Critical Media Studies


Preparing to Watch Django: Unchained

The media projects posted to this site were created by students enrolled in FG 212/ES 200/NM 220 Critical Media Studies. In Aesthetic Practices and Politics in Media, Music and Art: Performing Migration, Rocío G. Davis, Dorothea Fischer-Hornung, and Johanna C. Kardux write, “A decade into the twenty-first century, media culture has become a prime driving force in politics, culture, society, and everyday life.” They argue that “the media—readily accessible to everyone—[provides] models for cultural perspectives and positions, and new forms of identity,” further suggesting that “the media [has] become today’s dominant culture, with visual, aural/oral, and digital forms of media culture increasingly replacing book culture among large sectors of the world’s urban population, requiring a fundamental revision of the notion of literacy.” This course explores the ways that gender, sexuality, race, and other social markers, such as age, socioeconomic status, and citizenship, are constructed in media and popular culture. We will also discuss the many impetuses for and implications of these constructions, as well as the ways in which audiences revise, resist, reject, and reproduce these narratives.


Critical Media Studies

By the end of this course, students will learn the importance of the following objectives, as well as the skills required to perform them at an intermediate level:

  • examining/analyzing and responding to Critical Media Studies (CMS) scholarship, theoretical perspectives, modes of analysis, and methodologies;
  • examining/analyzing mediated socialization and its implications;
  • examining/analyzing the ways in which media and popular culture produce normative assumptions about identities and subjectivities, especially regarding gender, race, socioeconomic status, age, physical embodiment, geographical location, and other social markers;
  • examining/analyzing the ways in which privileges and disadvantages shape experiences with, as well as presumptions and viewpoints about media and popular culture, especially the ways in which groups and individuals understand and resist, reject, or reproduce norms within and in response to media and popular culture;
  • and employing CMS scholarship, theoretical perspectives, modes of analysis, and methodologies in all coursework.

NOTE: The student-created projects on this site do NOT represent research findings and/or generalizable knowledge. Rather, these projects represent these students’ pursuit of knowledge.  

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