1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Undergraduate Course Descriptions

MDST 2000 Introduction to Media Studies (3 credits)
This course may also include Discussion Sections (4 credits)
This course is a survey introduction to the complex and increasingly pervasive impact of mass media in the U.S. and around the world.  Our lives, as individuals and as citizens of a developing global village, are perpetually intersected by numerous forms of mass media.  Newspapers and magazines, television, Hollywood cinema, advertising, and the Internet significantly help us determine how we make sense of ourselves and of the world around us.  This course provides a foundation for helping you to understand how mass media – as a business, as well as a set of texts – operates.  The course also explores contextual issues – how media texts and businesses are received by audiences and by regulatory bodies. [Required]
 
MDST 2200 Introduction to Film (3 credits)
We tend to take movies for granted. They are there for our entertainment. But movies are made by people in specific ways for specific purposes, and this course examines how films are made to elicit an emotional or intellectual response. We will investigate film structure—how meaning is created—and how this structure can be read and understood. What is the act of interpretation? How do we understand what we see on the screen? We will study film genres, the specific stories films tell us, and the ways films and their audience are part of the larger structure of the culture in which they exist.
 
MDST 2280 Public Affairs Production I (3 credits) Practice of Media Only
In this class, students will take on active roles as "associate producers" in the production of "American Forum," a weekly, one-hour public affairs interview & conversation program produced and recorded at the U.Va. Miller Center. Students will assist in technical production, development of show content, marketing, & creating online components. Students will research potential guests, read books & produce memos on the scholarship of guests.
 
MDST 2305  Podcasting, Radio and Sound Production (3 credits) Practice of Media Only
Students will learn the practical components of radio production including:  story development, script writing, interview techniques, audio recording, editing of sound, mixing, and final production for broadcast. In addition, students will critically analyze the components of radio/podcast features.  The course includes a lecture component and lab time where the instructor will consult with students about their projects.
 
MDST 2502 Special Topics in Film Genre (3 credits)
This course will offer historical and critical perspectives on a selected film genre each semester. Genres might include Noir, war, romance, musicals, gangster, New Wave, etc.
 
MDST 2508 Sports Media Production (3 credits)
In conjunction with UVA's Athletic Foundation and the new ESPN/ACC Production studio inside JPJ, students in this course will participate in all roles associated with sports television production. From writing scripts to working as on-air broadcasters, students will rotate through experiential positions essential to real sports TV production. The class will meet weekly; written assignments will also be required.
 
MDST 2559 New Course in Media Studies (3 credits)
This course provides the opportunity to offer a new course in the subject of Media Studies.  If offered, topics will be listed on the course offerings page for the particular semester.
 
MDST 2660 The Internet Is Another Country: Community, Power, and Social Media (3 Credits)
Explores the concepts of community, nationalism, the public sphere, and social action in the context of the Internet and social media. Begins with a cultural history of the Internet and virtual community and then explores several ethnographic case studies of communities and social movements from around the world. Concludes with a consideration of the Internet as a political economic system. Students blog and conduct collaborative research.
 
MDST 2700 News Writing (3 credits) Practice of Media Only
Satisfies second writing requirement, cross listed with ENWR 2700
This course focuses on the development of basic writing skills, with craftsmanship the emphasis. We will study, discuss, and rewrite old and new newspaper stories in a workshop setting. Readings will be taken from texts and various other sources. Progress from short hard-news pieces through speech stories, legislative and political coverage, the use of narrative and on to other news features. Repeated writing drills. Fair to good typing or word processing skills required. It will be essential to follow current events as well.
 
MDST 2810 Cinema as an Art Form (3 credits)
Cross-listed with DRAM 2810
This course also includes mandatory screening section. A course in visual thinking; introduces film criticism, concentrating on classic and current American and non-American films.
 
MDST 3000 Theory & Criticism of Media (3 credits)
This is a required course for all Distinguished Majors.
How can we think productively about the media – the industries that produce it, the audiences that receive it, and the social, cultural and political impact mass media have on the contemporary social order? This course provides students with conceptual and analytical tools for understanding how and why “media matters”. Using a broadly historical lens, we will explore the dominant “schools” of media and mass communication thought as they have developed over the 20th and 21st centuries, looking at how these different schools’ dialogue with each other as well as how they provide different ways to think about the phenomenon of mass media.
 
MDST 3050 History of Media (3 credits)
Restricted to Media Studies majors and minors
This is a survey, lecture-format course on the history of media forms, institutions, and technology from the origins of writing, invention of print technology, through the development of digital media. Attention to the specific characteristics of individual media, the changing role of media as a force in culture, and the continually transforming institutions and business of media will all be touched on. The role of media forms in the creation of public discourse and the social controls on media through censorship, legal constraints, and economic policies will also be examined. [Required]
 
MDST 3100 Film and Television in the 1960s (3 credits)
This is a course on film and television in the United States in the 1960s meant to introduce students to the specific problems attached to understanding media as force for social change within a particular decade of American life. The course has a strong emphasis on cultural history and theory as well as on the close reading of media artifacts in film and television from the 1960s. The course requires considerable commitment to viewing time as well as readings, writing, and research.  Prerequisite: MDST 2000 or permission of instructor.
 
MDST 3102 Copyright, Culture, and Commerce (3 credits)
In this course, we will discuss one of the most powerful social, cultural, economic and political institutions of our day: intellectual property (IP). How did we arrive at the notion that creative works and ideas can be owned, bought and sold like tangible commodities? What impact does this concept have on the way we view the world? How does it help us achieve our social goals, and how does it present obstacles to reaching those goals?
 
MDST 3104 News and the Construction of Reality (3 credits)
This course will focus on critical analysis of the news and its production. We begin with the ideal role of the news and then explore critical perspectives on the news, from the construction of the audience by news outlets, to how journalists make decisions about what is news, to the discursive and semiotic frameworks used to present current events as “stories.” Students will compare the idealized social role of news with the actual functioning of different contemporary news outlets, using critical perspectives such as political economy, frame analysis and semiotics.
 
