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Comparative Media Studies
IAP/Spring 2024

CMS Home    CI-M Subjects for Undergraduate Majors    IAP only    Evaluations (Certificates Required)
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Undergraduate Subjects

CMS.100 Introduction to Media Studies
______

Undergrad (Fall, Spring) HASS Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
Prereq: None
Units: 3-3-6
Lecture: MW9.30-11 (4-253) or MW1-2.30 (14N-225) Lab: TBA
______
Offers an overview of the social, cultural, political, and economic impact of mediated communication on modern culture. Combines critical discussions with experiments working with different media. Media covered include radio, television, film, the printed word, and digital technologies. Topics include the nature and function of media, core media institutions, and media in transition. Enrollment limited.
Fall: E. Schiappa, I. Condry, B. Jacobson
Spring: C. Lee, E. Schiappa
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.150[J] Black Matters: Introduction to Black Studies
______

Undergrad (Spring) Arts + Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
(Same subject as 24.912[J], 21H.106[J], 21L.008[J], 21W.741[J], WGS.190[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Lecture: M2-5 (26-204)
______
Interdisciplinary survey of people of African descent that draws on the overlapping approaches of history, literature, anthropology, legal studies, media studies, performance, linguistics, and creative writing. Connects the experiences of African-Americans and of other American minorities, focusing on social, political, and cultural histories, and on linguistic patterns. Includes lectures, discussions, workshops, and required field trips that involve minimal cost to students.
D. Wood
No textbook information available

CMS.300 Game Studies
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
(Subject meets with CMS.841)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-3-6
______
Introduction to the interdisciplinary study of videogames as texts through an examination of their cultural, educational, and social functions in contemporary settings. Students play and analyze videogames while reading current research and theory from a variety of sources in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and industry. Assignments focus on game analysis in the context of the theories discussed in class. Includes regular reading, writing, and presentation exercises. No prior programming experience required. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 20.
M. Jakobsson

CMS.301 Game Design Methods
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Arts
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Lecture: TR11-12.30 (E25-117)
______
Provides an introduction to the process of designing games and playful experiences. Familiarizes students with concepts, methods, techniques and tools used in the design of a wide variety of games. Focuses on aspects of the process such as rapid prototyping, play testing, and design iteration using a player-centered approach. Students work in project groups where they engage with a series of confined exercises, practice communicating design ideas, and discuss their own and others work in a constructive manner. No prior programming experience required. Limited to 15.
S. Verrilli, M. Jakobsson
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.303 DJ History, Technique, and Technology
(New)
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Arts
(Subject meets with CMS.803)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Lecture: MW11-12.30 (E15-318)
______
Students explore a chosen contemporary or historical dance scene from around the world. Lectures examine the evolution of the craft and technologies of the DJ. Presents foundational practices of live DJ mixing; practice equipment is accessible to teams of students. Assignments include writing a report analyzing a book on DJ history or technique, producing a complete mix, and participation in an end-of-term performance. No prior experience is necessary, but students must sustain interest in some form of popular dance music, broadly defined. Graduate students complete additional assignments. Limited to 24.
P. Tan
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.306 Making Comics and Sequential Art
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Arts
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.806)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Applied introduction to comics and sequential art production. Builds skills in how to develop storylines; develop and draw characters, panels, and backgrounds; prepare for print production; and comprehend the basics of sequential language, composition, and layout. Students engage with crucial personal and political issues at stake across a range of comics genres: superhero, biographical, and countercultural. Addresses not just how we create comics, but why we create comics. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 16.
Staff

CMS.307 Critical Worldbuilding
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Arts
(Subject meets with CMS.807)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-3-6
______
Studies the design and analysis of invented (or constructed) worlds for narrative media, such as television, films, comics, and literary texts. Provides the practical, historical and critical tools with which to understand the function and structure of imagined worlds. Examines world-building strategies in the various media and genres in order to develop a critical and creative repertoire. Participants create their own invented worlds. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 13.
J. Diaz

CMS.309[J] Transmedia Storytelling: Modern Science Fiction
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Arts
(Same subject as 21W.763[J])
(Subject meets with CMS.809)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-2-7
Lecture: TR3-4.30 (66-144)
______
Explores transmedia storytelling by investigating how science fiction stories are told across different media, such as the short story, the novel, the screenplay, moving image, and games. Students consider issues of aesthetics, authorship, and genre, while also contextualizing discussion within the broader framework of the political issues raised by film, TV, and other kinds of science fiction texts. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
S. Lewitt
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.311[J] Media in Weimar and Nazi Germany
(New)
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Same subject as 21G.055[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 2-2-8
______
Debates over national and media identity in Weimar and Nazi Germany. Production and use of media under extreme political and social conditions with a focus on films (such as Nosferatu, Berlin, M, and Triumph des Willens) and other media. Media approached as both texts and systems. Considers the legacy of the period, in terms of stylistic influence (e.g. film noir), techniques of persuasion, and media's relationship to social and economic conditions. Taught in English. Enrollment limited.
Staff

CMS.313 Silent Film
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.813)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-3-6
______
Examines how the key elements of today's films - composition, continuity editing, lighting, narrative structure - were originally created. Studies the history of cinema, from its origins in the late 19th century to the transition to sound in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Students view a range of films (both mainstream and experimental) from all over the world, with a particular focus on US productions. Emphasis on how color, sound, and other developments paved the way for today's technological innovations. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
Staff

CMS.314[J] Phantasmal Media: Computer-Based Art Theory and Practice
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Arts
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Same subject as 21W.753[J])
(Subject meets with CMS.814)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Engages students in theory and practice of using computational techniques for developing expressive digital media works. Surveys approaches to understanding human imaginative processes, such as constructing concepts, metaphors, and narratives, and applies them to producing and understanding socially, culturally, and critically meaningful works in digital media. Readings engage a variety of theoretical perspectives from cognitive linguistics, literary and cultural theory, semiotics, digital media arts, and computer science. Students produce interactive narratives, games, and related forms of software art. Some programming and/or interactive web scripting experience (e.g., Flash, Javascript) is desirable. Students taking the graduate version complete a project requiring more in-depth theoretical engagement.
Staff

CMS.315[J] Understanding Television
(New)
______

Not offered academic year 2023-2024Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities Can be repeated for credit
(Same subject as 21L.432[J])
(Subject meets with CMS.915)
Prereq: One subject in Literature or Comparative Media Studies
Units: 3-0-9
______
A cultural approach to television's evolution as a technology and system of representation. Considers television as a system of storytelling and mythmaking, and as a cultural practice studied from anthropological, literary, and cinematic perspectives. Focuses on prime-time commercial broadcasting, the medium's technological and economic history, and theoretical perspectives. Considerable television viewing and readings in media theory and cultural interpretation are required. Previously taught topics include American Television: A Cultural History. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
Staff

CMS.334[J] South Asian America: Transnational Media, Culture, and History
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
(Same subject as 21W.788[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Lecture: TR1-2.30 (2-103)
______
Examines the history of South Asian immigration, sojourning, and settlement from the 1880s to the present. Focuses on the US as one node in the global circulation, not only of people, but of media, culture and ideas, through a broader South Asian diaspora. Considers the concept of "global media" historically; emphasis on how ideas about, and self-representations of, South Asians have circulated via books, political pamphlets, performance, film, video/cassette tapes, and the internet. Students analyze and discuss scholarly writings, archival documents, memoirs, fiction, blogs and films, and write papers drawing on course materials, lectures, and discussions. Limited to 18.
V. Bald
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.335[J] Short Attention Span Documentary
______

Not offered academic year 2023-2024Undergrad (Spring) HASS Arts
(Same subject as 21W.790[J])
(Subject meets with 21W.890)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Focuses on the production of short (1- to 5-minute) digital video documentaries: a form of non-fiction filmmaking that has proliferated in recent years due to the ubiquity of palm-sized and mobile phone cameras and the rise of web-based platforms, such as YouTube. Students shoot, edit, workshop and revise a series of short videos meant to engage audiences in a topic, introduce them to new ideas, and/or persuade them. Screenings and discussions cover key principles of documentary film - narrative, style, pace, point of view, argument, character development - examining how they function and change in short format. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 16.
Staff

CMS.336[J] Social Justice and The Documentary Film
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Arts
(Same subject as 21W.786[J])
(Subject meets with CMS.836)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Lecture: R EVE (7-10 PM) (2-103)
______
Explores the history and current state of social-issue documentary. Examines how cultural and political upheaval and technological change have converged at different moments to bring about new waves of activist documentary film production. Particular focus on films and other non-fiction media of the present and recent past. Students screen and analyze a series of key films and work in groups to produce their own short documentary using digital video and computer-based editing. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 18.
S. Ascher
Textbooks (Spring 2024)

CMS.338 Innovation in Documentary: Technologies and Techniques
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Arts
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.838)
Prereq: CMS.100 or permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
______
Discusses emerging technologies and techniques available to media-makers (e.g., location-based technologies, transmedia storytelling, crowdsourcing, and interactivity) and their implications on the film and television documentary. Studies the development of these tools and considers the many new directions in which they may take the genre. Includes screenings, meetings with documentary makers, and an experimental component in which students can explore new approaches to documentary production. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
Staff

