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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Language and Communications Studies Department
Course Prefix and Number: COMM 404
Course Title: Media Criticism
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Theoretical and practical analysis of the content, structure, and context of mediated communication in the United States. Students use cultural, critical, and rhetorical strategies to evaluate media content. Prerequisites: COMM 214 and 3 hours of upper-level Communication coursework.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

COMM 214 and 3 hours of upper-level Communication courses.

Course Rotation for Day Program:

Occasional offering.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Manufacturing Consent
By Noam Chomsky
No Logo
By Naomi Klein
Globalization and Media
By Jake Lule
Popular Culture
By Marcel Daresi
Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide
By Henry Jenkins
Media and Society: A Critical Perspective
By Arthur Asa Berger
Course Objectives
  • To demonstrate a knowledge of terms and concepts of contemporary media studies.
  • To understand the economic, social, political impact of media industries.
  • To evaluate the implications of advancements in new media and information technologies.
  • To analyze mediated messages critically, culturally, and rhetorically.
Measurable Learning
  • Analyze mediated messages, issues, and cases from a critical perspective.
  • Use appropriate terminology to discuss media criticism.
  • Distinguish traits and components of several mass communication forms.
  • Identify and use media criticism theories.
  • Compare and contrast mediated messages in form and content.
  • Display competence in meta-criticism.
Topical Outline:
  • Media Aesthetics
  • Social Impact and significance
  • New media
  • Critical Theory
  • Rhetorical Theory
  • Semiotic Analysis
  • Marxist Analysis
  • Feminist Theory
  • Content analysis

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 20

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Amy Darnell Date: September 5, 2012
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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