MDST 3105 Latina/o Media Studies (3 credits)
This course is designed to introduce students to critical analyses of media texts, media industries, and media audiences that help explain the social, political, economic, and cultural locations of Latinas/os in America.
 
MDST 3106 History of U.S. Broadcasting (3 credits)
This course examines U.S. broadcasting in historical perspective, not only as an industry, but also as a vital component of American culture and everyday life. We will examine the technological, social, political, industrial and cultural forces influencing the development of broadcast media and we will link these forces to the programs created and the audiences served. Students will complete this class with a better understanding of the many economic, regulatory, social and cultural factors that led to the development of radio and television in the US, as well as the role that broadcasting has played in the shaping of American culture.
 
MDST 3107 Evolution of Media in Italy: From Unification to the Present (3 credits)
Cross-listed with ITTR 3107
The course will explore the specific features of Italian mass media from the Unification to the present, considering how the press, cinema, radio, television and the Internet have affected and shaped Italian society.  It will trace the evolution of Italian media in relation to key events such as the Risorgimento, Fascism, both World Wars, reconstruction and industrialization, and the political rise of media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi.
 
MDST 3110 Hollywood Goes to Asia (3 credits)
Film production between Asian and Euro-American companies is rapidly on the rise. The fundamental objective of the course is to cultivate a rigorous theoretical understanding of the media industries within a global Asian network. We will ask: What are the cultural, political and economic implications of transnational co-productions both for global and domestic film markets?
 
MDST 3115 Breaking Bad: Once Upon a Time with the Pests (3 credits)
The course explores Breaking Bad through study of the show's narrative, characters, and formal design. Topics examined include: socio-economic anxieties and spiritual longings in contemporary America; the political and religious implications of addiction to speed (technological and pharmacutical); the show as revisionary Puritan narrative and revisionary Western; the problem of being bugged; the desire to get away with it; the poetry of W.W.
 
MDST 3120 Global Media & Cybersecurity (3 credits)
This course will use cases from around the world to examine the relationship betweeen media and cybersecurity. The course will analyze criminal hacks of media production companies, how cybercrimes are represented in popular media, and how media use exposes users to risk of cybercrimes.
 
MDST 3140 Mass Media and American Politics (3 credits)
Cross-listed with PLAP 3140
Examines the role of mass media in the political process including such topics as print and broadcast news, media and election campaigns, political advertising, and media effects on public opinion and political participation.
 
MDST 3201 New German Cinema (3 credits)
Examines German art cinema from the 1960s-1980s, focusing on modernist aesthetics and filmic responses to major historical events in post-war Germany. Films by Fassbinder, Herzog, Wenders, Kluge, Sander, von Trotta, and others.
 
MDST 3202 Digital Media and Publishing (3 Credits) Practice of Media Only
This course examines current best practices in digital media and publishing, and calls on students to write, edit, and curate meaningful content using industry recognized tools, such as Wordpress and Tumblr, as well as experiment with new and experimental platforms. Students will learn how to develop an online content strategy by analyzing the target audience, determining the message to be conveyed, and presenting user-friendly content.
 
MDST 3205 New Latin American Cinema (3 credits)
This course provides a historical and critical perspective on Latin American Cinema (LAC), with an emphasis on LAC's relationship to Third Cinema, revolutionary cinema, and contemporary progressive filmic cinematic forms and traditions.
 
MDST 3206 Documentary Film (3 credits)
When do we call a film documentary? Why? How do these expectations and definitions guide (or trouble) documentary filmmakers? In this course, we will answer these questions and discuss the different ways that documentary films (and filmmakers) have attempted to represent reality. Starting with recent debates about documentary, we will discuss how we define documentary film as distinct from fiction and why. To do so, we will investigate the origins of documentary (in photography and anthropology) and the development of various techniques and modes of documentary film. Throughout, we will be conscious of the particular truth claims of documentary and the ethical issues involved in filming real people. We will also pay close attention to the historical origins of different modes of documentary and how each mode deals with issues of truth-telling and ethics. You will leave the class with a better understanding of the history and cultural role of documentary and with the ability to identify different “modes” of documentary, and an understanding of the different ways documentaries claim representational authority.
 
MDST 3230 Basic Multimedia Reporting  (4 credits) Practice of Media Only
Students in this course will research, write and edit original, real time news stories for posting on student journalism websites. Multimedia means that students interested in print reporting will also learn camera skills, while students interested in video and on camera reporting will start with writing and research skills. An affiliation with a student run journalism outlet is strongly suggested.
 
MDST 3280 Public Affairs Production II (3 credits) Practice of Media OR Elective
Students take on active roles as credited "senior associate producers" (SAPs) in production of "American Forum," a weekly, one-hour public affairs interview & conversation program produced and recorded at the U.Va. Miller Center.  SAPs coordinate and work with 7-member teams of "associate" level students taking MDST 4280 in technical production, development of show content, marketing, & creating online components.
 
MDST 3300 Global Media (3 credits)
Examines the dynamic global transformations in print, broadcast, and digital media in an international and comparative context. Considers historical, institutional, and textual factors that impact media in local and global contexts. Examines the critical role of media in the long history of globalization and focuses on a number of cultural, technological, and economic issues addressed by media and globalization at the turn of the 21st century.
 
MDST 3306 Sexuality, Gender, Class and Race in the Teen Film (3 credits)
In this course we will examine a series of extremely popular teen films which form the common culture for many of the University of Virginia students. We will briefly examine the history of the teen film genre, contextualizing this in a discussion of adolescence and the history of this term in American cultural discourse. We will then examine in-depth the texts of a series of the most popular, and most loved, teen films, focusing on their treatment of gender, social class, and racial difference in their depiction of teen culture in the U.S. Students will draw from their own experience in viewing these texts as they learn some of the tools of film and genre analysis, and of cultural media "effects" analysis. The course will be an intensive writing and discussion-based class.
 