CMS.339 Virtual Reality and Immersive Media Production
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Arts
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.839)
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
______
Provides an overview of historical developments and current innovations in virtual reality (e.g., gear, software, and storytelling techniques) and looks into new trends in augmented, mixed and holographic reality. Includes practical instruction and a step-by-step exploration of the fundamentals of virtual reality creation - from new visual languages and grammars, to storyboarding, scripting, sound design and editing, to new and innovative ways to capture, scan and reproduce 360-degree images. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 18.
Staff

CMS.340 Immersive Media Studies
______

Not offered academic year 2023-2024Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
(Subject meets with CMS.865)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Critical examination of the history, aesthetics, and politics of virtual reality and related media. Focuses on virtual space and embodiment; cultural reception and industry hype; accessibility, surveillance, and data privacy; and debates surrounding the use of immersive media in social, work, art, and entertainment contexts. Projects include experimentation with VR development tools and critical analysis of existing immersive works. Graduate version includes additional research. Enrollment limited to 15.
P. Roquet

CMS.341 Immersive Social Worlds
(New)
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Undergrad (Fall) HASS Social Sciences
(Subject meets with CMS.941)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Focuses on critical media sociology of immersive social worlds, from digital environments and avatar-based worlds to live action role-play (LARP) and theme parks. Draws on both historical and contemporary cases. Investigates key issues including communication and community; authorship and co-creativity; embodiment and identity; and ownership, governance, and management. Attention given to cultural and socio-technical nature of these environments and their ongoing construction within a broader media system. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Enrollment limited to 15.
T. L. Taylor

CMS.342[J] Designing Virtual Worlds
(New)
______

Undergrad (Fall)
(Same subject as 2.177[J])
(Subject meets with 2.178[J], CMS.942[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-1-2 [P/D/F]
______
Three primary areas of focus are: creating new Virtual Reality experiences; mapping the state of emerging tools; and hosting guests - leaders in the VR/XR community, who serve as coaches for projects. Students have significant leeway to customize their own learning environment. As the field is rapidly evolving, each semester focuses on a new aspect of virtual worlds, based on the current state of innovations. Students work in teams of interdisciplinary peers from Berklee College of Music and Harvard University. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
K. Zolot

CMS.343[J] The Art and Science of Time Travel
(New)
______

Graduate (Fall)
(Same subject as 2.984[J])
Prereq: 8.02 and 18.02
Units: 3-0-9
______
Explores time travel and other physical paradoxes—black holes, wormholes, and the multiverse—in the contexts of human narrative and contemporary scientific understanding. Instruction provided in the fundamental science of time travel in relativity and quantum mechanics. Students read and view classic time travel narratives in visual art and in film, and construct their own original time travel narratives. Limited to 20.
S. Lloyd, M. Reilly

CMS.351[J] Digital Media in Japan and Korea
______

Not offered academic year 2023-2024Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
(Same subject as 21G.067[J])
(Subject meets with 21G.597)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Examines the social, cultural, and political stakes of digital culture in Japan and Korea. Focuses on digital media use (and abuse), including the internet, streaming and mobile media, gaming, robots, and augmented realities; the digital remediation of older media; and methods for the study of online life. By considering how digital media use has developed in each country and reshaped identity, politics, public space, and creative practice, students build a conceptual and critical vocabulary for the comparative study of algorithmic cultures. Taught in English.
P. Roquet

CMS.352[J] Cinema in Japan and Korea
______

Not offered academic year 2023-2024Undergrad (Spring) HASS Arts
(Same subject as 21G.094[J])
(Subject meets with 21G.594)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Focuses on landmark art cinema from both countries while providing a thorough introduction to film style. Each week examines a different component of film form, using the close analysis of specific films in their cultural and historical context. Explores the use of video essays as a form of critical analysis. Taught in English.
P. Roquet

CMS.353[J] The New Latin American Novel
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Same subject as 21G.072[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Students read newly translated, recent fiction from Latin America and consider contemporary issues in, and approaches to, reading and writing literature in the 21st century. Debates the concept of contemporary in these texts and whether we can still talk about a Latin American novel. Reflects on issues of interpretation, authorship, gender, genre, media, ideology and theories of the novel, Latin American literary history, and translation. Authors may include César Aira, Mario Levrero, Samanta Schweblin, Yuri Herrera, Ena Lucía Portela, Valeria Luiselli, Roberto Bolaño, Marlon James, and J. P. Cuenca. Enrollment limited.
P. Duong

CMS.354[J] Japanese Media Cultures
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
(Same subject as 21G.065[J])
(Subject meets with 21G.593)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Lecture: MW1-2.30 (1-379)
______
Examines storytelling media in twentieth and twenty-first century Japan, situating emerging media aesthetics and practices alongside broader shifts in cultural and social life. Engages with pivotal works in a wide range of media including film, literature, anime, manga, and video games, as well as critical concepts in Japanese media studies. Taught in English. 21G.593 includes additional work in Japanese. Enrollment limited.
Consult P. Roquet
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.355[J] Latin America and the Global Sixties: Counterculture and Revolution
______

Not offered academic year 2023-2024Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
(Same subject as 21G.070[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Close reading of political issues, cultural artifacts, and social actors of Latin America during and in the wake of the revolutionary 1960s. Examines how culture and politics addressed the need to conceptually organize a series of events that were equally momentous and confusing. Questions the established stereotypes and assumptions about Latin America and the sixties that are portrayed in its contemporary, often nostalgic, revivals. Focuses on the ideas that defined Latin America's participation in a global trend of political upheavals, emerging youth cultures, and demands for social justice. Taught in English. Enrollment limited.
P. Duong

CMS.356[J] Advertising and Media: Comparative Perspectives
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Same subject as 21G.036[J])
(Subject meets with 21G.190, CMS.888)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Compares modern and contemporary advertising culture in China, the US, and other emerging markets. First half focuses on branding in the old media environment; second half introduces the changing practice of advertising in the new media environment. Topics include branding and positioning, media planning, social media campaigns, cause marketing 2.0, social TV, and mobility marketing. Required lab work includes interactive sessions in branding a team product for the US (or a European country) and China markets. Taught in English and requires no knowledge of Chinese. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
Staff

CMS.357[J] Creation of a Continent: Media Representations of Hispanic America, 1492 to present
______

Not offered academic year 2023-2024Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
(Same subject as 21G.731[J], 21H.274[J])
Prereq: One intermediate Spanish subject or permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
______
Traces the creation of a new literature in Spanish to record and interpret New World experiences. Begins with excerpts from Columbus's diary and ends with writings on the late 19th-century Cuban and Puerto Rican independence movements. Pairs some of these pre-20th-century texts with more recent literary and film interpretations of the first 400 years of Hispanic American history. Conducted in Spanish.
Staff

CMS.358[J] The Short Form: Literature and New Media Cultures in the Hispanic World
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
(Same subject as 21G.736[J])
Prereq: One intermediate subject in Spanish or permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
Lecture: R EVE (7-10 PM) (4-253)
______
Examines the aesthetics of the brief form across a variety of media and genres in Latin America and Spain, from short stories and snapshots to newspapers and Twitter. Explores the history and social significance of four short genres in the Hispanic world: the short story, the crónica, the poem, and the song. Discusses the rich literary and critical tradition that relates narrative length and temporality to the prose and the lyric in Spanish speaking cultures. With an emphasis on the 20th- and 21st-century epistemologies of acceleration and the remediation of literary theories of brevity, analyzes the relationship between temporality, aesthetic form, and media technologies, and the way these topics have taken shape in the imagination of writers, artists, and audiences in historically specific and politically significant contexts. Taught in Spanish. Limited to 18.
P. Duong
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.359[J] Three Kingdoms: From History to Fiction, Comic, Film, and Game
(New)
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
(Same subject as 21G.042[J], 21H.352[J], 21L.492[J])
(Subject meets with 21G.133)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Lecture: TR1-2.30 (14E-310)
______
Analyzing core chapters of the great Chinese epic novel, Three Kingdoms, and its adaptations across diverse media, considers what underlies the appeal of this classic narrative over the centuries. Through focus on historical events in the period 206 BC to AD 280, examines the representation of power, diplomacy, war, and strategy, and explores the tension among competing models of political authority and legitimacy. Covers basic elements of classical Chinese political and philosophical thought, and literary and cultural history. Final group project involves digital humanities tools. Readings in translation. Films and video in Chinese with English subtitles.
E. Teng
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.360 Introduction to Civic Media
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.860)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Examines civic media in comparative, transnational and historical perspectives. Introduces various theoretical tools, research approaches, and project design methods. Students engage with multimedia texts on concepts such as citizen journalism, transmedia activism, media justice, and civic, public, radical, and tactical media. Case studies explore civic media across platforms (print, radio, broadcast, internet), contexts (from local to global, present-day to historical), and use (dialogic, contentious, hacktivist). As a final project, students develop a case study or project proposal. Students taking the graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 20.
Staff

CMS.361 Networked Social Movements: Media and Mobilization
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Social Sciences
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.861)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Subject Cancelled Subject Cancelled
______
Provides an overview of social movement studies as a body of theoretical and empirical work, with an emphasis on understanding the relationship between social movements and the media. Explores multiple methods of social movement investigation, including textual and media analysis, surveys, interviews, focus groups, participant observation, and co-research. Covers recent innovations in social movement theory, as well as new data sources and tools for research and analysis. Includes short papers, a literature review, and a final research project. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 16.
A. Gibson

