1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

GRAD Catalog

MDST 5501 Advanced Special Topics in Media Studies (1-4 credits)
This course will offer critical perspectives on selected contemporary issues related to new media. Topics may include media in industry, education, politics, culture, and socio-economics. 

MDST 7351 Aural Histories: Edison to Auto-Tune (3 credits)
This is a course about the role of technology and technological innovation in the production and consumption of 20th and 21st century music. We will begin with the invention of the phonograph and the birth of the recording industry and continue up through the present day. 

MDST 7559 New Course in Media Studies (1-4 credits)
This course provides the opportunity to offer new topics in the subject of Media Studies.  If offered, topics will be listed on the course offerings page for the particular semester.

Media Audiences (3 credits) This course is designed to be an introduction on how to conduct sociologically-informed media audience research. It will digress to talk about the “research” process in the context of a particularly inspiring piece of audience research. The goal is to inspire use of the canonical (and current) audience literature to equip students to reflect on and use their own experience as a lifetime user/viewer of media to become a cutting-edge researcher.

Science & Technology Studies (3 credits) This seminar introduces graduate students to the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and its major ideas and texts. Students will become familiar with the major questions and theories that have been debated by STS scholars and learn how the focus of the field has changed over time.

MDST 7703 Introduction to the Digital Liberal Arts (3 credits)
An historical, critical, and practical introduction to technologies and ideas that are shaping teaching, research, publication, and collaboration across the liberal arts curriculum.  Topics include hypertext, remediation, graphesis, ontology, and cultural analytics. Students study specific cases and technologies, develop technology-mediated projects in a collaborative settings, and keep an online journal of their reflections on the material.

MDST 7704 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 & communications, & its contemporary applications in scholarly research. Students will be introduced to the power dynamics & institutional forces that impact media institutions, industries, ownership, cultural production, consumption & distribution in the US & elsewhere.

MDST 7803 Computational Media (3 credits)
Computers are universal media. Our intimacy with computers shapes how we think about our communities, histories, cultures, society, and ourselves. Learn to program these "thinking machines" as an acto of philosophical inquiry and personal expression, challenging your beliefs about creativity, intelligence, randomness, and communication.

MDST 8000 Media, Culture & Technology (3 credits)
The course will focus on the different traditions of studying media messages and technologies, including theories of mass communication, cultural studies traditions, key works in science and technology studies, and contemporary social media scholarship. Students will outline and assess the different traditional frameworks and assumptions used to study media messages and technologies and select and apply appropriate frameworks to compelling problems facing developers of media technologies, regulators, and users today.

MDST 8001: Histories of Media Technologies and Research (3 credits)
In this course, students will learn about the development of existing media technologies and infrastructures: how and why they were built, how they were shaped by regulation, and the social and political concerns driving both technological development and regulation. Students will evaluate the decisions made by key actors in the past and use their knowledge of media history to contextualize and assess contemporary issues and debates in media technology and policy. Students will read and assess primary and secondary literature, gaining an understanding of historiographical methods and employing those methods in the writing of an original piece of historical research.

MDST 8003: Methods of Media Research (3 credits)
This course offers training in the qualitative and quantitative study of media and technology.  Students will learn about different methods employed to study media technologies and their uses, including content analysis, network analysis, survey, interview, and grounded theory approaches. In the process of doing so, students will further develop their facility with identifying problems or questions (areas of research) and drawing on appropriate methods to find answers to these questions. Students will study audience interpretation and uses of media, evaluate media messages, and learn emerging methods for analyzing interfaces and algorithms.

MDST 8510 Media, Culture and Politics: Perspectives from South Asia (3 credits)
This advanced graduate seminar offers a critical introduction to media, culture and politics in postcolonial India.

MDST 8559 New Course in Media Studies (1-4 credits)
This course provides the opportunity to offer new topics in the subject of Media Studies.  If offered, topics will be listed on the course offerings page for the particular semester.

MDST 8900 Graduate Independent Study (3 credits)
A single semester of independent study under faculty supervision for MA or PhD students doing intensive research on a subject not covered in available courses. Requires approval by a Media Studies faculty member who has agreed to supervise a guided course of reading and research.

MDST 8966: Master’s Thesis Development (3 credits)
In this course, students meet as a cohort to translate their intellectual interests into a specific thesis project through iterative development, critique, and refinement of their research questions and proposed methods. Students will read and critique published work, gaining a sense of best practices in research design. This course is heavily reliant on peer feedback and collaboration, as students will present their work orally and visually, and will regularly consider and constructively critique one another’s research questions, study design, and methods. The culmination of this class is a thesis proposal, which lays out the relevant background literature, research question or hypothesis, and methodology to be applied in the student’s thesis.

MDST 8999: Master’s Thesis Writing (3 credits)
In this course, students meet as a cohort to form a writing community to foster accountability and confidence in conducting, writing, and sharing original research. Instruction will address developing a regular writing habit, writing for different audiences (academic, policy, popular), communicating in visual and multimedia formats, and the practices of placing written work academic journals, policy venues, or popular online and print publications. Students regularly share their progress, enabling them to receive ongoing feedback and to address unexpected difficulties, roadblocks, writer’s block, or other concerns. The culmination of this course is the final thesis, whether in the form of a traditional academic thesis or a policy white paper.