MDST 3310 Sound and Cinema (3 credits)
This is a cinema history class that will proceed roughly chronologically from the dawn of the sound era to the early 1970s. This course will look at and listen to the ways that sound technologies shaped global filmmaking in this period, while also introducing students to various theoretical and critical perspectives on the relationship between the visual and the aural.
 
MDST 3355 Border Media (3 credits)
In this course we consider the depiction of the U.S.-Mexico border from the perspective of popular and mass media cultures. We examine the border as a site of cultural exchanges, resistance and critical negotiation; interchanges that impact the construction of race, ethnicity, sexuality and gender from both sides of the border.
 
MDST 3375 History of Music and Broadcasting in the US (3 credits)
The history of popular music in the U.S. is intimately intertwined with broadcasting. The relationship between “radio and records” has been one of mutual dependence and abiding antagonism. Students will learn how this relationship developed historically, and will consider its continuing evolution. Our narrative will include the effects of legal decisions and technological innovations on music-making; on broadcasting; and on music consumption.
 
MDST 3402 War and the Media (3 credits)
This course examines media coverage of American wars from World War I through the current Iraqi conflict.  From the 20th century on, the experience of war came to most Americans mainly through the electronic media – from newsreels to Hollywood feature films to television to the internet – rather than through direct experience. As a result, our understanding of America’s military conflicts has been heavily shaped by the way war has been portrayed in the media. Careful study of the evolution in media coverage of war provides an ideal vantage point for understanding the changing nature of warfare in the 20th and 21st centuries, war’s impact on American society, and the ways in which political elites have attempted to mobilize public support for a number of very different foreign conflicts. Course requirements include viewing a wide range of media treatments of various foreign conflicts and reading pertinent theoretical and historical essays.
 
MDST 3404 Democratic Politics in the New Media Environment (3 credits)
This course examines the way in which a changing media environment has altered the dynamics of public discourse and democratic politics in the United States. More generally, we shall be concerned with the ways a changing media system influences how we think about and act in the social and political world. Specific topics include the impact of old and new media on public discourse; the structure and ownership of the mass media; changing definitions of the news, in particular, and political information, more generally; what we know (and don't know) about the influence of media on our political attitudes and behaviors; how the media deals with racial issues and how this influences racial attitudes. Throughout the course we will critically analyze the ways in which social scientists and political theorists have studied theses issues, the methods they have employed, and the validity of their findings in the media system in which we now live.
 
MDST 3405 Media Policy and Law (3 credits)
This course examines the constitutional, legal and regulatory foundations common to print, broadcast media and the Internet. An overview of topics such as libel, invasion of privacy, obscenity and copyright helps students understand forces that shape news and information they receive and prepares them to use media more effectively as citizens, voters and entrepreneurs in an increasingly complex multimedia world.
 
MDST 3406 The Wire: Understanding Urban America Through TV (3 credits)
This class explores HBO’s The Wire as an examination of race, class, and economic change in urban America. We examine the series as a creative work which balances a commitment to realism with the demands of television drama. Students will view episodes of The Wire and read material on urban America, the changing contours of television, and the series itself.
 
MDST 3407 Racial Borders & American Cinema (3 credits)
The history of American cinema is inextricably—and controversially—tied to the racial politics of the U.S. This course will explore how images of racial and ethnic minorities such as African Americans, Jews, Asians, Native Americans and Latino/as are reflected on screen and the ways that minorities in the entertainment industry have responded to often limiting representations.
 
MDST 3409 LGBTQ Issues in the Media (3 credits)
This course will explore the complex cultural dynamics of LGBTQ media visibility, along with its social, political, and psychological implications for LGBTQ audiences. It explores four domains: (1) the question of LGBT media visibility (2) the complex processes of inclusion, normalization, and assimilation in popular culture (3) media industries and the LGBT market (4) the relationship between digital media, LGBT audiences, and everyday life.
 
MDST 3410 Media Ethics (3 credits)
This course provides students a familiarity with the terrain of moral philosophy, improves students' awareness of the complex ethical issues and dilemmas in journalism and other areas of mass media, and engages students in the process of critical thinking, moral reasoning and problem solving in media communications.  Prerequisite: MDST 2000 or instructor permission.
 
MDST 3420 Media and Power in Iran (3 credits)
Successive Iranian leaders have struggled to navigate the fraught political-cultural space of media in the Islamic Republic, skirting the line between embracing Western communications technologies & rejecting them, between condemning social networking sites & promoting themselves on Facebook. What is the role of media in political power construction in Iran? This class will consider this question through a number of inflection points in history.
 
MDST 3500 Topics in the History of Media (3 credits)
Topics have historical breadth and cover the historical development of media institutions, technology, or forms in areas of television, journalism, graphic media, film, print and publication history, digital media or other relevant areas. These courses may be repeated for credit if course content is sufficiently distinct to merit. Decision about repeated credit is at the discretion of the Chair of Media Studies.  Prerequisite: MDST 2000 or instructor permission.
 
- Comparative Histories of the Internet (3 credits)
Students will learn how computer networks became a medium for interpersonal communication & community. We will "reverse engineer" the technologies & technical cultures that gave rise to the global information infrastructure. Students will explore unfinished systems, abandoned experiments, & other historical "dead ends." This is a hands-on approach to media history & the technical concepts that make the internet possible.
 
- Intersectionality and the Media (3 credits)
Rooted in the scholarship of women of color and utilizing critical cultural studies, media studies, feminist and queer studies, and critical race theory, this class explores the various ways in which intersectional identity both is and is not reflected in U.S. media texts. The goal of the course is to help articulate how identity functions for people living in a media society.
 