CMS.362 Civic Media Collaborative Design Studio
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Social Sciences Can be repeated for credit
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.862)
Prereq: One subject in CMS or MAS
Units: 3-0-9
______
Project-based studio focusing on collaborative design of civic media provides a service-learning opportunity for students interested in working with community organizations. Multidisciplinary teams create civic media projects based on real-world community needs. Covers co-design methods and best practices to include the user community in iterative stages of project ideation, design, implementation, testing, and evaluation. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 16.
Staff

CMS.374[J] Transmedia Art, Extraction, and Environmental Justice
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Arts
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Same subject as 4.376[J])
(Subject meets with CMS.877)
Prereq: None
Units: 2-3-7
______
Exploration of today's extractive economies and the role that artists, media-makers, and transmedia producers play in shaping public perception, individual choices, and movement-building towards sustainability. Traces the contingent geological, material, community, and toxic histories of extracted materials used throughout our built environment, as well as civic resistance and reform that could alter extraction practices. Scaffolded workshops with artists and media producers support students' production of creative documentary and other media projects. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
Staff

CMS.375 Reading Climate Through Media
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
(Subject meets with CMS.875)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Explores how climate is construed in the contemporary media in order to gain a better understanding of how views of climate change are shaped and received in the public sphere. Studies the pathways that take us from climate science to media content, from the big data of global scale to the particulars and narratives of the human experience. Surveys a variety of media forms--reports, articles, comics, videos, films, photography, poetry and fiction--that reflect on the contemporary human challenges of dealing with a changing natural environment of our own making. Emphasizes the role of media in shaping public opinion, both in the US and globally, and its influence on public (and voter) perceptions on which a vast body of regulation and funding for environmental management is based. Students work individually and in teams to produce a selection of the media forms studied. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 20.
J. Paradis

CMS.376 History of Media and Technology
______

Not offered academic year 2023-2024Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities Communication Intensive HASS
(Subject meets with CMS.876)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Surveys the interrelated histories of communications media and technological development, from the emergence of 19th-century forms of mass print media and telegraphy, to sound capture and image-based forms (e.g., film, radio, and television), to the shift from analog to digital cultures. Examines how new forms of communication exert social, political, and cultural influences in the global context. Explores how technological innovation and accelerating media affect social values and behaviors in the popular and global adoption of a media device. Includes two papers and a research project on aspects of media history. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Enrollment limited.
J. Paradis

CMS.400 Media Systems and Texts
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
Prereq: One subject in Comparative Media Studies or permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
Lecture: F2-5 (14E-310)
______
Explores theoretical, historical and critical approaches to the comparative study of media. Examines media from three perspectives: the historical evolution of particular media forms (media in transition); the migration of particular narratives across different media forms (trans-media texts); and the ways in which media texts and systems cross cultural and national boundaries (global crossings). Instruction and practice in written and oral communication provided.
P. Roquet
Textbooks (Spring 2024)

CMS.405 Visual Design
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: 21L.011 or CMS.100
Units: 3-0-9
______
Examines the process of making and sharing visual artifacts using a trans-cultural, trans-historical, constructionist approach. Explores the relationship between perceived reality and the narrative imagination, how an author's choice of medium and method constrains the work, how desire is integrated into the structure of a work, and how the cultural/economic opportunity for exhibition/distribution affects the realization of a work. Instruction and practice in written and oral communication provided. Limited to 20.
Staff

CMS.407 Sound Studies
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Explores the ways in which humans experience the realm of sound and how perceptions and technologies of sound emerge from cultural, economic, and historical worlds. Examines how environmental, linguistic, and musical sounds are construed cross-culturally. Describes the rise of telephony, architectural acoustics, and sound recording, and the globalized travel of these technologies. Addresses questions of ownership, property, authorship, and copyright in the age of digital file sharing. Particular focus on how the sound/noise boundary is imagined, created and modeled across diverse sociocultural and scientific contexts. Auditory examples--sound art, environmental recordings, music--will be provided and invited. Instruction and practice in written and oral communication provided. Limited to 20.
Staff

CMS.586[J] Introduction to Education: Looking Forward and Looking Back on Education
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Social Sciences Communication Intensive HASS
(Same subject as 11.124[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-6-3
______
One of two introductory subjects on teaching and learning science and mathematics in a variety of K-12 settings. Topics include education and media, education reform, the history of education, simulations, games, and the digital divide. Students gain practical experience through weekly visits to schools, classroom discussions, selected readings, and activities to develop a critical and broad understanding of past and current forces that shape the goals and processes of education, and explores the challenges and opportunities of teaching. Students work collaboratively and individually on papers, projects, and in-class presentations. Limited to 25.
M. Hughes

CMS.587[J] Introduction to Education: Understanding and Evaluating Education
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Social Sciences Communication Intensive HASS
(Same subject as 11.125[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-6-3
Lecture: TR2.30-4 (56-154) Lab: TBA
______
One of two introductory subjects on teaching and learning science and mathematics in a variety of K-12 settings. Topics include student misconceptions, formative assessment, standards and standardized testing, multiple intelligences, and educational technology. Students gain practical experience through weekly visits to schools, classroom discussions, selected readings, and activities to develop a critical and broad understanding of past and current forces that shape the goals and processes of education, and explores the challenges and opportunities of teaching. Students work collaboratively and individually on papers, projects, and in-class presentations. Limited to 25.
J. Gardony, M. Hughes
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.590[J] Design and Development of Games for Learning
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
(Same subject as 11.127[J])
(Subject meets with 11.252[J], CMS.863[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-6-3
Lecture: TR1-2.30 (E25-117) Lab: TBA
______
Immerses students in the process of building and testing their own digital and board games in order to better understand how we learn from games. Explores the design and use of games in the classroom in addition to research and development issues associated with computer-based (desktop and handheld) and non-computer-based media. In developing their own games, students examine what and how people learn from them (including field testing of products), as well as how games can be implemented in educational settings. All levels of computer experience welcome. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
E. Klopfer, C. Feeley
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.591[J] Educational Theory and Practice I
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Social Sciences
(Same subject as 11.129[J])
Prereq: None. Coreq: CMS.586
Units: 3-0-9
______
Concentrates on core set of skills and knowledge necessary for teaching in secondary schools. Topics include classroom management, student behavior and motivation, curriculum design, educational reform, and the teaching profession. Classroom observation is a key component. Assignments include readings from educational literature, written reflections on classroom observations, practice teaching and constructing curriculum. The first of the three-course sequence necessary to complete the Teacher Education Program. Limited to 15; preference to juniors and seniors.
G. Schwanbeck

CMS.592[J] Educational Theory and Practice II
______

Undergrad (IAP)
(Same subject as 11.130[J])
Prereq: CMS.591
Units: 3-0-9
______
Concentrates on the theory and psychology associated with student learning. Topics include educational theory, educational psychology, and theories of learning. Students assume responsibility for full-time teaching of two or more classes at their designated school. Class sessions focus on debriefing and problem-solving. Second of a three-course sequence necessary to complete the Teacher Education Program.
G. Schwanbeck
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.593[J] Educational Theory and Practice III
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Social Sciences
(Same subject as 11.131[J])
Prereq: CMS.592
Units: 3-0-9
Lecture: TR4-5.30 (56-154)
______
Students continue their IAP student teaching through mid March. Topics include educational psychology, theories of learning, and using technology and evaluating its effectiveness to enhance student learning. Assignments include readings from educational literature, written reflections on student teaching, presentations on class topics and creating a project that supports student learning at the school where the MIT student is teaching. This is the third of the three-course sequence necessary to complete the Teacher Education Program.
G. Schwanbeck
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.594 Education Technology Studio
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Social Sciences Can be repeated for credit
(Subject meets with CMS.894)
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
______
Uses media and technology to develop new forms of learning experiences for schools, workplace, and informal settings. Students participate in a range of projects that hone understanding and skills in learning science, instructional design, development, and evaluation. Topics vary but include developing new media and activities for massive open online courses, creating practice spaces for practitioners in the professions and humanities, and developing new approaches to assessment in complex learning environments. May be repeated for credit with permission of instructor if project content differs. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
B. Reich

CMS.595 Learning, Media, and Technology
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Social Sciences
(Subject meets with CMS.895)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Lecture: MW1-2.30 (E15-335)
______
Addresses new digital technologies that are transforming learning across the lifespan - from reading apps for toddlers, intelligent tutors for school children, and blended learning for college students, to MOOCs for adults and interest-based learning communities for hobbyists. Focuses on how these technologies shape people's lives and learning. Students explore how education technologies operate in complex social-technical systems, and acquire analytic tools and strategies that can be applied to other complex systems. They also refine their thinking about the opportunities, limits, and tradeoffs of educational technology. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
J. Reich
Textbooks (Spring 2024)

CMS.603 Independent Study
______

Undergrad (Fall, IAP, Spring, Summer) Can be repeated for credit
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units arranged
TBA.
______
Opportunity for individual research in comparative media studies. Registration subject to prior arrangement for subject matter and supervision by a faculty member.
Fall: Staff
IAP: Staff
Spring: Staff
Summer: Staff
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.604 Independent Study
______

