Summer Grad Courses in Media, Culture, and Communication

The Department of Media, Culture, and Communication (MCC) in Steinhardt asked us to circulate the following summer course descriptions to our students. If you have questions about the classes, please contact Jillian Sullivan ( in MCC directly.
Remember that courses in MCC are outside of GSAS. Draper students can only transfer a *maximum of eight credits* from outside GSAS to their degrees, so please contact Robert Dimit ( if you plan to enroll in one of the classes below this summer. 

MCC-GE 2147 Reality and Documentary TV
Professor Susan Murray
May 21 – June 8, 2012
Mon,Tue,Wed,Thu 10.00 AM – 12.45 PM
Class#: 4395 (4 credits)
This course will survey the historical development and shifting definitions of documentary and reality television. We will explore the ways in which television has understood and utilized non-fiction formats at particular historical moments; trace the formations and deployment of realist aesthetics; explore the ethical obligations/problematics of these forms and their practitioners; examine the implications and meanings of documentary/reality hybrids; and consider the reception of and cultural meanings derived from particular documentary and reality texts and subgenres.
MA Area of Study: Visual Culture and Cultural Studies

MCC-GE 2166 The Global City and Media Ethnography
Professor Allen Feldman
May 21 – June 8, 2012
Mon,Tue,Wed,Thu 4.55 PM – 7.40 PM
Class#: 1969 (4 credits)
This courses focuses on the theories and methods of media/sensory ethnography, visual culture, performance studies, through the linked topics of transcultural and trans-local processes, diaspora identities, the post colonial and human rights. The curriculum is aimed at graduate students from diverse disciplines who want to explore creative media practice as a research methodology. Through social historical and trans-cultural ethnographic perspectives practice-led pedagogy promotes a self-reflexive contextual and critical understanding of the use of media for the conduct and dissemination of research and the creation of social knowledge through participatory cultural production.
MA Area of Study: Global and Transcultural Communication; MA Research Course
MCC-GE 2137 Visual Cult/Politics of Memory: Global Perspective
Professor Marita Sturken
Buenos Aires, Argentina
June 4 – June 22, 2012
Class#: 2148 (4 credits)
*Requires Department Consent & Application
This course examines the intersections of visual culture, commemorative politics, social movements, and nationalism in an analysis of the politics of memory in the global context.  We will examine the debates and contestations over memorialization and artistic engagements with the memory of traumatic events in several key sites around the world, including Argentina, the United States, Chile, Germany, and South Africa.  The course will have a particular focus on the politics of memory at work in Argentina over the memory of its “dirty war” from 1976-1983, with visits to particular sites and projects in Buenos Aires in which artists, architects, and activists are engaging with questions of memory and the aftermath of trauma.  It will put these local sites into comparative dialogue with examples of artistic and architectural memorialization in other contexts such as the memorialization of 9/11 in the United States, of the Holocaust in Germany, of Apartheid in South Africa, and of the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile.
We will examine the key role of visual culture in the politics of remembrance and the relationship of commemorative politics to social movements.  The realization of memory through architecture, design, art, photography, digital media, and museums has been central to the politics of the memory of violence and trauma over the last few decades.  Through explorations of how art, photography, and design have played a key role in shaping cultural memory in these contexts, we will investigate the aesthetics of memory, the role of pedagogy in remembrance, the spatialization of memory, and the deployment of memory through these forms into political action.  The course will draw on the scholarship in visual culture and memory studies to examine the politics of memory from a global perspective.
The course will take place over a three week period in Buenos Aires, meeting regularly at the NYU-Buenos Aires site and with field trips to relevant sites in the city, including the Parque de la Memoria, ESMA (a former military school and site of torture that is now a museum and cultural center), the Plaza de Mayo, and Memoria Abierta, a nonprofit organization that has produced a Topografia de la Memoria through the work of designers and architects. We will take one trip to Rosario, 180 miles away, where the country’s first national Museum of Memory was recently opened and where grassroots memory art is visible in streets throughout the city.
Guest speakers in Buenos Aires will include architects, designers, and activists involved in memorial projects in the city. 
The course will be conducted in English, with additional recommended readings in Spanish for bilingual speakers.

Sample Syllabus

MCC-GE 2383 Topics Global: Censorship/Social Movements and Alternative Media
Professor Brett Gary
June 27 – August 14, 2012
Paris, France
Class#: 4177 (4 credits)
*Requires Department Consent & Application
This course will explore concepts of media censorship, cultural and political anxieties and instability, and social movement media, primarily in the United States and France. It will center on understanding how cultural hegemony is attained, but how established norms are  subverted and challenged through the formation of political and cultural counter-publics and resistance movements.
Examples will be drawn from the past fifty years in France and the US. The course will include walking tours that track the student uprisings in Paris in May ’68, Algerian and Vietnamese contestations of French colonialism, and the neighborhoods of self-exiled African American writers Richard Wright and James Baldwin. Other sites will also be visited, such as the church of Saint Bernard de la Chapelle (a symbolic focus of the contemporary movement for immigrants’ rights), and one of the locations of the altermondialiste (global social justice) movement ATTAC.  For the U.S. we will consider the Berkeley-based Free Speech movement, the civil rights and anti-war movements, and more recently, police management of the anti-war marches in 2003 and suppression of protests at the GOP conventions in 2004 and 2008, and the Occupy Wall Street movement.
While considering mainstream journalistic coverage of resistance movements, along with various forms of censorship in French and US media, we will also explore how resistance movements have developed their own communications strategies involving various media, including print, film, and social media, along with staging sit-ins, protests, marches, strikes, occupations and other techniques of mobilization and communication.   A variety of media formats will be reviewed, from tv, film and print media, to social media.  Please contact for a sample syllabus.  

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