Media and Culture Curriculum
Media and Culture Major
Communication studies is a broad inter-disciplinary field of inquiry.
The program at Randolph College draws upon several critical traditions in the field: rhetoric, cultural studies, political economy, and film and media criticism.
Courses help students to develop their communication skills, become thoughtful critics and practitioners of media, and acquire an understanding of the domestic and global political economic and cultural context within which contemporary media operate.
Majors and minors in communication studies explore and learn to apply theoretical concepts, design and carry out independent research, and gain practical experience through internships.
A major in communication studies prepares students for graduate study and/or careers in a wide range of fields including, but not limited to, multimedia journalism, digital filmmaking, broadcasting, public relations, publishing, law, information science, and teaching.
Film Studies Minor
Throughout the history of America, the movies have acted as a powerful social, political, and economic force. In the film studies minor, students have an opportunity to examine the cinema’s role in our culture and its development as both an art and a technology.
The film studies minor is housed in the media and culture department, but it is interdisciplinary, drawing upon film studies and filmmaking courses as well as courses from other departments.
In addition to regular courses in American Movies, World Cinema and Documentary History and Theory, other special topics courses are scheduled on a frequent basis. Outside of the media and culture department, courses are offered such as Faith and Film, Chinese Culture through Film, French Film, and Cinema and Masculinity.
All of these courses encourage students to become more informed viewers and consumers of visual culture through close textual analysis and critical thinking.
The film studies minor is firmly rooted in a liberal arts education, drawing upon multiple disciplines and helping students make connections between them. It augments any major at the college, as it encourages students to take an active role in understanding one of our society’s foremost means of communication.
ARTH 2277 - American Movies
Identical with MAC 2277. Hours credit: 4. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or permission of the instructor. (AE,HE,WI)
ARTH 3384 - Doc History & Theory
Identical with MAC 3384. Hours credit: 4. Prerequisite: ARTH/MAC 2277 or permission of the instructor. (AE,CI,HE)
MAC 1101 - Media Culture Power
This course investigates the way that individuals and communities use various forms of media to negotiate identity. It explores representations of race, class, gender and sexuality, paying specific attention to the workings of power in the media industry. Students examine such media as film, television, music, advertisements, and public discourse and gain experience with different kinds of writing about media. Credit hours: 4 (CI,HE,WI)
MAC 1107 - Chinese Food Culture
What and how we choose to eat are shaped by our social and cultural environment. How do Chinese people eat differently compared with people from other cultures? How do food and eating relate to individual, health, and national identity? This course explores the history and modern representations of Chinese food, and helps students think critically about contemporary cultural productions. Credits: 4. CI, HE
MAC 1173 - Mac One Time Only
Hours credit: 4. One time only.
MAC 1175 - Practical Reasoning
An introduction to the practice of reasoning and problem-solving. Emphasis on the analysis of arguments of the sort encountered in everyday discourse and in textbooks and lectures; on the clear and persuasive presentation of arguments, reports, and papers; and on the refinement of ordinary critical instinct. Identical with PHIL 1175. Credit hours: 4. (HE)
MAC 1181 - Intro Digit Photog
An introduction to the aesthetics and techniques of digital photography. Techniques include depth of field, lens choice, aperture settings, exposure, and use of software. Students will develop their creative vision, conceptualization skills, and technical proficiency, leading to a portfolio. Identical with ARTS 1181. Credit hours: 4. (AE)
MAC 1183 - Class Rhet Persuas Power
MAC 1185 - Mac One Time Only
Hours credit: 4. One time only.
MAC 1186 - Mac One Time Only
Hours credit: 4. One time only.
MAC 1187 - Mac One Time Only
Hours credit: 4. One time only.
MAC 2204 - Media Tech And Culture
The study of the relationship between culture and communication technologies, including oral communication, visual symbols, print, film, radio, television, cassettes, and digital media. Examination of how media industries, governments, militaries, religious movements, audiences, and communities employ communication technologies in power struggles, ideological conflicts, and cultural clashes in various global contexts. Reflection upon philosophical conceptions of sensory perception and media consumption experiences. Credit hours: 4. Prerequisite: MAC 1101 and sophomore standing or permission of instructor. (CI, HE, SS, WI)
MAC 2205 - Med Culture Sport
An introduction to the cultural history of the United States through the lens of sport. Topics will include immigration and assimilation; the creation and maintenance of ethnic, racial, and national identities; class and leisure; industrialization and incorporation; civil rights; and women's rights. Identical with SOC 2205. Credit hours: 4. Alternate years. (CI, SS)
MAC 2220 - Media And Masculinities
This course will examine the representation of men and masculinities in a variety of media from early print to magazines, radio, television, film and virtual media. Topics will include advertising, marginalized masculinities, sports, violence, and male sexualities. Credit hours: 4.
MAC 2250 - New Media And Identity
This seminar examines new media and its intersection with identity, community and activism. Students will examine such phenomena as social media, citizen journalism, blogs, wikis, memes and amateur video. The class will consider these texts as examples of both creative expression and social activism. Hours credit: 4. Prerequisites: MAC 1101.