Undergrad (Fall, IAP, Spring, Summer) Can be repeated for credit
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units arranged [P/D/F]
TBA.
______
Opportunity for individual research in comparative media studies. Registration subject to prior arrangement for subject matter and supervision by a faculty member.
Fall: D. Solomon
IAP: D. Solomon
Spring: D. Solomon
Summer: D. Solomon
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.605 Media Internship
______

Undergrad (Fall, IAP, Spring) Can be repeated for credit
Prereq: None
Units arranged
TBA.
______
Part-time internships arranged in Boston and the wider Northeast for students wishing to develop professional experience in a media production organization or industry. Students work with a CMS faculty advisor to produce a white paper on a research topic of interest based on their intern experience. Students planning to take this subject must contact the instructor before the end of the preceding term.
Fall: Staff
IAP: Paradis, James G.
Spring: Staff
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.606 Media Internship
______

Graduate (Fall, IAP, Spring) Can be repeated for credit
Prereq: None
Units arranged
TBA.
______
Part-time internships arranged in Boston and the wider Northeast for students wishing to develop professional experience in a media production organization or industry. Students work with a CMS/W faculty advisor to produce a white paper on a research topic of interest based on their intern experience. Students planning to take this subject must contact the instructor before the end of the preceding term.
Fall: Staff
IAP: Staff
Spring: Staff
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.609[J] The Word Made Digital
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Arts
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Same subject as 21W.764[J])
(Subject meets with CMS.846)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Video games, digital art and literature, online texts, and source code are analyzed in the contexts of history, culture, and computing platforms. Approaches from poetics and computer science are used to understand the non-narrative digital uses of text. Students undertake critical writing and creative computer projects to encounter digital writing through practice. This involves reading and modifying computer programs; therefore previous programming experience, although not required, will be helpful. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 18.
N. Montfort

CMS.611[J] Creating Video Games
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Arts
(Same subject as 6.4570[J])
Prereq: 6.100A or CMS.301
Units: 3-3-6
______
Introduces students to the complexities of working in small, multidisciplinary teams to develop video games. Covers creative design and production methods, stressing design iteration and regular testing across all aspects of game development (design, visual arts, music, fiction, and programming). Assumes a familiarity with current video games, and the ability to discuss games critically. Previous experience in audio design, visual arts, or project management recommended. Limited to 36.
P. Tan, S. Verrilli, R. Eberhardt, A. Grant

CMS.614[J] Critical Internet Studies
______

Undergrad (Fall, Spring) HASS Social Sciences
(Same subject as 21W.791[J], WGS.280[J])
(Subject meets with CMS.867)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Lecture: W2-5 (56-169)
______
Focuses on the power dynamics in internet-related technologies (including social networking platforms, surveillance technology, entertainment technologies, and emerging media forms). Theories and readings focus on the cultural, social, economic, and political aspects of internet use and design, with a special attention to gender and race. Topics include: online communication and communities, algorithms and search engines, activism and online resistance, surveillance and privacy, content moderation and platform governance, and the spread of dis- and misinformation. Instruction and practice in written and oral communication provided. Students taking the graduate version complete additional readings and assignments.
Fall: A. Gibson
Spring: T. L. Taylor
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.615 Games for Social Change
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.815)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Examines how various movements have tried over time to create games that enable players to enact social change. Students collaborate in teams to design and prototype games for social change and civic engagement. In a workshop setting, teams develop games and showcase them at an end-of-term open house. Features guest speakers from academia and industry as well as the nonprofit sector and the gaming community. Readings explore principals of game design and the social history of games. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
E. Gordon

CMS.616[J] Games and Culture
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Social Sciences
(Same subject as 21W.768[J], WGS.125[J])
(Subject meets with CMS.868)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Examines the social, cultural, economic, and political aspects of digital games. Topics include the culture of gameplay, gaming styles, communities, spectatorship and performance, gender and race within digital gaming, and the politics and economics of production processes, including co-creation and intellectual property. Students taking graduate version complete additional readings and assignments.
Y. Rao

CMS.618[J] Interactive Narrative
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Arts
(Same subject as 21L.489[J], 21W.765[J])
(Subject meets with CMS.845)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Provides a workshop environment for understanding interactive narrative (print and digital) through critical writing, narrative theory, and creative practice. Covers important multisequential books, hypertexts, and interactive fictions. Students write critically, and give presentations, about specific works; write a short multisequential fiction; and develop a digital narrative system, which involves significant writing and either programming or the structuring of text. Programming ability helpful.
N. Montfort

CMS.619[J] Gender and Media Studies
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
(Same subject as WGS.111[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Lecture: MW3.30-5 (56-180)
______
Examines representations of race, gender, and sexual identity in the media. Considers issues of authorship, spectatorship, and the ways in which various media (film, television, print journalism, advertising) enable, facilitate, and challenge these social constructions in society. Studies the impact of new media and digital media through analysis of gendered and racialized language and embodiment online in blogs and vlogs, avatars, and in the construction of cyberidentities. Provides introduction to feminist approaches to media studies by drawing from work in feminist film theory, cultural studies, gender and politics, and cyberfeminism.
R. Neutill
Textbooks (Spring 2024)

CMS.621 Fans and Fan Cultures
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Undergrad (Fall, Spring) HASS Humanities
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Lecture: MW11-12.30 (66-148)
______
Examines media audiences - specifically, fans - and the subcultures that evolve around them. Examines the different historical, contemporary and transnational understandings of fans. Explores products of fan culture, i.e., clubs, fiction, "vids," activism, etc. Readings place these products within the context of various disciplines. Students consider the concept of the "aca-fan" and reflect on their own "fannish" practices. Requires several short papers. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 20.
Fall: A. Schiappa
Spring: KL Wong
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.627 Imagination, Computation, and Expression Studio
______

Not offered academic year 2023-2024Undergrad (Spring) HASS Arts Can be repeated for credit
(Subject meets with CMS.827)
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
______
Aims to help students invent and analyze new forms of computer-based art, gaming, social media, interactive narrative, and related technologies. Students participate in a range of new and ongoing projects that are designed to hone skills in research, development, design, and evaluation. Topics vary from year to year; examples include cognitive science and artificial intelligence-based approaches to the arts; social aspects of game design; computing for social empowerment; and game character, avatar, and online profile design. May be repeated for credit with permission of instructor. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
Staff

CMS.628 Advanced Identity Representation
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Arts Can be repeated for credit
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.828)
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
______
Studies and develops computational identity systems for games, social media, virtual worlds, and computer-based artwork. An interdisciplinary set of readings (cognitive science, computer science, art, and sociology) looks at both the underlying technology and the social/cultural aspects of identity. Includes topics such as developing improved characters, avatars, agents, social networking profiles, and online accounts. Engages students in on-going research projects. Explores how social categories are formed in digital media, including gender, class, and ethnicity, along with everyday social categories (such as those based on personality or shared media preferences). Experience required in one of the following: computer programming, graphic design, web development, interaction design, or social science research methods. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
Staff

CMS.631 Data Storytelling Studio
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Arts
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.831)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Explores visualization methodologies to conceive and represent systems and data, e.g., financial, media, economic, political, etc. Covers basic methods for research, cleaning, and analysis of datasets. Introduces creative methods of data presentation and storytelling. Considers the emotional, aesthetic, ethical, and practical effects of different presentation methods as well as how to develop metrics for assessing impact. Work centers on readings, visualization exercises, and a final project. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
Staff

CMS.633 Digital Humanities: Topics, Techniques, and Technologies
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.833)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Examines theory and practice of using computational methods in the emerging field of digital humanities. Develops an understanding of key digital humanities concepts such as data representation, digital archives, information visualization, and user interaction through the study of contemporary research in conjunction with working on real-world projects for scholarly, educational, and public needs. Students create prototypes, write design papers, and conduct user studies. Some programming and design experience is helpful but not required. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
Staff

CMS.634 Designing Interactions
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Elective Can be repeated for credit
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with 4.569[J], CMS.834[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-3-6
______
Explores the future of mobile interactions and pervasive computing, taking into consideration design, technological, social and business aspects. Discusses theoretical works on human-computer interaction, mobile media and interaction design, and covers research and design methods. Students work in multidisciplinary teams and participate in user-centric design projects aimed to study, imagine and prototype concepts illustrating the future of mobile applications and ubiquitous computing. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Repeatable for credit with permission of instructor. Limited to 12.
Staff

CMS.635 Designing Active Archives
______

Undergrad (Fall) HASS Humanities
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.835)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Investigates the digital archive as an emerging platform for critical inquiry and creative engagement through analysis, conceptualization, and experimentation with user-oriented design. Readings provide theoretical, analytical, and practical perspectives on topics such as participatory digital culture, data curation, visualization, and the archive's role in activism. Students work throughout the term to develop a group project. Students taking graduate version complete additional readings and assignments.
Staff

CMS.636 Extending the Museum
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Humanities
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.855)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Investigates the museum as a participatory public space and rethinks visitor engagement and museum education in light of digital technologies, including extended reality (XR) technologies. Students develop concepts, models, and prototypes that integrate physical and digital spaces in novel ways in close collaboration with partners at local museums. Readings provide theoretical, critical, and analytical foundations for collaborative class projects. Students taking graduate version complete additional readings and assignments.
Staff