MDST 3501 Topics in Directors and Auteurs (3 credits)
This course will offer historical, comparative, and critical perspectives on a selected major directors and auteurs each semester. Directors might include Hitchcock, Welles, Heckerling, Ray, Spielberg, Renoir, Truffaut, etc.
 
- Films of Hitchcock and Sirk
This course examines the work of 2 of the most important auteurs of 20th century cinema, Alfred Hitchcock & Douglas Sirk; compares each director's treatment of gender and gendered experience, sexuality, and family. We will focus on Sirk’s famous 1950's melodramas & investigate Hitchcock’s portrayal of gendered power relations, the consequences of their reversals, & the exposure of subterranean malevolence of everyday American culture.
 
- Films of Woody Allen
This class examines Woody Allen’s career as an auteur filmmaker and will explore major thematic, formal and narrative concerns of his films through a wide variety of critical, historical & theoretical approaches including: representations of gender & sexuality, Jewishness, questions of authorship, celebrity & genre. Throughout, we will focus on the following: How did Allen become such a central yet paradoxical figure in contemoarary pop culture?
 
- Sociology of American Film
This course offers a sociological analysis of the both the institutions that produce the Hollywood film and of Hollywood film itself from a sociological perspective. The course will include analysis of the studio system, the narrative and other techniques that produce the “classical Hollywood cinema,” the gender, racial and religious biases of popular cinema, and the sociological implications of classical Hollywood cinema.
 
MDST 3502 Special Topics in Film Genre (3 credits)
This course will offer historical and critical perspectives on a selected film genre each semester. Genres might include Noir, war, romance, musicals, gangster, New Wave, etc.
 
- Children’s Film & the Child Consumer
Restricted to Permission of Instructor
In this course we will examine the children’s film from the golden age of the child star of the 1930s to the contemporary family blockbuster. We will focus on how the genre gave birth to children’s consumer culture and how it changed the meaning of childhood. To explore these issues we will apply a range of critical, textual, institutional and cultural perspectives to a selection of live action and animated feature films.
 
MDST 3503 Special Topics - Issues and Controversies in Media (3 credits)
The study of structural transformation of the media industry, with its many associated controversial issues. The issues fall into 3 general categories. 1) Economic issues such as the regulation of ownership rules and the future of print journalism. 2) Political issues associated with the function of the press as Fourth Estate in a participatory democracy. 3) Ideological issues having to do with the relationship between values and mass media.
 
MDST 3504 Special Topics in Non-U.S. Media (3 credits)
This course will offer historical, comparative, critical, and/or media industry perspectives on transnational, global, international, or region specific media. Topics may include non-US national media systems, studies of non-US media textual traditions, international media flows, changes to society due to media globalization, the role of new media technologies in international affairs, and the role of transnationalism in national and international affairs.
 
- International Communications (3 credits)
An overview of the economic, political, social, cultural and historical contexts that work together to construct the contemporary framework of international communications and foreign policymaking.
 
MDST 3505 Special Topics in Diversity and Identity in Media (3 credits)
This course will offer historical, comparative, and critical perspectives on issues of diversity and identity in media studies. Topics may include the relationship between media and underrepresented groups, media use in identity construction, masculinity and feminine role models in media, media power, etc.
 
- Asian American Media Cultures (3 credits)
This course examines the diverse production by and representations of Asian Americans and their influences on U.S. media cultures that include film, television, literature, and social media platforms. We explore how Asian Americans shape and intersect with discussions about race, gender, nationality, migration and technology and the evolution of media stereotypes that range from the “model minority” and “the tiger mother” to the “techno-geek”.
 
- Disability & Media (3 credits)
This course considers how media representations, technologies, and industries have been shaped by and created ideas about disability in US society.
 
- The Children’s Film (3 credits)
In this course we will examine the children’s film from the golden age of the child star of the 1930s to the contemporary family blockbuster. We will focus on how the genre gave birth to children’s consumer culture and how it changed the meaning of childhood. To explore these issues we will apply a range of critical, textual, institutional and cultural perspectives to a selection of live action and animated feature films.
 
MDST 3559 New Course in Media Studies (1-4 credits)
This course provides the opportunity to offer a new course in the subject of Media Studies. If offered, topics will be listed on the course offerings page for the particular semester.
 
- Media and Protest: Case Study The 1960s (3 credits)
In the wake of the racist and Nazi rallies in Charlottesville, the Women's March in response to Trump's election, and Black Lives Matter activism, the United States is in an era of protest and turmoil unseen since the 1960s. By examining media treatment of 1960s-era protest (civil rights, student activism, anti-war protest, women's liberation, black power), what lessons can we learn about our own era and the mediation of protest?
 
- Media Bodies (3 credits)
Increasingly, we use media to better understand our bodies - MRIs, fitness trackers, bluetooth hearing aids, and other media help to construct bodily health, ability, and gender. We will study a range of tech that mediate bodies, and also consider how media representations of "normal" bodies effect social life and mental health.
 
- Propaganda in the US and the World Today (3 credits)
In 1925, Edward Bernays defined propaganda as the “consistent, enduring effort to create or shape events to influence the relations of the public to an enterprise, idea or group.” In 2011, Gareth Jowett and Victoria O’Donnell defined propaganda as the “deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perception, manipulate cognitions and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.”
 
- Value, Values, and Valuation (3 credits)
Measuring "value" is an important feature of media industries and contemporary life more broadly. This class asks how value is determined, according to what value systems, through what systems of valuation. We will look at taste, metrics, reviews, awards, likes, retweets, and ratings, to try to understand how people answer the question, "What is valuable?".
 
MDST 3584 Special Topics in Global Cinema
This course will offer historical, comparative, critical, and/or media industry perspectives on transnational, global, international, or region specific film.
 
