Media and Technology Studies and Media Production
Media and Technology Studies examines the historical, theoretical, social, political, and cultural contexts within which media, popular culture, and technology are produced, negotiated, and experienced.
Our faculty take a variety of interdisciplinary approaches to researching and teaching about media and technology, including the political economy of media and technology, critical internet and platform studies, film and television studies, reception studies, surveillance and privacy, disinformation, urban studies, the environment, and visual culture. While we take up a range of objects and texts– from vinyl records to independent film to ridesharing platforms– we share an interest in how people make meaning from media and technology, and use critical and qualitative approaches to investigate this. The MTS faculty also frequently integrate feminist theory, queer theory, cultural studies, political philosophy, and critical race theory into their studies of media and technological artifacts and systems.
Undergraduate students interested in learning about the impact of media on society, particularly theories and vocabulary that give people tools to grapple with our media-saturated world, will enjoy classes in this area. Many of our students go on to work with social or legacy media in some capacity; students who hope to create media should also take classes in the Media Production concentration.
The MTS concentration is one of the largest in the department. As such, our department is an excellent fit for graduate students who hope to pursue projects that critically examine media and technology. Graduate students may also incorporate production elements into their dissertations and theses as appropriate.
Besides coming to a theoretical understanding of media, the department also offers students at the undergraduate level the instruction and resources to create audio/visual productions in a wide variety of forms: narrative, documentary, experimental, animation/motion graphics, interactive/new media, and audio production. The department offers strong initiatives and is coupled with a Hollywood Internship program, and a minor in stage and screen writing.
In its production component the department has among its goals:
1) The development of individual talent and the ability for the student to work in collaboration with others within a diverse and vibrant community.
2) The providing of as high a production standard possible, thereby allowing students the ability to create portfolios that will enable them to go on to graduate-level work in this realm, or to begin employment in the professional world of audio/visual production.
3) The continuing development of internships programs, thereby helping the student gain a sense of integration in the global community.
New Media Track – designed for students interested in the computer as a humanistic or artistic medium.
Master’s and PhD students primarily deepen their theoretical understanding of media in this department, but are encouraged to integrate production work into their thesis project if appropriate.