Media in the Global Context

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Course Description

What does it mean to think about media as “global?” How do we begin to understand how the emergence of globalization, on the one hand, and digital media technologies, on the other, have shifted the dynamics of media producers, consumers, audiences, locations, mediums, and identities? How do media institutions, such as Hollywood studios, distribute their products around the world? How do local cultures watch and appropriate these media, and distribute their own? These are difficult questions, to be sure, because the shape of global cultures is quite hard to define.

This course is an introduction to the idea of global media, with an emphasis on the distribution of media around the world. This course will provide students with a conceptual overview of key issues raised by the globalization of media, including questions of national identity, the impact of media accessibility, technological changes, and audience behavior. Over the semester, we will explore case studies to help unpack and debate these key issues. These case studies will both help us ground the theoretical questions we explore, as well as help us map a complex perspective of how media travel globally.

This is an introductory course that presumes no prior knowledge of media studies, culture industries or film and media analysis. This course will, in part, train students in the methods and traditions of these fields in ways applicable to a wide array of disciplines.

This course sees writing as the production of knowledge. You will be expected to use your own writing to reflect on and interpret a number of media objects and critical essays throughout the course. Students should expect to devote several hours a week to reading and preparing for each class.

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