Fields of Specialization

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There are three primary Fields of Specialization in the media studies program:
Each major field of study within media studies develops critical approaches to the articulation and reproduction of social power via media. Designed to give students a thorough grounding in the key issues, texts, traditions and debates within media studies, the fields are not meant as segregated and free-standing domains of scholarly inquiry; rather, there are degrees of overlap between areas, and, accordingly, students will be encouraged to explore such intellectual crossroads and interstices.

Fields of specialization

Media Cultures

This area understands various media in terms of their role in constructing and expressing meaning and identity in people's everyday lives. The broad focus is on signification, pleasure, and power within media cultures. Selected topics of study include: cultural theory and cultural studies; audiences, subcultures and ethnography; popular music as culture; audio-visual cultures; cybercultures; consumer and promotional cultures; print culture; media ethics; and approaches to media forms, conventions, and genres informed by aesthetic and historical criticism. Also germane are debates around structuralism and post-structuralism, modernity and post-modernism, and those involving issues of class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and taste in the media.

Faculty who teach and/or conduct research in the area:
Blackmore, Burkell, Burston, Campbell, Coates, Comor, Compton, Dyer-Witheford, Farber, Grzyb, Hearn, Keightley, Knabe, McKechnie, Quan-Haase, Robinson, Sliwinski, Smith Fullerton, Sneppova, Spencer, Stahl, Torres

Students who are considering different faculty members as a potential chief supervisor should be careful to determine that the faculty member of choice has the appropriate supervisory status.

Media Industries

The production, mediation, and circulation of media texts, commodities, and experiences have industrial contexts that are crucial to a full understanding of the workings of media. This area examines a range of issues and approaches related to media industries, including: policy and regulatory frameworks; media law, intellectual property, and the commodification of information; political economy; organizations and the production of culture; advertising; and studies of individual industries (publishing, telecommunication, broadcasting, music, film, computer, video game). Also addressed are issues involving corporate concentration and media convergence in the context of globalization.

Faculty who teach and/or conduct research in the area:
Babe, Burston, Coates, Comor, Compton, Dyer-Witheford, Hearn, Keightley, Robinson, Smeltzer, Spencer, Stahl, Torres, Trosow

Students who are considering different faculty members as a potential chief supervisor should be careful to determine that the faculty member of choice has the appropriate supervisory status.

Media Technologies

Without technology, there would be no media as we know them. Therefore, an essential aspect of media studies involves examining the social dimensions of media technologies, including their particularities, practices and potentialities. This area looks at issues related to interactivity and multimedia; computer interface design and the psychology of computer users; the history of technology (from the book and printing press through the telegraph, telephone, and sound recording, to film, radio, television, video games and the world wide web); the shaping of news and information through technology; and debates about technological determinism, space-time bias, and mediation.

Faculty who teach and/or conduct research in the area:
Babe, Blackmore, Burkell, Burston, Campbell, Coates, Dyer-Witheford, Farber, Frohmann, Keightley, Quan-Haase, Sedig, Smeltzer, Sneppova, Vaughan

Students who are considering different faculty members as a potential chief supervisor should be careful to determine that the faculty member of choice has the appropriate supervisory status.

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