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Media & Film Studies

Courses of Study

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 (7) 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 200 History of American Media (1)
An examination the role of print media, radio and television, film, and computer technology in shaping the transition of American society from traditional forms of print and broadcast media to the rise of the information age. Emphasis will be placed on students reading, seeing and hearing original documents, broadcasts and photos (or commentaries upon them). Offered yearly in the spring.

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 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)
An interdisciplinary seminar in a special topic designed to engage all three areas of concentration. Offered yearly.

MFS 493 Independent Project or Internship (1)

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