Major Requirements

Media Studies is both an interdisciplinary department at Pomona College and an intercollegiate program at the Claremont Colleges. The Media Studies Major brings together not only a wide range of different skills and methodologies but also different college cultures and values, resulting in an equal variation in learning goals within different areas of our curriculum.   Despite different paths that students may follow to complete the major, however, we expect all Media Studies majors to:

  1. Gain knowledge of the historical development of media forms—including but not limited to film, video, television, Internet, and digital text, and the parallel development of critical approaches to studying these media.
  2. Explore the interactions of mediated communication with the structures of society and the self.
  3. Analyze the historical, social, cultural, and political contexts within which a mediated text is produced, distributed, and read, including the institutional, industrial, and national or regional conditions of its production and reception.
  4. Analyze mediated texts with attention to the technological specificity of their medium, to their formal and generic construction, and to the broader intermedial movement of texts and ideas.
  5. Understand and analyze the relationship between media texts and critical theory.
  6. Conduct original research by finding, reading, and assessing appropriate sources for the support of an idea, and place their own analyses into conversation with a field of work.
  7. Write creatively, analytically, interpretatively, and argumentatively in a range of mediated formats, including the traditional academic essay, as well as more contemporary visual and networked forms, demonstrating an understanding of the rhetorical features specific to the medium.
  8. Develop an awareness of media studies as an emerging discipline, with attention to the history of the field, but with an equal sense of the ways that the field is continuing to grow and develop.

 

Requirements for the Major

The Media Studies major requires the completion of 11 courses, with a concentration in Film/Video, Digital/Electronic Media, or Critical Studies.

All Media Studies majors will complete the following courses. Courses listed as fulfilling each requirement are subject to change, and other courses may be counted toward those requirements with the consent of the IMS curriculum committee.

1. One introductory critical/theoretical course
MS 49 PZ, PO, SC: Introduction to Media Studies
MS 50 HM, PZ, PO or LIT 130 CM: Language of Film
MS 51 PO: Introduction to Digital Media Studies

2. One introductory production course
ART 20 PO: Photography I
ART 21 PO: Digital Art I
ART 141 SC: Introduction to Digital Imaging
ART 143 SC: Digital Color Photography
ART 145 SC: Beginning Photography
ART 148 SC: Introduction to Video
MS 82 PZ: Intro to Video Production
MS 182s HM, Introduction to Video Production

3. One course in media history
LIT 131 CM: Film History I (1925-1965)
LIT 132 CM: Film History II (1965-Present)
LIT 134 CM: Special Studies in Film
LIT 136 CM: American Film Genres
MS 45 PZ: Documentary Media
MS 47 PZ: Independent Film Cultures
MS 79 PZ: Silent Film
MS 86 PZ: History of Ethnographic Film
MS 89 PZ: Mexican Film History
MS 91 PZ: History of American Broadcasting
MS 100 PZ: Asian Americans in Media

4. One course in media theory
ART 181 SC, Theory Seminar in Studio Art and Media Studies
ART 181G SC: From Beauty to the Abject: Race, Whiteness and Modernism
ART 183 SC: Feminist Concepts & Practices in Studio Art and Media Studies
ARHI 141B PO: Africana Cinema: Through the Documentary Lens
ENGL 118 PO: Nature of Narrative in Fiction and Film
LIT 103 HM: Third Cinema
LIT 136 CM: American Film Genres
LIT 138 CM: Film & Mass Culture
MS 46 PZ: Feminist Documentary Production and Theory
MS 48 PZ: Media Ethnography/Autobiography
MS 74 PZ: Sound Theory, Sound Practice
MS 76 PZ: Gender and Genre
MS 110 PZ: Media & Sexuality
MS 147B PO: Topics in Media Theory:
MS 149 PO: Topics in Media Theory 2
MS 197 PZ: Media Praxis in Ontario

5. A senior seminar
MS 190 PO, MS 190 PZ, or MS 190 SC (MS 190: Senior Seminar will be taught jointly effective Fall 2007.)
Each student will also complete one of the following six-course concentrations:

Film/Video
6. One intermediate or advanced film/video production class.
7. One additional course in media history, as listed above.
8-11. Four appropriate electives, drawn from the list of all approved courses that follows (note that Pitzer MS majors must select MS 194 PZ, Media Arts for Social Justice, or MS 196 PZ, Media Internship, as one of their electives).

Digital/Electronic Media
6. An intermediate or advanced digital production course.
7. One course in twentieth or twenty-first century art history:
ARHI 181 SC: Art Since 1945
ARHI 184 PO: Modernism, Antimodernism & Postmodernism: A Social History of North American Art
ARHI 185 PO: History of Photography
ARHI 185T PO, Art and Time
8-11. Four appropriate electives, drawn from the list of all approved courses that follows (note that Pitzer MS majors must select MS 194 PZ, Media Arts for Social Justice, or MS 196 PZ, Media Internship, as one of their electives).

Critical Studies
6. One additional media theory course, as listed above. One of the two required media theory courses must be MS 147 PO or MS 149 PO, Topics in Media Theory I or II.
7. One additional course in media history, as listed above.
8-11. Four appropriate electives, drawn from the list of all approved courses that follows (note that Pitzer MS majors must select MS 194 PZ, Media Arts for Social Justice, or MS 196 PZ, Media Internship, as one of their electives).

Critical Studies: Film Studies Option
Students desiring an emphasis in Film Studies should follow the Critical Studies track, tailoring their major by selecting the following courses:

1. MS 50 PZ or LIT 130 CM, Language of Film
2. MS 82 PZ, Introduction to Film and Video Production; ART 148 SC, Introduction to Video; or MS 182s HM, Introduction to Video Production
3. MS 147 PO, Topics in Media Theory I; or MS 149 PO, Topics in Media Theory II
4. One course in film theory such as: LIT 103 HMC, Third Cinema; LIT 138 CMC, Film and Mass Culture; LIT 139 CM, Film Theory; MS 46 PZ, Feminist Documentary Production and Theory; MS 72 PZ, Women and Film; or MS 76 PZ, Gender and Genre; MS 48 PZ, Media Ethnography/Autobiography; MS 74 PZ, Sound Theory, Sound Practice; MS 110 PZ, Media and Sexuality; MS 197 PZ, Media Praxis in Ontario; or ARHI 141B PO, Africana Cinema: Through the Doc Lens
5-6. LIT 131 CM, Film History I (1925-1965) and LIT 132 CM, Film History II (1965-Present)
7. MS 190 PO, Senior Seminar
8-11. Four appropriate film-oriented electives drawn from the list of all approved courses that follows (note that Pitzer MS majors must select MS 194 PZ, Media Arts for Social Justice, or MS 196 PZ, Media Internship, as one of their electives).

Senior Exercise

The senior exercise consists of a topical senior seminar jointly taught during the fall semester by faculty from each of the concentrations. This seminar asks students to bring together the various aspects of their course of study, producing an appropriate culminating seminar project that demonstrates their command of the fields and the forms of critical and creative practice that they have studied. During this seminar, all senior Media Studies majors will be given the option to develop a proposal for a second-semester Senior Project. These proposals will be reviewed by the Media Studies faculty, and selected students will go on to complete an independent project under the supervision of two members of the Media Studies faculty or appropriate affiliated faculty members from the Claremont Colleges. The Senior Project course will count toward the four electives required for the major.