CMS.701 Current Debates in Media
______

Undergrad (Fall, Spring) HASS Humanities
(Subject meets with CMS.901)
Prereq: CMS.100
Units: 3-0-9
Lecture: TR3-4.30 (2-103)
______
Addresses important, current debates in media with in-depth discussion of popular perceptions and policy implications. Students use multiple perspectives to analyze texts emanating from these debates, and present their findings through discussions and reports. Explores emerging topics (e.g., piracy and IP regimes, net neutrality, media effects, social media and social change, and changing literacies) across media forms and from various historical, transcultural, and methodological perspectives. Examines the framing of these issues, their ethical and policy implications, and strategies for repositioning the debate. Instruction and practice in written and oral communication provided. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
Fall: A. Gibson
Spring: P. Duong
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.702 Qualitative Research Methods
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Social Sciences
(Subject meets with CMS.802)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Lecture: T2-5 (56-191)
______
Focuses on a number of qualitative social science methods including interviewing, participant observation, focus groups, cultural probes, and visual sociology. Primary emphasis on understanding and learning concrete techniques that can be evaluated and utilized in any given project. Data organization and analysis will be addressed. Several advanced critical thematics are also covered, including ethics, reciprocity, "studying up," and risk. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
T. L. Taylor
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.S60[J] Special Subject: Rap Theory and Practice
______

Undergrad (Spring) HASS Arts Can be repeated for credit
(Same subject as 21L.S60[J])
(Subject meets with CMS.S96)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
URL: https://cmsw.mit.edu/cms-s60-cms-s96-rap-theory-and-practice/
Lecture: W2-5 (1-150)
______
To gain a deeper understanding of rap, students engage in the full process of creating rap music, including composing lyrics, recording, performing, and creating an EP length album. Existing rap music is studied, selected lyrics are analyzed, and possible reasons for the structure and success of different songs are presented in case studies. Students analyze rap songs, reflect on their own weekly activities in writing and present their work in class by playing recordings, performing and responding to each other in workshop discussions. Licensed for Spring 2024 by the Committee on Curricula. Limited to 10.
W. Jaco
Textbooks (Spring 2024)

CMS.S61 Special Subject: Comparative Media Studies
______

Undergrad (Fall, Spring) Can be repeated for credit
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units arranged
Lecture: MW10.30-12 (13-1143)
______
Seminar or lecture on a topic that is not covered in the regular curriculum.
Fall: E. Klopfer, S, Wharton
Spring: C. Urrea
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.S62 Special Subject: Comparative Media Studies
______

Undergrad (Fall) Can be repeated for credit
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units arranged
______
Seminar or lecture on a topic that is not covered in the regular curriculum.
K. Wong

CMS.S63 Special Subject: Comparative Media Studies
______

Undergrad (Fall) Can be repeated for credit
Prereq: None
Units arranged
______
Seminar or lecture on a topic that is not covered in the regular curriculum.
Y. Rao

CMS.THT Comparative Media Studies Pre-Thesis Tutorial
______

Undergrad (Fall, IAP, Spring, Summer)
Prereq: Permission of advisor
Units: 1-0-5
TBA.
______
Student works with an advisor to define his/her thesis. By the end of the term, student must have a substantial outline and bibilography for thesis and must have selected a three-person thesis committee. Advisor must approve outline and bibliography.
Fall: Staff
IAP: Staff
Spring: Staff
Summer: Staff
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.THU Undergraduate Thesis in Comparative Media Studies
______

Undergrad (Fall, IAP, Spring, Summer) Can be repeated for credit
Prereq: CMS.THT
Units arranged
TBA.
______
The CMS Undergraduate Thesis is a substantial research project or comparable exercise. A written thesis ranges in length from 35 to 50 pages. Digital projects are assessed on the quality of research and argumentation, as well as presentation, and must include a substantial written component. Student gives an oral presentation of his/her thesis at the end of the term. Thesis is not required for CMS majors.
Fall: Staff
IAP: Staff
Spring: Staff
Summer: Staff
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.UR Research in Comparative Media Studies
______

Undergrad (Fall, IAP, Spring, Summer) Can be repeated for credit
Prereq: None
Units arranged [P/D/F]
TBA.
______
Individual participation in an ongoing research project. For students in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.
Fall: Staff
IAP: Staff
Spring: Staff
Summer: Staff
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.URG Research in Comparative Media Studies
______

Undergrad (Fall, IAP, Spring, Summer) Can be repeated for credit
Prereq: None
Units arranged
TBA.
______
Individual participation in an ongoing research project. For students in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.
Fall: Staff
IAP: Staff
Spring: Staff
Summer: Staff
No required or recommended textbooks

Graduate Subjects

CMS.790 Media Theories and Methods I
______

Graduate (Fall)
Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 3-3-6
______
An advanced introduction to core theoretical and methodological issues in comparative media studies. Topics covered typically include the nature of theory, the gathering and evaluation of evidence, the relationship of media to reality, formal approaches to media analysis, the ethnographic documentation of media audiences, cultural hierarchy and taste, modes of production, models of readership and spectatorship.
W. Uricchio

CMS.791 Media Theories and Methods II
______

Graduate (Spring)
Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: CMS.790
Units: 3-3-6
______
An advanced introduction to core theoretical and methodological issues in comparative media studies. Topics covered typically include globalization, propaganda and persuasion, social and political effects of media change, political economy and the institutional analysis of media ownership, online communities, privacy and intellectual property, and the role of news and information within democratic cultures.
Staff

CMS.796 Major Media Texts
______

Graduate (Fall)
Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 3-3-6
______
Intensive close study and analysis of historically significant media "texts" that have been considered landmarks or have sustained extensive critical and scholarly discussion. Such texts may include oral epic, story cycles, plays, novels, films, opera, television drama and digital works. Emphasizes close reading from a variety of contextual and aesthetic perspectives. Syllabus varies each year, and may be organized around works that have launched new modes and genres, works that reflect upon their own media practices, or on stories that migrate from one medium to another. At least one of the assigned texts is collaboratively taught, and visiting lectures and discussions are a regular feature of the subject.
N. Montfort

CMS.801 Media in Transition
______

Graduate (Fall)
Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
______
Centers on historical eras in which the form and function of media technologies were radically transformed. Includes consideration of the "Gutenberg Revolution," the rise of modern mass media, and the "digital revolution," among other case studies of media transformation and cultural change. Readings in cultural and social history and historiographic method.
Staff

CMS.802 Qualitative Research Methods
______

Graduate (Spring)
(Subject meets with CMS.702)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Lecture: T2-5 (56-191)
______
Focuses on a number of qualitative social science methods including interviewing, participant observation, focus groups, cultural probes, and visual sociology. Primary emphasis on understanding and learning concrete techniques that can be evaluated and utilized  in any given project. Data organization and analysis will be addressed. Several advanced critical thematics are also covered, including ethics, reciprocity, "studying up," and risk. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
T. L. Taylor
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.803 DJ History, Technique, and Technology
(New)
______

Graduate (Spring)
(Subject meets with CMS.303)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Lecture: MW11-12.30 (E15-318)
______
Students explore a chosen contemporary or historical dance scene from around the world. Lectures examine the evolution of the craft and technologies of the DJ. Presents foundational practices of live DJ mixing; practice equipment is accessible to teams of students. Assignments include writing a report analyzing a book on DJ history or technique, producing a complete mix, and participation in an end-of-term performance. No prior experience is necessary, but students must sustain interest in some form of popular dance music, broadly defined. Graduate students complete additional assignments. Limited to 24.
Staff
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.806 Making Comics and Sequential Art
______

Graduate (Spring)
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.306)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Applied introduction to comics and sequential art production. Builds skills in how to develop storylines; develop and draw characters, panels, and backgrounds; prepare for print production; and comprehend the basics of sequential language, composition, and layout. Students engage with crucial personal and political issues at stake across a range of comics genres: superhero, biographical, and countercultural. Addresses not just how we create comics, but why we create comics. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 16.
M. Cordero

CMS.807 Critical Worldbuilding
______

Graduate (Fall)
(Subject meets with CMS.307)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-3-6
______
Studies the design and analysis of invented (or constructed) worlds for narrative media, such as television, films, comics, and literary texts. Provides the practical, historical and critical tools with which to understand the function and structure of imagined worlds. Examines world-building strategies in the various media and genres in order to develop a critical and creative repertoire. Participants create their own invented worlds. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 13.
J. Diaz

CMS.809 Transmedia Storytelling: Modern Science Fiction
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Graduate (Fall)
(Subject meets with 21W.763[J], CMS.309[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-2-7
______
Explores transmedia storytelling by investigating how science fiction stories are told across different media, such as the short story, the novel, the screenplay, moving image, and games. Students consider issues of aesthetics, authorship, and genre, while also contextualizing discussion within the broader framework of the political issues raised by film, TV, and other kinds of science fiction texts. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
Staff

