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Bachelor of Arts in Intercollegiate Media Studies

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  • Course description

    Media Studies is an interdisciplinary field that explores the histories, technologies, and social and cultural contexts of a range of contemporary media forms, including mechanical and electronic media such as film, video, television, print, and the Internet as well as other contemporary forms of culture. Media Studies at the Claremont Colleges presents students with an integrated approach to media production and the critical study of the media, seeking to understand the present state of media practices through an examination of their historical and technological development, an analysis of their genres, and a rigorous investigation of the theoretical approaches that have been brought both to the creative practices of media producers and the critical practices used by contemporary scholars.

    Production is a key element of media studies, but the mode of production studied at the Claremont Colleges is not oriented toward traditional narrative film or television, or toward commercial models of new media; rather, we stress “independent” narrative forms, documentary, video and digital art, and community-based and activist media. Media Studies also understands critical scholarship as a form of media practice, seeking to confront not only the ways that the media construct the contemporary cultural environment, but also the ways in which we as producers and consumers are all constituted by the same cultural formations that we seek to challenge. Above all, the IMS Media Studies major seeks to explore the media from a perspective that eliminates the traditional boundaries between disciplines and between media theory and media production, thus illuminating new ways of seeing, thinking, and communicating in the world.

    IMS is a cooperative program of the 5Cs established in July 2004. While informal coordination of courses, faculty and resources had taken place for several years, offering a rich look at the media in our society, IMS formalizes these relationships, providing planning, organization and programming; and facilitating information and resource sharing. The two major components of IMS are the Academic Office and the Production Center. The Academic Office, under the direction of Tracy Biga MacLean , assists with long-term planning and serves student needs—providing internship support, graduate school advisement and study abroad opportunities.

    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 PO or ART 179 SC, Introduction to Media Studies
        * MS 50 PZ, MS 50 HM, or LIT 130 CM, Language of Film

    2. One introductory production course

        * ART 20 PO, Photography I
        * ART 24 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, Introduction to Film and Video Production
        * MS 85 PZ, Introduction to Film in the Digital Age
        * 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: A Historical Survey

    4. One course in media theory

        * ART 181 SC, Theory Seminar in Studio Art and Media Studies
        * ART 181G SC, Topics in Art Theory
        * ART 183 SC, Feminist Concepts and Practices in Media Studies and Studio Art
        * ARHI 141B PO: Africana Cinema: Through the Doc Lens
        * ENGL 118 PO, The Nature of Narrative in Fiction and Film
        * LIT 103 HMC, Third Cinema
        * LIT 136 CMC, American Film Genres
        * LIT 138 CMC, Film and Mass Culture
        * MS 46 PZ, Feminist Documentary Production and Theory
        * MS 48 PZ, Media Ethnography/Autobiography
        * MS 72 PZ, Women and Film
        * MS 74 PZ, Sound Theory, Sound Practice
        * MS 76 PZ, Gender and Genre
        * MS 110 PZ, Media and Sexuality
        * MS 147 PO, Topics in Media Theory I
        * MS 149 PO, Topics in Media Theory II
        * 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, Arts of North America, A Social History, 1900 to Present
        * 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.

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