Media and Cultural Studies (H) (2S)


In this composition-heavy course, students will develop a sophisticated understanding of the symbolic language of our media-saturated environment and their place in it. Media Semiotics aims to answer questions such as: How does the interplay between our curated online personas and non-digital lived experiences form or displace our ‘authentic’ identities? How do video/board games’ narratives and world-building impact player perceptions of reality and morality? In what ways do consumer spaces, like REI or Lululemon or even Trader Joe’s, both attract and create their own ideal consumers? Through various written and multimedia projects (including timed writes, podcasts, and video essays) students will apply theoretical frameworks (semiotics, postmodernism, postcolonialism) to interactions between media narratives and societal paradigms. Our core texts come from culture studies critics and authors such as Viet Thanh Nguyen, Malcom Gladwell, Maya Phillips, Neal Gabler, Michael Pollan, Avery Trufelman, Roxane Gay, and Emily Nussbaum.