MA 500 Media Aesthetics

Must be taken within first year of study

Offered every Fall 3 credits

This required foundation course is an exploration of the problems and issues related to theories of media aesthetics from cave paintings to virtual reality. Through screenings and readings, students analyze the language and meaning of visual culture and develop their own interpretations. Topics include the psychology of perception, the construction of reality, creativity, history of technology, various art movements, mass culture and consumer engineering.

MA 501 Media Theory

Pre/co-requisite: MA 500

Must be taken within first year of study

Offered every Spring 3 credits

This required foundation course acquaints the student with the multitude of theories that together constitute Contemporary Media Theory. The course is a bridge between the multiple disciplines that have been used to examine the media, including psychology, linguistics, history and sociology and the aesthetic considerations of film, television and popular recording. The course traces the broad outlines in the evolution of each branch of Contemporary Media Theory including semiotics, psychoanalysis, feminism and theories of ideology. Considerable attention is also paid to students developing a sense of how to place the media object in its historical and cultural context.


MA 553 Media Methods

Pre/co-requisite: MA 500 or MA 501 or MA 800

Offered every Spring 3 credits

Students in this required foundation course practice the written and verbal communication skills necessary to succeed – not only as graduate students, but as future media professionals. Topics include: creative thinking and writing, thesis writing, research methods, story treatments, proposals, artist statements and oral presentations. Students complete a portfolio of writing samples as their semester-long assignment. (This course is required by students in the MA Program, and may be taken as an elective by students in the MFA Program.)

MA 800 Applied Contemporary Media Theory

Must be taken within first year of study

Offered every fall, 3 credits

This is the required foundation course for the MFA Program. It recognizes the role that Contemporary Media Theory plays not only in defining media in an era of convergence but also in shaping the form and thematic of media. This course is designed to acquaint the student both with select theories and theorists and to show how those theories either illuminate the work or have themselves been used to shape the work of that blend of feminism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, linguistics, semiotics, philosophy, sociology, political economy and aesthetics that comprises Contemporary Media Theory.