Courses taught at the University of Colorado – Denver (present)
COMM 5710 Intro to Critical Media Studies
This course provides an overview of key debates, critical frameworks, concepts, methods, and theories in critical media studies (CMS). Each of the major subtopics of this course could be the subject of a full-length seminar of its own. Hence, we will map out the contours of the field using rather broad strokes. Our interdisciplinary inquiry will be informed by various fields, including media and cultural studies, feminist, critical race, and queer theory, as well as popular music and surveillance studies. We will consider the critiques and possibilities this work generates concerning various aspects of media production, reception, and the text themselves. Our readings and objects of study encompass a wide variety of media, including radio, film, TV, social media, and music among others. We’ll start our inquiry by developing a toolbox consisting of key theories informing CMS before applying this knowledge to examine various domains of contemporary media culture, including, for example, popular feminism and the #MeToo movement, racialized algorithms, and digital surveillance. Our overall aim is to develop critical approaches for examining media as both a key part of our everyday lives and as an object of scholarly inquiry.
COMM 4660/5660″Queer Media Studies”
Queer Media Studies is a discussion-based course that investigates the history of queer and LGBT representations in a range of popular media in the United States since the 1960s— including news, film, television, comics, video games, and the Internet. The course’s focus is trifold: by considering socio-cultural contexts we will interrogate queer aspects of media production, media reception, and the texts themselves. Students will be introduced to major debates and theoretical frameworks surrounding queer media studies, specifically with a focus on how gender, race, class, nationality and ability intersect with our understandings of sexuality and its representation. Questions the course explores include: How have LGBT people been represented in popular media? How have these images changed over time across various media platforms? And how can we account for these changes? What role do queer producers and audiences play in media industries? What does it mean to queer technology? What role does media activism play in current LGBT politics?
COMM 4000/5000 “Communication and Sport”
Sports are an integral part of everyday life in the United States. Americans frequently dedicate their time, energy, and money to recreational sports leagues, yoga classes, and athletic gyms. Furthermore, collegiate and professional sports such as NCAA athletics or the NFL, movies, video games and sports betting as well as fantasy leagues comprise multi-billion dollar industries in the “sports‐media-complex.” This course takes the premise that the experience of participating in and/or watching sports is more than “just a game”: sport not only reflects broader social structures but also actively (re)produces cultural values, for example, about hegemonic masculinities. This class will foster an understanding that sports are not only sought out for healthy life-styles and stress-relief, but that sport is, and always has been, a political institution. While it may promote athletic beauty or temporarily divert us from our problems, it just as often mobilizes power, disciplines bodies, and reifies structures of oppression, for example, the persistent racism Jackie Robinson faced. Thus, this class will pay attention to issues of diversity, resistance, and social justice as they have and continue to play out in the world of sport. How we communicate about sport, how sport is communicated to us, and what is communicated by sport each represent critical opportunities to evaluate, critique, and improve our society.
COMM 3650 “Media and Society”
Media are such a pervasive part of everyday life that their presence and power can sometimes go unnoticed. This course examines the relationship between media and U.S. society. By choosing an historical approach to media studies we will specifically examine how major technology changes have influenced and impacted society over time. Students will engage in the analysis of media technologies, texts, institutions, audiences, and practices with a focus on the historical, cultural, political, and economic contexts in which media operate. The purpose of this course is to help you become more than just consumers of the media, but students and critics of it as well. This course will provide:
- an understanding of how media have evolved in particular forms, for example, from orality, writing, print, and television to digital media;
- an overview of analytical and theoretical approaches to the study of media;
- a survey of recent shifts in the media terrain that are having a significant impact on the future of media studies.
COMM 1021 “Intro to Media Studies” (part of the first year learning community Media Making & Analysis with FITV 1035 “Intro to Filmmaking”)
Media messages are everywhere; they wash over us constantly. Most of us spend more time in the mediated world (e.g., listening to music, streaming TV, using social media) than in our non-mediated world (e.g., talking to a roommate or participating in a class discussion). Media are such a pervasive part of everyday life that their presence and power can sometimes go unnoticed. This course presents an introduction to critical media studies: the analysis of media technologies, texts, institutions, audiences, and practices with a focus on the historical, cultural, political, and economic contexts in which media operate. The purpose of this course is to help you become more than just consumers of the media, but students and critics of it as well.
COMM 1051 “Intro to Pop Culture”
While popular culture is often dismissed as “trivial entertainment” and has been condemned as a tool of mass deception – this class will engage with popular culture as a critical site from which to understand and analyze key debates shaping U.S. society and everyday life since World War II. Some larger questions the course explores are: What is popular culture? What are the boundaries between “popular” and “high” culture and who polices them? What does popular culture have to do with politics and power? This course interrogates popular culture (as well as our shifting roles in it as both producers and consumers in the digital age) as an essentially political phenomenon.
Courses taught at the University of Minnesota (2011 – 2016)
GWSS 3307 “Feminist Film Studies”
In this upper-level film analysis and theory course, students survey multiple approaches to feminist film theory and use what they learn to examine films and related media, including Hollywood “blockbusters,” independent films, documentaries, and web series. The course investigates constructions of gender and seeks to problematize conventional notions of femininity and masculinity, while also considering issues of sexuality, race, class, media convergence, and film aesthetics. The course blog for #femfilm16 is available here.
COMM 3201 “Intro to Electronic Media Production”
This course enhances students’ understanding of television and film as communications media, which are unique in their potential to influence the presentation of ideas. Students create their own video production projects within a multi-camera studio designed to help them develop a critical attitude toward both producing and consuming visual media content. The course focuses on using the technology to communicate ideas, persuade, and entertain. The complete syllabus is available here.
COMM 3211 “Intro to Media Studies”
This course presents an introduction to electronic media with a focus on the United States. The course places mass media within historical, political, legal and cultural contexts as a way of understanding both historical and contemporary debates around the development of the use of media. The complete syllabus is available here.
COMM 3452W “Communication and Intercultural Reentry”
This course seeks to explore the relationship between language, culture, and communication as well as focusing on the concepts of cultural identity, the process of cultural adaptation, and intercultural conflicts. The course is aimed at students who are returning from a study abroad program and, thus, also focuses on the processes of entry and re-entry. The complete syllabus is available here.
COMM 3263W “Media Literacy”
This course seeks to develop student’s ability to critically assess media images and messages. The course pursues four major areas of engagement: the political economy of media industries; media representations and social identities; media audiences; and new media cultures. The complete syllabus is available here.
COMM 1101 “Public Speaking”
The art and practice of public speaking is elemental to civility and community. This course covers the fundamentals of public speaking including how to construct, organize, deliver and critically evaluate speeches. The complete syllabus is available here.