- Film Noir and Exile (3 credits)
This course examines the origins, evolution, and contemporary resonance of film noir, focusing on Hollywood films by German and Austrian exiles. Film noir of the 1940s and 50s offered mass audiences a critical view of U.S. society, and exiled directors were often ambivalent about their new home. We will also discuss more recent films with links to both film noir and German expressionism. Topics include migration, war, consumerism, and suburbia. [Cross listed with GETR 3566]
 
- Masterpieces of French Cinema (3 credits)
An introduction to masterpieces of French cinema, from the earliest short films of the Lumières and George Meliès, to feature-length works by Jean Cocteau, Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Agnès Varda, and others. Students will study film genres and movements in relation to social, cultural and aesthetic trends. They will also learn to identify and analyze film techniques, write analytical papers, and create original short video projects. [Cross listed with FRTR 3584]
 
Screening Nature: The Environment on Film (3 credits)
This course explores how our imagination of nature has shaped and been shaped by moving image media. Focusing on German productions, we will discuss documentaries, propaganda, disaster movies, and experimental films to explore a range of historical, philosophical, and aesthetic questions, such as: why is nature on film so fascinating? Can we know nature through film? And what is nature in the first place?
 
MDST 3590 Women and Television (3 credits)
Examines how television addresses women, how it represents women, and how women respond to the medium. Explores the relationship between the female audience
 
MDST 3600 Women and Television (3 credits)
Examines how television addresses women, how it represents women, and how women respond to the medium. Explores the relationship between the female audience and television by focusing on both contemporary and historical issues. Areas of particular concern include: how women have responded to television as technology; how specific genres have targeted women; how female-focused specialty channels have addressed women; and how specific programming and genres have mediated the changing status of women from the 1950s to the present.  Prerequisite: MDST 2000.
 
MDST 3601 Screening History: Media and Cultural Memory (3 credits)
The overall goal of the course is for students to recognize the ways in which film and TV representations of history are constructed through struggles in the present. Students will evaluate different narrative and formal strategies used to remember the past for their ideological, historical, ethical and commercial implications. We will discuss the uses of the past in the present, including nostalgia and the politics of counter-memory.
 
MDST 3610 Film Under Fascism: Ideology and Entertainment (3 credits)
The cinema of the fascist dictatorships of the 1930s and 40s stands as the primary historical example of the application of mass media to the ends of mass manipulation. The propagandistic strategies of fascist cinema were often subtle, however, and the workings of fascist ideologies were hidden from spectators under the surface appearance of  “pure entertainment” or of informative documentary. This course will examine the ideological content and the formal structure of fascist films, focusing primarily on cinema in the Third Reich, but also considering the cinemas of fascist Italy and Spain. Among the topics we will address are the way in which a militarist and nationalist spirit was supported by fascist popular films, their participation in racist worldviews, and their treatment of gender issues. We will also investigate definitions of  “fascist aesthetics,” the often complex modes of address to spectators of Nazi films, and the relationship between fascist cinema and the classical cinema of Hollywood.
 
MDST 3620 World Cinema (3 credits)
This course offers a survey of the cinemas of Europe, Africa, Central and South America, the Middle East, India, and Asia, with an introduction to the film histories and stylistic tendencies of each region. Explores classical, avant-garde, and “third cinema” aesthetics, post-colonial theory, and transnational filmmaking.  Equivalent course to GETR 3620.  Students in GETR section focus on comparative topics related to German film.
 
MDST 3640 American Gangster Films (3 credits)
This course offers in-depth examination of an enduring, flexible genre in American cinema: the gangster film. The aim of this course is to trace the genre’s development from the early silent film period to the present as a means of exploring artistic and technological achievements marking the history of American film; to explore the extensive influence the genre has had on the nature of the American film industry; and to explore how the representation of gangster life on screen articulates crucial anxieties, frustrations, and desires circulating in American society at the time of the film’s creation. To pursue this last aim, students will consider carefully a number of issues dramatized in and/or raised by the films studied, including the following: the dream of social mobility; the myth of self-reinvention; the politics of cultural assimilation; the thematics of consumer culture’s investments in style; the psychology of codes of masculinity; the dynamics of the law’s dependence on violence; the romance of the nuclear family; the underworld family as model of corporate enterprise; the increasing interface of bodies and machines and the impact of technology on the sense of self.
 
MDST 3650 Shooting the Western (3 credits)
This course will provide an overview of the enduring genre of the American Western in its classic and revised forms. The course will address the social and historical contexts informing the films. Students will be asked to perform both cultural and formal analysis of the cinematic texts.
 
MDST 3670 Sports, Media, and Society (3 credits)
This course will explore the role that sports have played in the development of media and society, primarily but not exclusively in the United States. It will consider such issues as amateurism, labor, performance-enhancing drugs, race, gender, sexuality, body image, and the role of sports within American universities.
 
MDST 3680 The News Media (3 credits)
This course will examine how the US news media is organized, what gets news coverage and why, and the role the news media plays in our democracy. Issues will include the impact of the digital news revolution, the importance of who owns the media, the differences between the many types of TV news and why the students' personal consumption of news matters. Students will gain an ability to analyze the news, and whether it helps them as citizen.
 
MDST 3690 Sports Journalism (3 credits) Practice of Media Only
This course will cover all manner of media as it relates to sports journalism. Students will analyze published work across various mediums, learn the tools for reporting and writing different types of coverage, including features, profiles, long-form, game stories and more. Students will write articles, interview subjects, analyze sports journalism, participate in peer reviews and hear from some of the most prominent figures in sports journalism.
 
MDST 3700 Newswriting II (3 credits)  Practice of Media Only
This advanced newswriting course trains students to practice ‘point-of-view’ journalism, and to understand it as a controversial but credible alternative to the dominant model of ‘objectivity’ on the part of the news media. Prerequisite: Basic newswriting course and/or experience working on college newspaper (or equivalent) or literary maga- or e-zine.
 