CMS.813 Silent Film
______

Not offered academic year 2023-2024Graduate (Fall)
(Subject meets with CMS.313)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-3-6
______
Examines how the key elements of today's films - composition, continuity editing, lighting, narrative structure - were originally created. Studies the history of cinema, from its origins in the late 19th century to the transition to sound in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Students view a range of films (both mainstream and experimental) from all over the world, with a particular focus on US productions. Emphasis on how color, sound, and other developments paved the way for today's technological innovations. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
H. Hendershot

CMS.814 Phantasmal Media: Computer-Based Art Theory and Practice
______

Graduate (Spring)
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with 21W.753[J], CMS.314[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Engages students in theory and practice of using computational techniques for developing expressive digital media works. Surveys approaches to understanding human imaginative processes, such as constructing concepts, metaphors, and narratives, and applies them to producing and understanding socially, culturally, and critically meaningful works in digital media. Readings engage a variety of theoretical perspectives from cognitive linguistics, literary and cultural theory, semiotics, digital media arts, and computer science. Students produce interactive narratives, games, and related forms of software art. Some programming and/or interactive web scripting experience (e.g., Flash, Javascript) is desirable. Students taking the graduate version complete a project requiring more in-depth theoretical engagement.
D. F. Harrell

CMS.815 Games for Social Change
______

Graduate (Spring)
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.615)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Students will collaborate in teams to design and prototype games for social change and civic engagement. Run as a workshop in which student teams develop their games and showcase them at a semester-end open house. Features guest speakers from academia and industry as well as the non-profit sector and the gaming community. Readings will explore principals of game design, and the social history of games. Graduate students will complete additional assignments.
Staff

CMS.821 Fans and Fan Cultures
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Graduate (Spring)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Lecture: MW11-12.30 (66-148)
______
Examines media audiences - specifically, fans - and the subcultures that evolve around them. Examines the different historical, contemporary and transnational understandings of fans. Explores products of fan culture, i.e., clubs, fiction, "vids," activism, etc. Readings place these products within the context of various disciplines. Students consider the concept of the "aca-fan" and reflect on their own "fannish" practices. Requires several short papers. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 20.
E. Schiappa
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.827 Imagination, Computation, and Expression Studio
______

Not offered academic year 2023-2024Graduate (Spring) Can be repeated for credit
(Subject meets with CMS.627)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Aims to help students invent and analyze new forms of computer-based art, gaming, social media, interactive narrative, and related technologies. Students participate in a range of new and ongoing projects that are designed to hone skills in research, development, design, and evaluation. Topics vary from year to year; examples include cognitive science and artificial intelligence-based approaches to the arts; social aspects of game design; computing for social empowerment; and game character, avatar, and online profile design. May be repeated for credit with permission of instructor. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
Staff

CMS.828 Advanced Identity Representation
______

Not offered academic year 2023-2024Graduate (Fall) Can be repeated for credit
(Subject meets with CMS.628)
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
______
Studies and develops computational identity systems for games, social media, virtual worlds, and computer-based artwork. An interdisciplinary set of readings (cognitive science, computer science, art, and sociology) looks at both the underlying technology and the social/cultural aspects of identity. Includes topics such as developing improved characters, avatars, agents, social networking profiles, and online accounts. Engages students in on-going research projects. Explores how social categories are formed in digital media, including gender, class, and ethnicity, along with everyday social categories (such as those based on personality or shared media preferences). Experience required in one of the following: computer programming, graphic design, web development, interaction design, or social science research methods. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
D. F. Harrell

CMS.830 Studies in Film
______

Not offered academic year 2023-2024Graduate (Fall, Spring) Can be repeated for credit
(Subject meets with 21L.706)
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 3-3-6
______
Intensive study of films from particular periods, genres, or directors, or films focusing on specific formal or theoretical problems. Previous topics include The Contemporary Horror Film, Film Remixes, Film Narrative, Heroic Cinema, and Color in Film. Students taking graduate version complete different assignments. May be repeated for credit with permission of instructor if content differs. Limited to 12.
Staff

CMS.831 Data Storytelling Studio
______

Graduate (Spring)
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.631)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Explores visualization methodologies to conceive and represent systems and data, e.g., financial, media, economic, political, etc. Covers basic methods for research, cleaning, and analysis of datasets. Introduces creative methods of data presentation and storytelling. Considers the emotional, aesthetic, ethical, and practical effects of different presentation methods as well as how to develop metrics for assessing impact. Work centers on readings, visualization exercises, and a final project. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
Staff

CMS.833 Digital Humanities: Topics, Techniques, and Technologies
______

Graduate (Fall)
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.633)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Examines theory and practice of using computational methods in the emerging field of digital humanities. Develops an understanding of key digital humanities concepts such as data representation, digital archives, information visualization, and user interaction through the study of contemporary research in conjunction with working on real-world projects for scholarly, educational, and public needs. Students create prototypes, write design papers, and conduct user studies. Some programming and design experience is helpful but not required. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
Staff

CMS.834[J] Designing Interactions
______

Graduate (Spring) Can be repeated for credit
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Same subject as 4.569[J])
(Subject meets with CMS.634)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-3-6
______
Explores the future of mobile interactions and pervasive computing, taking into consideration design, technological, social and business aspects. Discusses theoretical works on human-computer interaction, mobile media and interaction design, and covers research and design methods. Students work in multidisciplinary teams and participate in user-centric design projects aimed to study, imagine and prototype concepts illustrating the future of mobile applications and ubiquitous computing. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Repeatable for credit with permission of instructor. Limited to 12.
Staff

CMS.835 Desiging Active Archives
______

Graduate (Spring)
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.635)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Investigates the digital archive as an emerging platform for critical inquiry and creative engagement through analysis, conceptualization, and experimentation with user-oriented design. Readings provide theoretical, analytical, and practical perspectives on topics such as participatory digital culture, data curation, visualization, and the archive's role in activism. Students work throughout the term to develop a group project. Students taking graduate version complete additional readings and assignments.
Staff

CMS.836 Social Justice and The Documentary Film
______

Graduate (Spring)
(Subject meets with 21W.786[J], CMS.336[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Lecture: R EVE (7-10 PM) (2-103)
______
Explores the history and current state of social-issue documentary. Examines how cultural and political upheaval and technological change have converged at different moments to bring about new waves of activist documentary film production. Particular focus on films and other non-fiction media of the present and recent past. Students screen and analyze a series of key films and work in groups to produce their own short documentary using digital video and computer-based editing. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 18.
S. Ascher
No textbook information available

CMS.837 Film, Music, and Social Change: Intersections of Media and Society
______

Graduate (Fall)
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with 21W.787)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Examines films from the 1950s onward that document music subcultures and moments of social upheaval. Combines screening films about free jazz, glam rock, punk, reggae, hip-hop, and other genres with an examination of critical/scholarly writings to illuminate the connections between film, popular music, and processes of social change. Students critique each film in terms of the social, political, and cultural world it documents, and the historical context and effects of the film's reception. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 18.
V. Bald

CMS.838 Innovation in Documentary: Technologies and Techniques
______

Graduate (Fall)
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.338)
Prereq: CMS.100 or permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
______
Discusses emerging technologies and techniques available to media-makers (e.g., location-based technologies, transmedia storytelling, crowdsourcing, and interactivity) and their implications on the film and television documentary. Studies the development of these tools and considers the many new directions in which they may take the genre. Includes screenings, meetings with documentary makers, and an experimental component in which students can explore new approaches to documentary production. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
W. Uricchio

CMS.839 Virtual Reality and Immersive Media Production
______

Graduate (Spring)
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.339)
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
______
Provides an overview of historical developments and current innovations in virtual reality (e.g., gear, software, and storytelling techniques) and looks into new trends in augmented, mixed and holographic reality. Includes practical instruction and a step-by-step exploration of the fundamentals of virtual reality creation - from new visual languages and grammars, to storyboarding, scripting, sound design and editing, to new and innovative ways to capture, scan and reproduce 360-degree images. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 18.
Staff

CMS.840 Literature and Film
______

Graduate (Spring) Can be repeated for credit
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with 21L.435)
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 3-3-6
______
Investigates relationships between the two media, including film adaptations as well as works linked by genre, topic, and style. Explores how artworks challenge and cross cultural, political, and aesthetic boundaries. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
Staff

CMS.841 Game Studies
______

Graduate (Fall)
(Subject meets with CMS.300)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-3-6
______
Introduction to the interdisciplinary study of videogames as texts through an examination of their cultural, educational, and social functions in contemporary settings. Students play and analyze videogames while reading current research and theory from a variety of sources in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and industry. Assignments focus on game analysis in the context of the theories discussed in class. Includes regular reading, writing, and presentation exercises. No prior programming experience required. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 20.
M. Jakobsson

CMS.844 Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities
______

Not offered academic year 2023-2024Graduate (Spring)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-1-8
______
Introduces programming through "free projects" in which students choose (or discover) the direction of their project through exploration. Covers the fundamentals of programming and how to develop a programming practice. Students complete analytical and generative projects, using different media. Examines how to think with computation, how computation and media interact, and how computation can be understood as a part of culture. No background in programming required. Limited to 18.
Staff

CMS.845 Interactive Narrative
______

Graduate (Fall)
(Subject meets with 21L.489[J], 21W.765[J], CMS.618[J])
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
______
Provides a workshop environment for understanding interactive narrative (print and digital) through critical writing, narrative theory, and creative practice. Covers important multisequential books, hypertexts, and interactive fictions. Students write critically, and give presentations, about specific works; write a short multisequential fiction; and develop a digital narrative system, which involves significant writing and either programming or the structuring of text. Programming ability helpful. Graduate students complete additional assignments.
N. Montfort

