Media Studies

University of California, Berkeley

Overview

The Media Studies program is an undergraduate interdisciplinary group major in the Office of Undergraduate and Interdisciplinary Studies in the Division of Undergraduate Studies in the College of Letters and Science. Our faculty members come from a variety of disciplines, bringing the perspectives and methods of their fields to bear on the analysis of the mass media. Our emphasis in this major is analytical and historical; we are largely concerned with developing in students the ability to assess the roles and impact of the major mass media on American life, rather than with developing specific media production skills.

Undergraduate Program

Media Studies: BA

Graduate Program

There is no graduate program in Media Studies.

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Courses

Media Studies

MEDIAST 10 Introduction to Media Studies 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
The objective of this class is to enhance students' knowledge of media's industrial and cultural functions by introducing them to key perspectives and methods of study that stress a) how media systems have and continue to develop in the United States and across the globe as well as b) how we use and make meaning with media as part of our everyday lived experiences. To consider media's social, economic, political, and cultural impact, the course
will investigate a number of ways of understanding its production, form, reception, and influence, being careful to recognize how these approaches relate to each other and to a wide array of diverse case studies in television, film, recorded music, print, video games, and online.
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MEDIAST N10 Introduction to Media Studies 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2017 8 Week Session, Summer 2016 10 Week Session, Summer 2016 8 Week Session
The objective of this class is to enhance students' knowledge of media's industrial and cultural functions by introducing them to key perspectives and methods of study that stress a) how media systems have and continue to develop in the United States and across the globe as well as b) how we use and make meaning with media as part of our everyday lived experiences. To consider media's social,
economic, political, and cultural impact, the course will investigate a number of ways of understanding its production, form, reception, and influence, being careful to recognize how these approaches relate to each other and to a wide array of diverse case studies in television, film, recorded music, print, video games, and online.
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MEDIAST 24 Freshman Seminar 1 Unit

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2016, Fall 2015
The Freshman Seminar Program has been designed to provide new students with the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member in a small seminar setting. Freshman seminars are offered in all campus departments, and topics vary from department to department and semester to semester. Enrollment limited to 15 freshmen.

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MEDIAST 84 Sophomore Seminar 1 or 2 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2016, Fall 2010
Sophomore seminars are small interactive courses offered by faculty members in departments all across the campus. Sophomore seminars offer opportunity for close, regular intellectual contact between faculty members and students in the crucial second year. The topics vary from department to department and semester to semester. Enrollment limited to 15 sophomores.

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MEDIAST 101 Visual Communications 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
This course aims to promote a critical understanding of visual culture from a critical theory perspective. It is designed to foster a critical understanding of media images, inviting students to question and critique the many and multiple messages at work within visual culture. It is organized around the different cultural and social theoretical approaches used to analyze visual images and explain the role of visual media in today's society.

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MEDIAST 102 Effects of Mass Media 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
This course examines the often contentious history of communication theory concerning media effects. At issue among scholars working within different research traditions are core disagreements about what should be studied (institutions, texts, audiences, technologies), how it should be studied, and even what constitutes an “effect.” Empirical and critical/cultural research and theory are examined with an emphasis on the social, political, and historical
contexts surrounding them.
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MEDIAST 103 Understanding Journalism 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017
In this course, students learn why sound journalism is so important to a healthy, working democracy. Journalism is rapidly changing. The class will give a context to those changes and provide an overview of comtemporary journalistic institutions. Students will examine how news is made, who decides what news is, who makes it, who profits by it, and what rules guide how reporters and editors work. Central issues affecting journalism, such as bias and professionalism
, will be discussed. The class is not specifically intended for future journalists, but students will learn why pursuing a career in journalism can be so fulfilling and thrilling, as well as becoming better consumers of the news.
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MEDIAST C103 Understanding Journalism 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2016, Spring 2015, Spring 2014
In this course, students learn why sound journalism is so important to a healthy, working democracy. Journalism is rapidly changing. The class will give a context to those changes and provide an overview of comtemporary journalistic institutions. Students will examine how news is made, who decides what news is, who makes it, who profits by it, and what rules guide how reporters and editors work. Central issues affecting journalism, such as
bias and professionalism, will be discussed. The class is not specifically intended for future journalists, but students will learn why pursuing a career in journalism can be so fulfilling and thrilling, as well as becoming better consumers of the news.
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MEDIAST 104A Freedom of Speech and the Press 3 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
The course considers the history and contemporary meaning of the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and the press. Emphasizing the real world implications of major Supreme Court decisions, the course examines restrictions on speech and press imposed by national security, libel, injurious speech, and privacy, as well as issues of access to information and government regulation of new media.