MDST 3701 New Media Culture (3 credits)
As a result of digitization, the rise of new media has forced scholars to reconsider the relationship between individuals and the texts that compose their cultural worlds. The theoretical implications of niche audience, niche content, and niche marketing strategies remain contested intellectual terrain. If new media has indeed fractured contemporary audiences, will common culture become merely a relic within American collective memory? Did this common culture ever exist at all? To answer such questions, this course will use a variety of theoretical approaches from media studies, cultural studies, and sociology to help students develop critical thinking and writing skills. Assessment will be based on four papers assigned throughout the term.
 
MDST 3702 Computers and Languages (3 credits)
Issues in the use of computers to study, model, create, and process language. Sustained but not exclusive attention to methods and approaches in Computational Linguistics. Discussion of programming methods; support for computer science students wanting to experiment with language projects. The use of computers in linguistics and impact of computers on language. Primarily taught via lecture with discussion. Short papers and a final project.
 
MDST 3703 Introduction to Digital Liberal Arts (3 credits) Practice of Media OR Elective
Students will gain a practical and critical introduction to key technologies that are shaping research, innovation, and critical thinking across the liberal arts curriculum: specific technologies, including a programming language, that will empower them to better envision and develop technology-mediated projects in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Students will reflect on the history and discourse in these areas.
 
MDST 3704 Games and Play (3 credits)
This course is an introduction to game studies, surveying theories of play and research on contemporary videogames to “folk games” to sports/e-sports. Historic tensions and debates in game studies will form the foundation for the course, then students will engage with game studies as inherently interdisciplinary, developing novel research projects on games and play as well as interrogating their own play experiences.
 
MDST 3705 Code, Language, and Media (3 credits) Practice of Media OR Elective
Introduction to the theory and practice of the database as media form in the context of the digital liberal arts. Students review critical literature about databases, study examples of their use in projects from a variety of disciplines, and engage in the actual design of a database application as a course project. Topics include cross-cultural modes of classification, data models, big data, visualization, and building web-based databases.
 
MDST 3706 Media in China: Technology, Policy and Commerce (3 credits)
The growth of media industries in China sits at the intersection between commerce, technology and policy. The objective of the course is to cultivate a rigorous understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of these three areas within the context of China's global expansion. Students will also be expected to develop fresh critical perspectives on the significance of analysis of industry practice as a means to critique media texts.
 
MDST 3750 Money, Media, and Technology (3 credits)
Money is one of the oldest media technologies in the world, but in recent years a variety of experiments from Venmo to Bitcoin have emerged, promising to reinvent the form of money itself. This class looks at the historical, social, and cultural dimensions of money as a media technology.
 
MDST 3755 Social Media and Society (3 credits)
This class examines computer-mediated communication forms known as “social media." What makes these technologies "social" or "media"? From algorithms to selfies, most aspects of social media have been met with both moral panics and utopian pronouncements.
 
MDST 3760 #BlackTwitter and Black Digital Culture (3 credits)
Using a mix of scholarly and popular-press readings and an examination of digital artifacts, we will analyze the creations and contributions of Black digital culture from the mid-90s to the present. Covering topics including the early Black blogosphere; the creation of niche content sites like BlackPlanet.com; the emergence of Black Twitter; the circulation of memes, and the use second-screening.
 
MDST 3800 Field Experience in Media Studies (1-3 credits)
Restricted to instructor permission and Media Studies majors
Provides an opportunity for students to get credit for  field work, in the area of media studies. Students must put a proposal together for the project with a faculty sponsor, which must be approved by the add/drop deadlines. Restricted to Media Studies Majors.
 
MDST 3804 Scriptwriting for Film & TV (3 credits) Practice of Media Only
This practicum will examine the dynamics of writing for film and television and aid students in the creation and development of original story ideas. The course will focus on the creative aspects of writing, as well as the structural aspects within the Hollywood context.
 
MDST 3809 New Media in New York (3 credits)
Restricted to permission instructor, offered in J-term only
This course will introduce students to the current challenges and opportunities facing major media industry firms and institutions. The transformation to digital production and consumption has put pressure on many traditional forms of media. It has also opened up profound opportunities. Along the way, firms and public institutions have had to face new facts of classic ethical and policy issues such as privacy, copyright, and decency. this course, taught in part on-line and in part in New York City, would involve intensive seminar discussions and a series of site visits to major media industries and with major figures in media. The core assignment would be a digital-video issue briefing that would rely on the issues raised by the assigned reading and our interviews with people working in these fields. Each student would choose a major ethical issue and work in groups to produce a short digital video about how companies are dealing with challenges raised by new media.
 
MDST 3830 History of Film I (3 credits)
Cross-listed with DRAM 3830, includes mandatory screening sessions
Analyzes the development of the silent film, 1895 to 1928; emphasizes the technical and thematic links between national schools of cinema art and the contributions of individual directors. Includes weekly film screenings.
 
MDST 3840 History of Film II (3 credits)
Cross-listed with DRAM 3840, includes mandatory screening sessions
Analyzes the development of film art from the inception of sound to the 1950s. Includes weekly film screenings.  Pre-requisites: MDST/DRAM 2810 or 3830, or instructor permission.
 
MDST 3850 History of Film III (3 credits)
Cross-listed with DRAM 3850, includes mandatory screening sessions
A history of narrative, documentary and experimental film, 1955-77. Developments in the aesthetics of film are examined in the context of socio-economic, political and cultural conditions specific to different historical moments.  Includes weekly film screenings. Prerequisite: MDST/DRAM 3830, 3840, or instructor permission. Cross-listed with DRAM 3850.
 
