Students explore media history and the basic concepts employed in media analysis, spanning the history of technologies from the magic lantern to contemporary multimedia and stressing the relationship between media and their social, political, and economic contexts. Since media are at once technology, art, entertainment, and business enterprises, they need to be studied from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. The readings for this course reflect this multifaceted approach and draw attention to the work of key thinkers and theorists in the field. Examples are drawn primarily from the visual media of commercial film, television, advertising, video, and the internet, although alternative media practices are also noted. Students gain a critical understanding of how media texts are constructed, how they convey meaning and shape society in significant ways.

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Course Syllabus