MA in Media Studies – Courses 2014-15

Full-time students typically take 4 courses per semester, including the year-long COMS 610: Media Studies Seminar, during the first year of the program. All students are required to take COMS 600: Communication Theory, COMS 605: Media Research Methods and COMS 610: Media Studies Seminar. Depending on the option you are enrolled in, MA students may take 1 to 3 related graduate courses offered by other departments in the university.

If you are interested in taking any of these courses, please contact Eve Girard.

Fall 2014

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
11:00 – 13:45 COMS 610
Media Studies SeminarProf: Charles Acland

Rm: CJ 5.223


13:15 – 16:00 COMS 600
Communication TheoryProf: Krista Lynes

Rm: CJ 5.223


COMS 684
Media Research LaboratoryProf: Owen Chapman

Rm: CJ 5.301


COMS 608
History of MediaProf: William Buxton

Rm: CJ 5.223


Winter 2015

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
11:00 – 13:45 COMS 610
Media Studies SeminarProf: Charles Acland

Rm: CJ 5.223


13:15 – 16:00 COMS 642E
Special Topics: Arrrgh! Approaches to Intellectual Property and Media PiracyProf: Fenwick McKelvey

Rm: CJ 5.223


COMS 652
Canadian Documentary FilmProf: Martin Allor

Rm: CJ 5.223


COMS 605
Media Research Methods IProf: Monika Kin Gagnon

Rm: CJ 5.223


Course descriptions

COMS 600 – Communication Theory

This seminar studies and evaluates the major historical and contemporary approaches to communication theory. The following approaches are covered: Processes and Effects, Functionalism; Symbolism and Cultural Studies; Institutional Studies and Political Economy.

COMS 605 – Media Research Methods I

Prerequisite: COMS 600 previously or concurrently. This seminar prepares students to critique literature from any of the major research traditions; to make basic connections between epistemology and problems of basic communication research; to be able to identify the research method most appropriate to personal areas of interest; to design a basic research project.

COMS 608 – History of Media

Prerequisite: COMS 600 previously or concurrently.

This seminar examines the development of communications technology and the media in a comparative and historical perspective. Topics include the transition from orality to literacy, the print revolution, the rise of new image technologies and the mass press in the nineteenth century, electronic media and the modern nation-state, global information, and the emergence of a world media system.

COMS 610 – Media Studies Seminar

This full-year course meets monthly to introduce students to issues of professionalization, careers in Media Studies research and practice, applying for funding, publication and dissemination of research, and presentations of ongoing faculty research and research-creation. An annual December colloquium for the presentation of second-year thesis and research-creation work is held. Required for first-year students, and recommended for continuing students.

COMS 642E – Arrrgh! Approaches to Intellectual Property and Media Piracy

Arrgh! explores the competing perspectives of digital piracy from theft to resistance, from digital outlaws to engines of neoliberalism. Students will engage with how piracy relates to intellectual property, digital culture and media studies.

COMS 652 – The Canadian Documentary

This course examines non-fiction film, television and other media in Canada. Materials considered may include the documentary work of the National Film Board, independent film and video, and television docu-drama. These are examined from a variety of perspectives such as history, form and textuality, institutional analysis, and culture.

COMS 684 – Media Research Laboratory

This production-based seminar explores the intersections of analog, electronic and digital media with a special emphasis on their convergence. Topics may include digital imaging, multimedia information design and programming, three dimensional media, virtual reality, world-wide-web, hypertext and hypermedia publishing.