Katherine Margot Bell
Explores how contemporary media communicate and produce meaning with the goal of developing students' abilities to engage critically with their various media environments. Examines, interprets, and evaluates technologically mediated communications in order to critically assess their social, cultural, and political meanings and implications.
This course will give you a critical lens through which to view the ways in which the mass media represent and create our social world. Together we will think about and analyze news and popular culture in terms of how it helps construct meaning, particularly as it relates to, for example, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation.
Student learning goals
Explain the media as a field that both reflects and constructs our social world
Discuss in a critical way the concepts of race, gender, class, sexuality etc. in terms of how they are constructed in and through mass-mediated communication
Analyze how structural and institutional factors of cultural production influence the ways in which people and issues are portrayed in news and popular culture
Identify and explain a range of core concepts from cultural studies and social theory
Explain the impact of visual representations in the news and present alternatives for how the news media might realistically alter those representations
General method of instruction
The methods of instruction for this course includes lecture, films and videos, in-class student discussion, presentations, and small group activities.
Class assignments and grading
Assignments include formal and informal written assignments, class participation and student presentations.