CMS.846 The Word Made Digital
______

Not offered academic year 2023-2024Graduate (Fall)
(Subject meets with 21W.764[J], CMS.609[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Considers the many uses of text, language, and writing in creative digital media. Focuses on non-narrative uses of text, such as in information display, visual and lyrical settings, and human-legible computer code. Considers the use of text within the context of computing and different computing platforms. Draws on concepts and approaches from poetics, the material history of texts, and computer science. Assignments include individual and group writing projects, which involve reading and modifying computer programs. Previous programming experience and writing coursework helpful. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 18.
Staff

CMS.848 Apocalyptic Storytelling
______

Graduate (Fall)
(Subject meets with 21W.748)
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
______
Focuses on the critical making of apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic and dystopian stories across various narrative media. Considers the long history of Western apocalypticism as well as the uses and abuses of apocalypticism across time. Examines a wide variety of influential texts in order to enhance students' creative and theoretical repertoires. Students create their own apocalyptic stories and present on selected texts. Investigates conventions such as plague, zombies, nuclear destruction, robot uprising, alien invasion, environmental collapse, and supernatural calamities. Considers questions of race, gender, sexuality, colonialism, trauma, memory, witness, and genocide. Intended for students with prior creative writing experience. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 15.
J. Diaz

CMS.855 Extending the Museum
______

Graduate (Spring)
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.636)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Investigates the museum as a participatory public space and rethinks visitor engagement and museum education in light of digital technologies, including extended reality (XR) technologies. Students develop concepts, models, and prototypes that integrate physical and digital spaces in novel ways in close collaboration with partners at local museums. Readings provide theoretical, critical, and analytical foundations for collaborative class projects. Students taking graduate version complete additional readings and assignments.
K. Fendt

CMS.860 Introduction to Civic Media
______

Graduate (Spring)
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.360)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Examines civic media in comparative, transnational and historical perspective. Introduces various theoretical tools, research approaches, and project design methods. Students engage with multimedia texts on concepts such as citizen journalism, transmedia activism, media justice, and civic, public, radical, and tactical media. Case studies explore civic media across platforms (print, radio, broadcast, internet), contexts (from local to global, present-day to historical), and use (dialogic, contentious, hacktivist). As a final project, students develop a case study or project proposal. Students taking the graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to20.
Staff

CMS.861 Networked Social Movements: Media and Mobilization
______

Graduate (Spring)
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.361)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Subject Cancelled Subject Cancelled
______
Provides an overview of social movement studies as a body of theoretical and empirical work, with an emphasis on understanding the relationship between social movements and the media. Explores multiple methods of social movement investigation, including textual and media analysis, surveys, interviews, focus groups, participant observation, and co-research. Covers recent innovations in social movement theory, as well as new data sources and tools for research and analysis. Includes short papers, a literature review, and a final research project. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 16.
A. Gibson

CMS.862 Civic Media Collaborative Design Studio
______

Graduate (Spring) Can be repeated for credit
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with CMS.362)
Prereq: One subject in CMS or MAS
Units: 3-0-9
______
Project-based studio focusing on collaborative design of civic media provides a service-learning opportunity for students interested in working with community organizations. Multidisciplinary teams create civic media projects based on real-world community needs. Covers co-design methods and best practices to include the user community in iterative stages of project ideation, design, implementation, testing, and evaluation. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 16.
Staff

CMS.863[J] Design and Development of Games for Learning
______

Graduate (Spring)
(Same subject as 11.252[J])
(Subject meets with 11.127[J], CMS.590[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-6-3
Lecture: TR1-2.30 (E25-117) Lab: TBA
______
Immerses students in the process of building and testing their own digital and board games in order to better understand how we learn from games. Explores the design and use of games in the classroom in addition to research and development issues associated with computer-based (desktop and handheld) and non-computer-based media. In developing their own games, students examine what and how people learn from them (including field testing of products), as well as how games can be implemented in educational settings. All levels of computer experience welcome. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
E. Klopfer
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.864 Game Design
______

Graduate (Fall)
Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: One subject in Comparative Media Studies or permission of instructor
Units: 3-3-6
______
Practical instruction in the design and analysis of non-digital games. Provides students the texts, tools, references, and historical context to analyze and compare game designs across a variety of genres. In teams, students design, develop, and thoroughly test their original games to better understand the interaction and evolution of game rules. Covers various genres and types of games, including sports, game shows, games of chance, card games, schoolyard games, board games, and role-playing games. Students taking the graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 20.
P. Tan, R. Eberhardt

CMS.865 Immersive Media Studies
______

Not offered academic year 2023-2024Graduate (Fall)
(Subject meets with CMS.340)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Critical examination of the history, aesthetics, and politics of virtual reality and related media. Focuses on virtual space and embodiment; cultural reception and industry hype; accessibility, surveillance, and data privacy; and debates surrounding the use of immersive media in social, work, art, and entertainment contexts. Projects include experimentation with VR development tools and critical analysis of existing immersive works. Graduate version includes additional research. Enrollment limited to 15.
P. Roquet

CMS.867 Critical Internet Studies
______

Graduate (Fall, Spring)
(Subject meets with 21W.791[J], CMS.614[J], WGS.280[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Lecture: W2-5 (56-169)
______
Focuses on the power dynamics in internet-related technologies (including social networking platforms, surveillance technology, entertainment technologies, and emerging media forms). Theories and readings focus on the cultural, social, economic, and political aspects of internet use and design, with a special attention to gender and race. Topics include: online communication and communities, algorithms and search engines, activism and online resistance, surveillance and privacy, content moderation and platform governance, and the spread of dis- and misinformation. Instruction and practice in written and oral communication provided. Students taking the graduate version complete additional readings and assignments.
Fall: A. Gibson
Spring: T.L. Taylor
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.868 Games and Culture
______

Graduate (Fall)
(Subject meets with 21W.768[J], CMS.616[J], WGS.125[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Examines the social, cultural, economic, and political aspects of digital games. Topics include the culture of gameplay, gaming styles, communities, spectatorship and performance, gender and race within digital gaming, and the politics and economics of production processes, including co-creation and intellectual property. Students taking graduate version complete additional readings and assignments.
Y. Rao

CMS.871 Media in Cultural Context
______

Graduate (Spring) Can be repeated for credit
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with 21L.715)
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
______
Seminar uses case studies to examine specific media or media configurations and the larger social, cultural, economic, political, or technological contexts within which they operate. Organized around recurring themes in media history, as well as specific genres, movements, media, or historical moments. Previously taught topics include Gendered Genres: Horror and Maternal Melodramas; Comics, Cartoons, and Graphic Storytelling; and Exploring Children's Culture. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Approved for credit in Women's and Gender Studies when content meets the requirements for subjects in that program. Limited to 12.
Staff

CMS.875 Reading Climate Through Media
______

Graduate (Fall)
(Subject meets with CMS.375)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Explores how climate is construed in the contemporary media in order to gain a better understanding of how views of climate change are shaped and received in the public sphere. Studies the pathways that take us from climate science to media content, from the big data of global scale to the particulars and narratives of the human experience. Surveys a variety of media forms--reports, articles, comics, videos, films, photography, poetry and fiction--that reflect on the contemporary human challenges of dealing with a changing natural environment of our own making. Emphasizes the role of media in shaping public opinion, both in the US and globally, and its influence on public (and voter) perceptions on which a vast body of regulation and funding for environmental management is based. Students work individually and in teams to produce a selection of the media forms studied. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 20.
J. Paradis

CMS.876 History of Media and Technology
______

Not offered academic year 2023-2024Graduate (Fall)
(Subject meets with CMS.376)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Surveys the interrelated histories of communications media and technological development, from the emergence of 19th-century forms of mass print media and telegraphy, to sound capture and image-based forms (e.g., film, radio, and television), to the shift from analog to digital cultures. Examines how new forms of communication exert social, political, and cultural influences in the global context. Explores how technological innovation and accelerating media affect social values and behaviors in the popular and global adoption of a media device. Includes two papers and a research project on aspects of media history. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
J. Paradis

CMS.877 Transmedia Art, Extraction, and Environmental Justice
______

Graduate (Spring)
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with 4.376[J], CMS.374[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 2-3-7
______
Exploration of today's extractive economies and the role that artists, media-makers, and transmedia producers play in shaping public perception, individual choices, and movement-building towards sustainability. Traces the contingent geological, material, community, and toxic histories of extracted materials used throughout our built environment, as well as civic resistance and reform that could alter extraction practices. Scaffolded workshops with artists and media producers support students' production of creative documentary and other media projects. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
Staff

CMS.888 Advertising and Media: Comparative Perspectives
______

Graduate (Spring)
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with 21G.036[J], 21G.190, CMS.356[J])
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
______
Compares modern and contemporary advertising culture in China, the US, and other emerging markets. First half focuses on branding in the old media environment; second half introduces the changing practice of advertising in the new media environment. Topics include branding and positioning, media planning, social media campaigns, cause marketing 2.0, social TV, and mobility marketing. Required lab work includes interactive sessions in branding a team product for the US (or a European country) and China markets. Taught in English and requires no knowledge of Chinese. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
J. Wang

