The core consists of seven courses:

MFS 100 Introduction to Media Studies (1)
An introduction to critical analysis of mass media in the context of contemporary culture and social institutions, including an examination of how mass media, such as film, television, advertising, the internet, and others, affects and reflects cultural values, political attitudes, personal identity, and behavior. Students learn basic media literacy by developing conceptual tools for thinking critically about mass media, with a special emphasis on (1) how various media shape and convey meaning; and (2) the impact that the form, function, and institutional production of media have on local, national, and global communities. Offered yearly in the fall.

MFS 210 Film Analysis (1)
An introduction to the fundamental concepts and tools of film analysis. The course focuses on learning to isolate, describe, and analyze stylistic elements of film, as well as film narrative and narration. This course serves two purposes: provide the necessary descriptive and analytic tools to excel in upper-level film courses; and deepen the student's appreciation of cinema by encouraging the viewing of films as richly textured works of art. (Satisfies Disciplinary Foundations requirement in fine and performing arts.)
Offered yearly in the fall.

MFS 250 History of Documentary Film (1)
An introductory survey of documentary film. The course will focus on some of the major developments in documentary practice, while also considering a number of theoretical issues in the documentary tradition, including the problem of objectivity, the relationship between the documentary image and reality, and the mixing of iction and non-fiction modes. The goals of this course are to introduce students to the important historical trends and concepts and to help develop the critical and analytical skills needed to understand the structure, style, and rhetorical strategies of documentary film (A Leadership Studies designated course).


MFS 201 History of American Media (1)

MFS 300 Media and Society (1)
An exploration of the interactive relationship between media and society from political, psychological, economic, and sociological perspectives. This course will focus on how media sources such as television, film, and the Internet, influence society at group and individual levels and how society, in turn, influences the creation and production of media. Offered on alternate years in the spring.

MFS 310 Film and Media Theory (1)
A survey of film and media theory from the silent era to the present. The course focuses on several key theorists and their ideas about the nature and function of cinema/media, as well as the relationship between texts, spectatorship, and culture.  Throughout the semester, we will properly situate these theories in their historical context and examine the influence they have had on subsequent theorists and practitioners. (Satisfies Disciplinary Foundations requirement in fine and performing arts.)
Prerequisite: MFS 100 or MFS 200.

MFS 470 Seminar and Senior Conference (1)

MFS 493 Independent Project or Internship (1)
Check out our Career Preparation [link to career preparation page] page for more information about the Senior Seminar and Independent Project requirements for the major.

In addition to the core courses, you will individualize your major by taking four additional electives in one of three concentration areas.

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