MDST 3900 Specialized Field Experience in Media Studies (1-3 credits)
Restricted to instructor permission and Media Studies majors
This course is reserved for Media Studies students interested in receiving credit for participation in student-led and UVA-affiliated enterprises that are media-related under the guidance of a faculty member or industry professional in the area of media studies. Students must put a proposal together for the project with a faculty sponsor, which must be approved by the add/drop deadlines.
 
MDST 4000 Media Theory and Methods (3 credits)
An introduction to advanced theory and research methods in Media Studies. Intended as a foundation for thesis work to be conducted in a student's fourth year of undergraduate study (usually to fulfill Distinguished Majors Program requirements). Covers subjects such as historiography and proper use of historical records, survey methodology and ethics, and ethnographic methods.   Prerequisite: MDST 3000.
 
MDST 4010 Distinguished Majors Thesis Writing or Research Project (3 credits)
Writing of a thesis or production or a project with appropriately researched documentation, under the supervision of the faculty DMP thesis readers or project supervisor.
 
MDST 4101 Privacy & Surveillance (3 credits)
Can we preserve dignity and privacy in the age of Facebook? This seminar will consider the history and current applications of technologies & cultures of surveillance. How & why did we get to the point where almost all of our activities leave a trace? What sorts of laws and policies do we need to protect our sense of personal integrity? Students will conduct two brief oral presentations (accompanied by a video) & produce a 20-page research paper.
 
MDST 4102 Qualitative Methods in Media Audience Research (3 credits)
This course is designed to be a practical introduction to how to do audience research in the field of culturally-oriented communication study. The primary work students will be doing is to prepare research projects illustrating the in-depth application of one (or possibly multiple) methods of research employed in studying the cultural audience.
 
MDST 4103 Representing Violence (3 credits)
The course will discuss the relationship between the mediation of different types of violence and the cultures of (in)justice where these representations exist. Central concerns are how different representational practices construct violence as public or private, proximate or distant, and the challenge of representing traumatic violence.
 
MDST 4105 Media and Citizenship (3 credits)
This course provides a critical perspective on the relationships of media to citizenship. It asks questions central to explaining the role of media in political and national life, including the following: What notions of national and political membership are forwarded by mainstream media? What media spaces are viable for the political agency of racial, sexual, and economic minorities and how do these spaces work?
 
MDST 4106 The Kennedy Era and the Media (3 credits)
Restricted to Permission of Instructor
This seminar and discussion-oriented course examines the powerful influence the abbreviated Kennedy presidency had on a range of U.S. media including journalism, television, advertising, cinema, and media policy. The course also explores the continuing media fascination with the Kennedy era in memory, nostalgia, and conspiracy theories.
 
MDST 4107 Feminism and the Public Sphere (3 credits)
This class will examine the normative basis of the public sphere and critiques of its current structure and ask: What would a more inclusive vision of political participation and communication look like? In attempting to build an answer, we will examine a number of works on communication ethics, politics and media, with an emphasis on feminist and queer scholarship.
 
MDST 4108 Media, Drugs, and Violence in Latin America (3 credits)
This course will give you a critical understanding of the complex relationships between social violence, drug cartels, media, and Latin American nations. Together we will wrestle with the way Mexican, Colombian, and Brazilian drug violence has impacted and shaped new artistic forms and media practices that confront or, complexly, support the violence.
 
MDST 4109 Civil Rights Movement and the Media (3 credits)
Course examines the crucial relationship between the Civil Rights Movement and mass media from 1950s through early 1970s, looking at a variety of media forms: Hollywood cinema, network television, mainstream newspapers, photojournalism, the black press, and news as primary documents that can tell us something about American race relations during this period and how the nation responded to challenges posed by a powerful social change movement. Prerequisite: Students should have completed either MDST 2000 Introduction to Media Studies or AMST 2001 Formations of American Cultural Studies.
 
MDST 4200 Sex and Gender Go To The Movies (3 credits)
Cross-listed with SOC 4200 and WGS 4200
Over the past several generations, the mass media have become central to our understanding of the meaning of the categories of gender and sexuality in American life. In this course, we will examine the ways in which different mass media help to define our cultural ideas about gender differences. We will also look at the ways in which feminist and other scholars have responded to these definitions, by criticizing existing media images and by creating some alternatives of their own. The course will begin by examining the notion that the mass media might influence our development as gendered individuals, looking at those who have argued both for and against this notion. We will then consider briefly the different forms of feminist theory which exist, and how they have been applied to the study of the mass media. 
 
MDST 4210 Global Environmental Media (3 credits)
From analysis of documentary, narrative film, animation, gaming, experimental video, and social media, the class will provide students with the tools to bridge the gap between media and scientific messages about environmental issues. Students will develop critical tools to understand the aesthetic, environmental and industrial characteristics of different media practices related to some of the most significant issues facing our world.
 
MDST 4211 Kungfu and Korean Dramas: Transnational Asian Media (3 credits)
Film production between Asian and Euro-American companies is rapidly on the rise. The fundamental objective of the course is to cultivate a rigorous theoretical understanding of the media industries within a global Asian network. We will ask: What are the cultural, political and economic implications of transnational co-productions both for global and domestic film markets?
 
MDST 4230 Advanced Multimedia Reporting (3 credits) Practice of Media Only
This course will teach higher level reporting skills. Students in teams will research, write, shoot and edit 3 long form, TV-style news reports, each with a web posting. Content focuses on investigative, government related, or sports and business journalism, but creative reporting videos also encouraged. Many hours required outside of class for interviews and editing. Pre-reqs include Basic Multimedia, or student journalism or internships.
 
MDST 4310 Celebrity Culture (3 credits)
This course explores celebrity, stardom, fame, and self-branding as it is produced, circulated, and consumed for and by people of color. Paying particular attention to how race and ethnicity intersect with the phenomenon of celebrity in the media, this highly student-driven class will investigate celebrities of color through both historical and analytical lenses.
 