CMS.894 Education Technology Studio
______

Graduate (Fall) Can be repeated for credit
(Subject meets with CMS.594)
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
______
Uses media and technology to develop new forms of learning experiences for schools, workplace, and informal settings. Students participate in a range of projects that hone understanding and skills in learning science, instructional design, development, and evaluation. Topics vary but include developing new media and activities for massive open online courses, creating practice spaces for practitioners in the professions and humanities, and developing new approaches to assessment in complex learning environments. May be repeated for credit with permission of instructor if project content differs. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
J. Reich

CMS.895 Learning, Media, and Technology
______

Graduate (Spring)
(Subject meets with CMS.595)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Lecture: MW1-2.30 (E15-335)
______
Addresses new digital technologies that are transforming learning across the lifespan - from reading apps for toddlers, intelligent tutors for school children, and blended learning for college students, to MOOCs for adults and interest-based learning communities for hobbyists. Focuses on how these technologies shape people's lives and learning. Students explore how education technologies operate in complex social-technical systems, and acquire analytic tools and strategies that can be applied to other complex systems. They also refine their thinking about the opportunities, limits, and tradeoffs of educational technology. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
J. Reich
Textbooks (Spring 2024)

CMS.901 Current Debates in Media
______

Graduate (Fall, Spring)
(Subject meets with CMS.701)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
Lecture: TR3-4.30 (2-103)
______
Addresses important, current debates in media with in-depth discussion of popular perceptions and policy implications. Students use multiple perspectives to analyze texts emanating from these debates, and present their findings through discussions and reports. Explores emerging topics (e.g., piracy and IP regimes, net neutrality, media effects, social media and social change, and changing literacies) across media forms and from various historical, transcultural, and methodological perspectives. Examines the framing of these issues, their ethical and policy implications, and strategies for repositioning the debate. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
Fall: E. Schiappa
Spring: J. Reich
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.915 Understanding Television
______

Graduate (Fall) Can be repeated for credit
(Subject meets with 21L.432[J], CMS.315[J])
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
______
A cultural approach to television's evolution as a technology and system of representation. Considers television as a system of storytelling and mythmaking, and as a cultural practice studied from anthropological, literary, and cinematic perspectives. Focuses on prime-time commercial broadcasting, the medium's technological and economic history, and theoretical perspectives. Considerable television viewing and readings in media theory and cultural interpretation are required. Previously taught topics include American Television: A Cultural History. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
Heather Hendershot

CMS.920 Popular Culture and Narrative
______

Graduate (Spring) Can be repeated for credit
Not offered regularly; consult department
(Subject meets with 21L.430)
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
______
Examines relationships between popular culture and art, focusing on problems of evaluation and audience, and the uses of different media within a broader social context. Typically treats a range of narrative and dramatic works as well as films. Previously taught topics include Elements of Style; Gender, Sexuality and Popular Narrative. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Approved for credit in Women's and Gender Studies when content meets the requirements for subjects in that program. May be repeated for credit with permission of instructor.
Staff

CMS.925 Film Music
______

Not offered academic year 2023-2024Graduate (Fall)
(Subject meets with 21M.284)
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 3-0-9
______
Provides a conceptual foundation and methodology for the study of music created for various types of (mainly) narrative films, from the medium's origins in the early twentieth century to the present. Close attention to select influential scores by composers active in Hollywood from the 1940s to the 1990s (e.g., Max Steiner, Bernard Herrmann, Quincy Jones, John Williams, Philip Glass). Those works are juxtaposed with landmarks of alternative film and musical styles from other countries and centers of production. Subsidiary topics include the history and challenges of live musical accompaniment to silent films, and the evolution of recording and sound-editing technologies from the studio era to the global present. Students taking the graduate version complete different assignments. Some background in the study of film and/or music is desirable, but not a prerequisite.
Staff

CMS.941 Immersive Social Worlds
(New)
______

Not offered academic year 2024-2025Graduate (Fall)
(Subject meets with CMS.341)
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
______
Focuses on critical media sociology of immersive social worlds, from digital environments and avatar-based worlds to live action role-play (LARP) and theme parks. Draws on both historical and contemporary cases. Investigates key issues including communication and community; authorship and co-creativity; embodiment and identity; and ownership, governance, and management. Attention given to cultural and socio-technical nature of these environments and their ongoing construction within a broader media system. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
Staff

CMS.942[J] Designing Virtual Worlds
(New)
______

Graduate (Fall)
(Same subject as 2.178[J])
(Subject meets with 2.177[J], CMS.342[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-1-2 [P/D/F]
______
Three primary areas of focus are: creating new Virtual Reality experiences; mapping the state of emerging tools; and hosting guests - leaders in the VR/XR community, who serve as coaches for projects. Students have significant leeway to customize their own learning environment. As the field is rapidly evolving, each semester focuses on a new aspect of virtual worlds, based on the current state of innovations. Students work in teams of interdisciplinary peers from Berklee College of Music and Harvard University. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
K. Zolot

CMS.950 Workshop I
______

Graduate (Fall)
Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 4-2-6
______
Provides an opportunity for direct project development experience and emphasizes intellectual growth as well as the acquisition of technical skills. Students attend regular meetings to present and critique their work and discuss its implications.
Staff

CMS.990 Colloquium in Comparative Media
______

Graduate (Fall, Spring) Can be repeated for credit
Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: None
Units: 2-0-1 [P/D/F]
______
Exposes students to the perspectives of scholars, activists, mediamakers, policymakers, and industry leaders on cutting edge issues in media. Registered CMS graduate students only.
Staff

CMS.992 Portfolio in Comparative Media
______

Graduate (Fall, IAP, Spring, Summer)
Prereq: CMS.950 or permission of instructor
Units arranged
TBA.
______
Students work individually with an advisor to produce a portfolio project which combines technical skills and a substantial intellectual component.
Fall: Staff
IAP: Staff
Spring: Staff
Summer: Staff
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.993 Teaching in Comparative Media
______

Graduate (Fall, IAP, Spring) Can be repeated for credit
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units arranged
TBA.
______
For qualified graduate students interested in teaching. Offers experience in classroom and/or tutorial teaching under the supervision of a Comparative Media Studies faculty member.
Fall: Staff
IAP: Staff
Spring: Staff
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.994 Independent Study
______

Graduate (Fall, IAP, Spring, Summer) Can be repeated for credit
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units arranged [P/D/F]
TBA.
______
Opportunity for individual research in comparative media studies. Registration subject to prior arrangement for subject matter and supervision by a faculty member.
Fall: D. Solomon
IAP: D. Solomon
Spring: D. Solomon
Summer: D. Solomon
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.995 Independent Study
______

Graduate (Fall, IAP, Spring, Summer) Can be repeated for credit
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units arranged
TBA.
______
Opportunity for individual research in comparative media studies. Registration subject to prior arrangement for subject matter and supervision by a faculty member.
Fall: Staff
IAP: Staff
Spring: Staff
Summer: Staff
No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.S96 Special Subject: Rap Theory and Practice
______

Graduate (Spring)
(Subject meets with 21L.S60[J], CMS.S60[J])
Prereq: None
Units: 3-0-9
URL: https://cmsw.mit.edu/cms-s60-cms-s96-rap-theory-and-practice/
Lecture: W2-5 (1-150)
______
To gain a deeper understanding of rap, students engage in the full process of creating rap music, including composing lyrics, recording, performing and creating an EP length album. Existing rap music is studied, selected lyrics are analyzed and possible reasons for the structure and success of different songs are presented in case studies. Students analyze rap songs, reflect on their own weekly activities in writing and present their work in class by playing recordings, performing and responding to each other in workshop discussions. Licensed for Spring 2024 by the Committee on Curricula/Committee on Graduate Programs. Limited to 10.
W. Jaco
Textbooks (Spring 2024)

CMS.S97 Special Subject: Comparative Media Studies
______

Graduate (Fall, Spring) Can be repeated for credit
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units arranged
URL: CMS.S97: https://cmsw.mit.edu/cms-s61-immersive-worlds-and-media-sociology/
CMS.S97: Lecture: MW10.30-12 (56-169)
______
Seminar or lecture on a topic that is not covered in the regular curriculum.
Fall: E. Klopfer
Spring: C. Urreas
CMS.S97: No required or recommended textbooks

CMS.S98 Special Subject: Comparative Media Studies
______

Graduate (Fall) Can be repeated for credit
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units arranged
______
Seminar or lecture on a topic that is not covered in the regular curriculum.
K. Wong

CMS.S99 Special Subject: Comparative Media Studies
______

Graduate (Fall) Can be repeated for credit
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units arranged
______
Seminar or lecture on a topic that is not covered in the regular curriculum.
Y. Rao

CMS.THG Master's Thesis
______

Graduate (Fall, IAP, Spring, Summer) Can be repeated for credit
Not offered regularly; consult department
Prereq: Permission of advisor
Units arranged
______
Completion of a graduate thesis, to be arranged with a faculty member, who becomes the thesis supervisor. Required of all CMS students.
Fall: Staff
IAP: Staff
Spring: Staff
Summer: Staff


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