MAC 2277 - American Movies
An overview of the history and aesthetics of American films made both in Hollywood and independently. It examines the stylistic and narrative techniques utilized by filmmakers, the political economy of the film industry, and cinema's role in the global market. Students will explore various types of writing about film and develop their critical analysis and writing skills. Identical with ARTH 2277. Credit hours: 4. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or permission of instructor. (AE, HE, WI)
MAC 2279 - Intro Digit Filmmaking
This course is a basic introduction to filmmaking in the digital format; no previous filmmaking experience is necessary. It will familiarize students with the components of the digital video camera, the process of creating a moving image from single digital images, and the basics of non-linear digital editing. Identical with ARTS 2279. Taught concurrently with MAC 3376. Credit hours: 4. Prerequisite: ARTS/MAC 1181R or ARTH/MAC 2277 or permission of instructor. (AE)
MAC 2286 - Mac One Time Only
MAC 3310 - Contemp Issues I
Students gain practice with several methods of researching media, both qualitative and quantitative, with attention to texts, audiences and industry. Case studies from contemporary media will be analyzed using the various research methods. Students have the opportunity to develop skills in written, oral and visual communication. Credit hours: 4. Prerequisite: MAC 1101 or permission of instructor.
MAC 3311 - Contemp Issues Ii
The study of key theories in media and cultural studies, including rhetorical theory, ideology, genre, semiotics, feminism, post-colonialism and queer theory. We will apply these theories as a way to understand contemporary issues in media and students' media use. Students have the opportunity to develop skills in written, oral and visual communication. Credit hours: 4. Prerequisite: MAC 1101 or permission of instructor.
MAC 3330 - Feminist Rhetorical Theories
This course provides an introduction to feminist theories of rhetoric. We will explore the work of scholars from diverse backgrounds, including Indigenous, Latinx, and Black women scholars, also highlighting the intersections of gender with race, class, sexuality and nationhood. We will examine theories of social change from a communication perspective, focusing on the nature and function of symbols used in the change process. Credit hours: 4. Prerequisite: MAC 1101 and 2204, or permission of instructor.
MAC 3342 - Assuming Whiteness
An examination of the creation, representation, and maintenance of "whiteness" as a racial category. It explores the process by which certain groups have moved from racial "other" to "white," the visual representation of "whiteness," and the social, cultural, and political ramifications of being white (and non-white) in America. Identical with SOC 3342. Credit hours: 4. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of instructor. Alternate years. (CI)
MAC 3344 - Race And Hollywood
This course will provide a history of the representation of racial and ethnic minorities in popular film and its sociocultural implications; an application of sociological perspectives toward understanding popular film; and an examination of minorities as audiences and filmmakers. Identical SOC 3344. Credit hours: 4. (AE, HE)
MAC 3351 - Transmedia Storytelling
This course introduces students to the process of creating and publishing stories across multiple media platforms. Students will gain experience producing short films as well as creating content for social media. Issues such as audience participation, the democratization of media, and how to create and sustain an online identity as a content producer will be put into interactive practice. Credit hours: 4. Prerequisite: MAC 1101 and sophomore standing or permission of instructor. (AE)
MAC 3376 - Adv Digit Filmmaking
This advanced course in the art of digital filmmaking teaches students how to create and tell visual multimedia stories in the digital age by using video, still images, time- lapse photography, and audio. Students will study new visual storytelling practices and film art using mobile devices and apps to produce narratives for the web, iPads, and smartphones. Identical with ARTS 3376. Taught concurrently with MAC 2279. Credit hours: 4. Prerequisite: ARTS/MAC 2279 or permission of instructor.
MAC 3380 - Global Media And Society
This course explores media texts and movements around the world. Topics include cultural imperialism, global cultural pluralism, localization, hybridity, modernity, and cultural identity. Examination of the cultural politics of media representations and asymmetrical circulation from Western nations (Global North) to non-Western nations (Global South) as well as contra-flows and diasporic media. Identical with ARTH 3380. Credit hours: 4. Prerequisite: MAC 1101 or permission of instructor. Alternate years. (HE, CI)
MAC 3382 - Studies In Film
The topic of this course will vary from year to year. Students may examine specific genres, directors, national cinemas, or film theories. Identical with ARTH 3382. Credit hours: 4. Prerequisite: MAC/ARTH 2277 or permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit when topic differs. Alternate years: offered Spring 2021. (AE)
MAC 3384 - Documentary Hist And Theory
This course is an introduction to the history, theory, and aesthetics of documentary film. It traces several major historical movements in the development of documentary from Russia and Great Britain to Canada and the United States. Students will explore questions of ethics in documentary production, the development of various formal techniques, and a number of theoretical approaches to analyzing documentaries. Identical with ARTH 3384. Credit hours: 4. Prerequisite: MAC/ARTH 2277 or permission of instructor. Alternate years: offered Spring 2022. (AE, CI, HE)
MAC 3387 - Mac One Time Only
Hours credit: 4. One time only.
MAC 4493 - Senior Seminar
A critical study of significant works in media and cultural studies and a review of research methods and theory. Students will lay the groundwork for their senior research by formulating a research question and exploring related secondary sources. They will also determine a research method and theoretical framework. The course culminates in a formal research proposal. Credit hours: 4. Prerequisite: MAC 3310 and 3311.
MAC 4494 - Senior Project
Students work independently with a faculty mentor to complete a project. Students electing the research option will write an original research paper and deliver a public oral presentation. Students who select the creative media project will produce a short film, a website, a multimedia project, or an investigative journalism project and give a public screening/presentation. Credit hours: 4. Prerequisite: MAC 3310 and 3311.