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MEDIAST 104B The History of Journalism 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2015, Fall 2014
The history of journalism is a broad subject--far broader than can comprehensively be covered in a single course. So necessarily, this course takes an idiosyncratic approach. This course examines how news has been defined, discovered, and communicated from its early modern origins to the present. It will also focus on particular areas of journalism. The class will take a critical look at how wars get reported on, including the current war in Iraq.
The class will examine the role of journalists in the rise of the Cold War more than half a century ago. It will also examine the importance of media barons, by studying two highly readable biographies, one of William Randolph Hearst, the other of Katherine Graham. And finally, the class will look at the role journalists played in unseating President Nixon.
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MEDIAST 104D Privacy in the Digital Age 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
This course examines issues of privacy in contemporary society, with an emphasis on how privacy is affected by technological change. After an introduction to features of the American legal system and the theoretical underpinnings of privacy law, we will consider privacy in the context of law enforcement and national security investigations; government records and databases; commercial enterprises; and the freedoms of speech and press.

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MEDIAST 130 Research Methods in Media Studies 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
This course is intended to familiarize students with some of the primary quantitative and qualitative research methods used to study media texts and audiences. In addition to reading and critiquing prior research employing various methodologies, students will gain practical hands-on experience using these methods in sample research projects.

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MEDIAST 140 Media and Politics 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Spring 2015, Spring 2014
This course will examine the influence of consumer marketing trends and techniques on presidential campaigns, and on political culture more broadly. How much truth is there to the idea that selling politicians is like "selling soap"? What is the difference between the psychology of the citizen and the psychology of the consumer? How are the political process and democratic discourse being transformed, for better or worse, by the use
of such techniques?
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MEDIAST 150 Topics in Film 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2012, Fall 2009
Topics in film employs theory to examine different film genres, historical periods, and topics.

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MEDIAST 160 International Media 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
This course offers an introduction to international communication and globalization theory, examines media industries abroad (focusing on one or more of the following: film, television, music, news, magazines, advertising, and/or new media), and explores content produced within those industries through specific case studies. Possible topics include alternatives to Hollywood film (Bollywood and Nollywood), television format sales and programming
, the globalization of popular cultures (e.g., Korean Wave and Swedish music), diasporic communities, and global networks and fandoms.
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MEDIAST 165 Internet and Culture 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
This class uses the approaches of media studies and cultural studies to critically consider how historical and emerging new media technologies—as well as the behaviors and forms of cultural production associated with them—influence and are themselves influenced by our everyday practices and lived experiences. It focuses particularly on concerns of identity, community, access, citizenship, industry, and regulation as these relate to social networking
, collective endeavor, and public speech.
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MEDIAST 170 Cultural History of Advertising 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
This course examines the place and impact of advertising in the rise of consumer culture within the United States from the late 19th century to present. The course explores the functions and purposes of advertising and employs rhetorical/visual analysis and semiotic theory to analyze advertising themes and images from different historical periods.

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MEDIAST 180 Television Studies 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
This course examinines contemporary approaches to the study of television, investigating televison's social, political, commercial, and cultural dimensions. Readings and assignments require students to apply critical perspectives to television programming and to the analysis of individual television texts.