MDST 4320 Celebrities of Color (3 credits)
Paying particular attention to how race and ethnicity intersect with the phenomenon of celebrity in the media, this highly student-driven class will investigate celebrities of color through both historical and analytical lenses. In examining the increasingly self-aware culture associated with celebrity, we will discuss the ways in which celebrity is conceived, constructed, performed, and discussed, as well as how it shapes notions of identity.
 
MDST 4411 Media Technologies and Free Speech (3 credits)
Should computer code and hyperlinks be considered speech, protected by the First Amendment? Silent film? These are just some of the questions that new communication technologies have spurred for US speech law. We will explore how different media are treated under the First Amendment and discuss key legal issues associated with communications media, including censorship, corporate speech, and conflicts between copyright and free expression.
 
MDST 4559 New Course in Media Studies (3 credits)
This course provides the opportunity to offer a new course in the subject of Media Studies.  If offered, topics will be listed on the course offerings page for the particular semester.
 
- Black Girl Magic in Media (3 credits)
In this course, we will engage in a critical examination of historical and contemporary narratives of Black womanhood through media created by Black women.
 
- Brazilian Media (3 credits)
The objective of this course is to examine the development of Brazilian television from its origins in 1950 to modern-day broadcast television, Pay TV, and Internet programming. It will focus on key policies and players—networks, screenwriters, directors, and independent production companies—formats, different modes of production, and financing mechanisms.
 
- Critical Game Culture Studies (3 credits)
In this class, students will engage with interdisciplinary research on gaming communities and cultures of play, with a focus on digital games (video games, mobile games, e-sports), as well as online channels of discourse (online forums, Reddit, YouTube, Twitch). Topics will include: gaming literacy, spectatorship, game modding, “theorycrafting,” Gamergate, focusing on critical work on representation, diversity, and identity in game cultures.
 
- Cyber War (3 credits)
This course will explore the role of information technology in international and intra-national conflict and security. How have global communication platforms challenged traditional notions of security and war? What is cyberwar? What is cyberterrorism? Is there a difference? We will investigate these questions and others relating to the dark side of the information revolution in cyberspace. Students will learn about the geostrategic implications.
 
- Internet Policy & Law (3 credits)
This course is designed to give students an in-depth understanding of the policies and regulations that govern the Internet. Using critical, comparative and institutional approaches to policy and regulation, the primary focus will be on questions of access (rather than content), and the institutions and organizations that regulate the Internet both at home and abroad.
 
MDST 4660 Watching the Detectives (3 credits)
This course examines a number of American detective films and how the portrait of the hard-boiled private eye dramatizes concerns about class, race, gender relations, urbanization, the rationalization of experience, the limits of self-knowledge, the blurring of boundaries between bodies and machines, and the collapse of distinction between private life and public life.
 
MDST 4700 Theory of New Media (3 credits)
A seminar on the theoretical study of new and/or digital media. Topics such as digital representations of history, culture, race, gender, identity, and language; the nature of new media; technological changes in media; hypertext as medium; online community. Some close readings of new media objects.
 
MDST 4701 Media and Everyday Life (3 credits)
This course turns a critical eye towards media’s relationship to everyday life. It conceptualize media, such as cell phones, television, and YouTube for example, as central forces in representing, demarcating and franchising the ordinary. We will explore the construction of ordinariness in media as well as the ways in which audiences engage with media in daily life to achieve `taken for grantedness’.
 
MDST 4703 Technology and Media (3 credits)
This class will explore various social, cultural, legal, and political issues that have arisen in recent years as a result of new communicative technologies. The two main technological changes that will concern us are the digitization of information and culture and the rise of networks within society and politics.
 
MDST 4704 Political Economy of Communication (3 credits)
This survey course introduces students to the political economy of media. Central themes include political economy’s historical development, its usefulness to the study of media and communications, and its contemporary applications in scholarly research. Students will be introduced to the power dynamics and institutional forces that impact media institutions, industries, ownership, cultural production, consumption and distribution in the US and elsewhere.
 
MDST 4705 Spanish Mass Media (3 credits)
This is an introductory course to Spanish mass media. The course gives students a critical understandings of the roles mass media plays in Spanish society, culture, and politics. The emphasis of the course is on sociological approaches to media, in particular studies of how radio and television participate in the making and remaking of modern Spain.
 
MDST 4801 Introduction to Documentary Production (3 credits) Practice of Media Only
Restricted to Permission of Instructor
Focuses on the elements of documentary productions, including theory, ethics, and technologies. Along with writing assignments, student will produce their own short documentaries using mini DVD cameras and non-linear systems and non-linear editing systems. 
 
MDST 4802 Intermediate Documentary Production (3 credits) Practice of Media Only
Restricted to Permission of Instructor
An advanced level course that focuses on the elements and considerations that factor into documentary productions with emphasis on aspects dealing with the planning and execution of creating a documentary film.
 
MDST 4803 Computational Media (3 credits) Practice of Media OR Elective 
Computers are universal media. Our intimacy with computers shapes how we think about ourselves, our communities, histories, cultures, and society. Learn to program these "thinking machines" as an act of philosophical inquiry and personal expression, challenging your beliefs about creativity, intelligence, randomness, and communication. Students with no previous experience are especially welcome!
 
MDST 4900 Specialized Field Experience in Media Studies (3 credits)
Restricted to instructor permission and Media Studies majors
This course is reserved for Media Studies students interested in receiving credit for participation in student-led and UVA-affiliated enterprises that are media-related under the guidance of a faculty member or industry professional in the area of media studies. Students must put a proposal together for the project with a faculty sponsor, which must be approved by the add/drop deadlines.
 
MDST 4960 Advanced Independent Projects in Media Studies (3 credits)
This course is designed to allow students to pursue independent research and study of a topic that is not contained within the course offerings of Media Studies.  Restricted to Media Studies majors.