Gina S Neff
Lecture, seminar, and/or team study. Topics vary.
Cultural and media products are often thought of in terms cultural consumption—that is, how people interact with the products of mass media industries. This course however examines how those products are produced by looking at conditions in contemporary mass media and communication industries. We examine communications industries such as film, music, and publishing in this course. We focus on how production within these sectors is organized, what kind of working conditions arise, and how commercially produced popular culture is made and distributed. Is it intellectually useful to classify this form of communication into a category of “cultural industries”? What are the similarities and differences that arise given the unique nature of mass-mediated communication? How do for profit and non-profit institutions solve problems inherent in making and distributing and cultural goods? These questions will be the center of the discussion for the course.
Student learning goals
Identify and describe cultural industries
Understand the conditions that influence how cultural products are made
Analyze cultural products within the context of the dynamics of cultural industries
Improve writing skills, especially on short analytic papers
Improve ability to work in a team
Develop new tools for examining popular culture and media
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
5 short papers, an in-class midterm essay, and a final group project.