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MEDIAST 190 Special Topics in Media Studies 2 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Normally open only to Media Studies majors who have already completed 12 units of upper division work in the major. Advanced study in Media Studies with topics to be announced each semester.

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MEDIAST H195 Honors Colloquium 3 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
Under the supervision of the instructor, students will work toward preparing scholarly theses in the field, basing their work on theoretical considerations and, where applicable, analyzing empirical data.

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MEDIAST C196A UCDC Core Seminar 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2012, Spring 2012
This course is the UCDC letter-graded core seminar for 4 units that complements the P/NP credited internship course UGIS C196B. Core seminars are designed to enhance the experience of and provide an intellectual framework for the student's internship. UCDC core seminars are taught in sections that cover various tracks such as the Congress
, media, bureaucratic organizations and the Executive Branch, international relations, public policy and general un-themed original research.
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MEDIAST C196B UCDC Internship 6.5 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2012, Spring 2012
This course provides a credited internship for all students enrolled in the UCDC and Cal in the Capital Programs. It must be taken in conjunction with the required academic core course C196A. C196B requires that students work 3-4 days per week as interns in settings selected to provide them with exposure to and experienc in government
, public policy, international affairs, media, the arts or other areas or relevance to their major fields of study.
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MEDIAST C196W Special Field Research 10.5 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2014, Spring 2014, Spring 2013
Students work in selected internship programs approved in advance by the faculty coordinator and for which written contracts have been established between the sponsoring organization and the student. Students will be expected to produce two progress reports for their faculty coordinator during the course of the internship, as well as a final paper for the course consisting
of at least 35 pages. Other restrictions apply; see faculty adviser.
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MEDIAST 198 Directed Group Study for Advanced Undergraduates 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2012, Spring 2011, Fall 2010
Seminars for the group study of selected topics not covered by regularly scheduled courses. Topics will vary from year to year.

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MEDIAST 199 Supervised Independent Study for Advanced Undergraduates 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2013, Fall 2012, Summer 2012 10 Week Session
Independent study and research by arrangement with faculty.

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Faculty

Media Studies Faculty
 

Thomas GoldsteinProgram Director On Leave 2016-17 and Professor. (Journalism and Media Studies). Journalism, mass communications, press practices, press history, writer, reporter, editor.

Jean Retzinger, Acting Director 2016-17 and Lecturer. (Media Studies). Environmental communication, particularly agriculture and food issues in advertising, television, film, and digital media.

Paul Duguid, Adjunct Professor. (School of Information). Trademark, information, communities of practice.

Josh Jackson, Lecturer and Faculty Adviser. (Media Studies). Digital and new media, television, media and culture, convergence, media industries and production cultures, media history.

Geoffrey King, Lecturer (Media Studies). Freedoms of speech, press, petition and assembly; citizen journalism; Internet policy; privacy; technology; online surveillance and censorship; open government.

Geoffrey Nunberg, Adjunct Professor (School of Information). Theory, history, and cultural implications of information and information technologies.

Ed Timke, Lecturer (Media Studies). Advertising; international and intercultural communication; media, culture, and society; media history; photojournalism; and Transatlantic media flows, especially between the United States and France.

William Turner, Lecturer (Media Studies). Freedom of speech and the press.

Contact Information

Media Studies Program

235 Evans Hall

Phone: 510-642-2363

mediastudies@berkeley.edu

Visit Program Website

Acting Program Director, Lecturer and Faculty Adviser

Jean Retzinger, PhD

jpretz@berkeley.edu

Program Director and Professor

Tom Goldstein, PhD

On Leave 2016-17

tomgoldstein@berkeley.edu

Lecturer and Faculty Adviser

Josh Jackson, PhD

joshjackson@berkeley.edu

Lecturer and Faculty Adviser

Ed Timke, PhD

etimke@berkeley.edu

Student Academic Adviser

Laura Demir

235 Evans Hall

Phone: 510-642-2363

mediastudies@berkeley.edu

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