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Media Studies and Production


Courses Offered


Comm 251. Multimedia Storytelling

This course introduces students to digital multimedia production from theoretical, aesthetic, and practical perspectives. The course aims to familiarize students with the basic tools and processes of multimedia production so that they can communicate their ideas creatively and effectively using various forms of media. The course is divided into seminar and workshop components. In the seminars, students will discover different theoretical approaches to media representation that inform the practice of media production. In the workshops, students will gain the practical knowledge required for production, including the use of camera, sound recording, lighting, graphics, non-linear editing, and creating video for the web. All students will undertake a series of exercises which demonstrate their understanding, skills, and creativity.


Comm 255. Writing for Media

Students taking this course will develop the writing and reporting skills needed to be a successful media professional in our converging media environment. Fundamental skills such as researching, editing, and developing content such as news and features for various media platforms will be covered along with relevant theories. Students will craft and critique news stories, feature stories, podcasts, and slideshows. In addition, students will learn how to use social media such as Twitter for professional purposes.


Comm 354. Digital Cinema

This course helps students become familiar with narrative film as a form of art, storytelling, and communication. It provides theoretical and practical foundations of cinema including ontological position, narrative construction, directing and audio-visual aesthetics. Digital film technology will be utitlized as students will engage in narrative film projects. Through a broad survey of films and employed aesthetics students will learn to appreciate and practice cinematic expressions of human conditions. Camera and lens technology, cinematography, lighting, sound, compositing, and editing will be practiced at a higher level during production practices. Students can develop their own stories and audio-visual plans to produce short films.


Comm 356. Advanced Media Writing

Students in this course will create content for digital spaces such as websites and social media and manage audience engagement with these spaces. In order to develop skills necessary for contemporary media professionals, such as managing one's digital identity, creating and curating online content by using a content mangement system, and facilitating audience engagement, students will create, manage, and promote a topic-focused website. The website will include feature stories, multimedia story packages, infographics, and editorials. This course builds on the basic writing, reporting, and editing skills students learned in Comm 255 by shifting the focus from short news stories to features and emphasizing engagement of online audiences through content and design. Prerequisite: COMM 255.


COMM 357. Documentary Theory and Practice

This course introduces students to documentary from both theoretical and practical perspectives. By combining theoretical approaches with a series of production exercises, the course encourages students to develop a critical understanding of the analytical, creative, and practical dimensions involved in the representation of human conditions through documentary. Students will learn about different modes and genres of documentary storytelling along with the diverse categories of messages documentary films carry. The course will cover the technical and practical aspects of production to enable students to produce their own projects independently. Students will gain confidence in producing a documentary that is compelling in message, artistic as a visual storytelling, and technologically sound. Prerequisites: Multimedia Storytelling or permission of instructor.


COMM 451. Media Theory: Social Scientific Perspective

This course is designed to familiarize you with the prominent media theories used in the social sciences. We will address the development of media theories from the early stages to the contemporary models involving digital media. Particular emphasis will be placed on media theories related to human cognition, emotion, and behavior, and reception. Upon completion of the course you should have an extensive understanding of how theories and research can be used to explain how media interacts with individuals and society and vice versa, and how such interactions are studied. Prerequisites: Comm 101, Comm 151, Comm 160, Comm 260, Comm 280


COMM 470. Cultural Communication Theory

This course looks at culture and everyday life. Although it has roots in older disciplines such as history, sociology, political science, and linguistics, “cultural studies” is a dynamic and young field that examines how power and ideologies shape people’s everyday lives. Drawing on the theories in our readings, our class looks at how culture is constructed and reproduced through (1) larger economic, political, and ideological structures (the nation, identity, gender, social class, language, race, and ethnicity) that influence (2) people's everyday signifying practices that include (among many others) shopping, food, fashion, and use of mediated texts such as television, films, magazines, the Internet, and music.
Prerequisites: Comm 101, Comm 160, Comm 260, Comm 280