Course Topics

COMS 258 - Concepts of Media Production
This is an introductory course in media production, particularly single-camera field production and editing.  It also focuses on narrative as communication, message-centered content, and technical expertise.  It is the aim of this course that you will gain a deeper understanding of modes of media production, the processes of program and narrative development, and a better understanding of the media world around you.  This course consists of lectures on production and aesthetics, media ownership and technology, field production experience, and audio/video post-production.

COMS 260 - Sport, Media, and Society
This course draws from scholarly work being done in media studies and the sociology of sport in order to examine the important cultural, social, and political roles of sport in contemporary society.  The focus is on how sport, as well as mediated sport, can be approached critically and read in different ways.  The course includes lectures on audiences, masculinity, and commercialism, as well as screenings and discussion.

COMS 320 - Urban America and Serial Television: Critically Analyzing The Wire
Frequently hailed as a masterpiece of American television, The Wire shines a light on urban decay in contemporary America, creating a dramatic portrait of Baltimore's police, drug trade, shipping docks, city hall, public schools, and newspapers over five serialized seasons.  In this course, we will watch and discuss all of this remarkable – and remarkably entertaining – series, and place it within the dual contexts of contemporary American society and the aesthetics of television.  This course focuses on close viewing and discussion, and opportunities for critical analysis and research about the show's social contexts and aesthetic practices.

COMS/WGST 335 - Masculinity in Film
This course takes a feminist perspective to analyze portrayals of sex and gender in film with a particular emphasis on how men and masculinity can be represented.  The focus is on how films construct different notions of gender, how films can be read in different ways, and to what social uses film portrayals may be put.  The course includes lectures on film criticism, gender theory, and theories of representation, as well as screenings and discussion.

COMS 347 - Critical Television Studies
This course examines television within the context of cultural, aesthetic, technological, textual, regulatory, social, and political practices. There are a number of intersecting aims: to trace the development of television (mainly in the United States, but with attention to global systems); to map the contours of critical TV studies; to understand theories and methods of television scholarship; to theorize television's relationship to consumer culture, history, capitalism, diversity, citizenship, everyday life, and selfhood (among other key concepts); and to entertain new directions in critical TV studies. Because television is a medium in transition, the extent to which television remains (or has never been) a truly distinct medium, and its current relationship to media convergence, will also be considered.

COMS 358 - Concepts of Media Production II: The Documentary
In this course students build on the skills of analysis, scripting, and production development developed in COMS 258 Concepts of Media Production to research, script, plan, produce, and edit their own documentary programs.