Critical Media and Cultural Studies

Critical Media and Cultural Studies (CMC)

Effective Spring Term 2015

Cummings Schoen Tillmann

This major investigates: what forms of media and culture facilitate and undermined your participation as citizens in a free democratic society? Whose political and economic interests drive media and cultural systems? Who profits from the status quo, and at whose expense? CMC aims to cultivate a community of intellectually curious, socially aware, and politically engaged citizens who can both critically read media and cultural texts and produce oral, textual, and mediated arguments.

Qualified students may be invited to participate in the department's honors degree program and/or independent study projects. Majors will work with an approved CMC faculty advisor to create an area of concentration and work toward a senior documentary project.


Three five-semester-hour courses; seven four-semester-hour courses; and one of the following: an academic international experience, an approved CMC internship, or service to campus media. At least eight courses (including all core courses) must be taken at Rollins.


Complete ALL of the following.

  • CMC 100 Introduction to Media and Cultural Studies (best taken before spring of sophomore year)
  • CMC 200 Researching Media and Culture (best taken before fall of junior year)
  • CMC 400 Senior Seminar/Research Practicum (after completion of all other core courses)

Complete ONE of the following.

  • CMC 300 Critical Frameworks for Contemporary Culture (best taken before spring of junior year)
  • SOC 335 Sociological Theory (best taken before spring of junior year)

Complete BOTH of the following.

  • An academic international experience, four semester hours of an approved CMC internship,1OR involvement with a campus media outlet (e.g., The Sandspur, R-TV, or WPRK).
  • Six electives in an area of concentration, at least three of which must be 300- or 400-level courses.

    See the Career Services website for a list of pre-approved CMC internships. In general, we approve internships with public media (e.g., NPR/PBS), independent media (e.g., Democracy Now,, and some alternative media (e.g., the Watermark) as well as social justice organizations (e.g., Amnesty International).

    Service to campus media might involve: a) a one year term as editor or staff writer for The Sandspur OR no fewer than five published pieces reflective of CMC; b) a one-year term as director, producer, or board member for R-TV OR no fewer than two original pieces reflective of CMC; c) a one-year term as staff member, DJ, etc., for WPRK OR no fewer than three original pieces reflective of CMC. A portfolio of work is due to the student's CMC advisor no later than the last day of class in the semester prior to the student's semester of graduation.


1. International Media. This concentration examines media in international contexts, helping students understand the history, scope, diversity, politics, and economics of global media.

Sample relevant courses:

ANT 452 Seminar: Cinema and Society in China
CLS 105 Ancient Rome in Contemporary Film and Media
ENG 241 Film and Literature: Post Colonial Film
INB 215 The Global Entertainment Business
RSN 234 Russia in the Movies
SPN 341 Spanish Film/Cultural Trends
SPN 342 Latin American Film

2. Power and Persuasion. This concentration focuses on links between political discourse, mass media, and public policy.

Sample relevant courses:

COM 312 Persuasion Theory
ENG 210 Language and Power
PHI 218 Argumentation and Media-Manipulation
POL 315 Topic: Fact and Fiction in Film: War on the Silver Screen
POL 330 Peace and Conflict Studies
POL 370 Comparative Modern Ideologies

3. Specialized Concentration. We highly encourage majors to work with an approved CMC faculty advisor (contact CMC department chair for a list) to design a specialized area of concentration. Elective choices must be approved by a CMC faculty advisor or the chair of CMC in order to count toward an area of concentration, with the exception of the following CMC eelectives, which count toward ANY area of concentration.

CMC 310 Media, Peace and Justice

CMC 398/399/498/499 Independent Study in Media and Cultural Studies
CMC 397 Internship in Media and Cultural Studies
CMC 350 Topics in Media and Cultural Studies
ECO 142 Political Economy of the Media
INT 360 Culture Wars: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Politics
PHI 218 Argumentation and Media-Manipulation
SOC 311 Topic: American Dream in Film and Fiction
SOC 335 Sociological Theory
(unless taken in lieu of CMC 300)

Other CMC electives sample courses that, with CMC advisor approval, could count toward a specialized area of concentration:

ANT 277 Women and Gender: Middle East and North Africa
ARH 101 Introduction to Visual Culture
ARH 355 Studies: Avant Garde in Europe
CLS 321 Gender and Sex in Antiquity
COM 306 Intercultural Communication

ENG 211 Visual Rhetoric

ENG 245 Selected Studies in Popular Culture: Films of the 80's
FIL 150 Introduction to Film

HIS 235 American Graphic Media
HIS 370 Race and Ethnicity in the United States
PHI 314 Topic: Feminist Theory
PHI 314 Topic: Queer Theory
REL 251 Topic: Portraits of the Modern Jew in American Film and Fiction
SOC 250 Sociology of Gender
SOC 308 The Body in Society
SOC 317 Television and Society

SOC 326 The Sociology of Kurt Vonnegut
SOC 356 The State of Black America
SOC 360 Poverty and Social Welfare
WMS 205 Introduction to Women's Studies

If a student wishes to study and/or utilize a particular medium (e.g., film), her/his CMC faculty advisor may recommend one or more additional media history and/or practice courses. These courses are encouraged, but, in general, do not count toward areas of concentration.

Media History
ARH 361 History of Photography
MUS 160 History of Jazz
MUS 165 History of Rock and Roll
THE 203 History of American Film
THE 206 History of Radio and Television
THE 220 History of American Musical Film

Practice Courses
ART 130 Introduction to Digital Media
ART 223 Graphic Design I
ART 293 Photography I
ART 300 Photography II
ART 323 Graphic Design II
COM 110 Public Speaking
ENG 273 Journalistic Writing I
ENG 276 Writing for the Future: The Rhetoric of Cyberspace
ENG 373 Journalistic Writing II
Core Course Descriptions:

CMC 100 Introduction to Media and Cultural Studies with Lab: Orients students to critical approaches to the study of media and culture, such as political economy, textual analysis, and audience reception. Lab builds competency in photo, sound, and video editing.

CMC 101 Advanced Video Editing Lab, After Effects. Builds on the embedded labs for CMC 400. Teaches students advanced video editing techniques intended to make their capstone projects smoother, easier, and more professional-looking than using Adobe Premiere alone. Prerequisites: Taken concurrently with CMC 400.

CMC 110 Digital Storytelling: Develops the ability to use and understand digital technologies as tools for creative multimedia expression. Students study how narrative and symbols structure meaning, and create multimedia projects.

CMC 200 Researching Media and Culture with Lab: Explores multiple methods for researching media and culture from a critical perspective. Lab builds competency in finding, evaluating, and synthesizing information from multiple sources; in distinguishing scholarly from non-scholarly evidence; and in MLA formatting. Prerequisite: CMC 100.

CMC 210 Animation and Society: Animation has resulted in some of the most culturally significant films and television shows in the history of mass media. Examines the most innovative animated films, from the first known animation to the latest examples of cutting-edge web animation. CMC 300 Critical Frameworks for Contemporary Culture: Presents critical theory (informed by structuralism, post-structuralism, deconstruction, etc.) as a set of tools useful in reading and navigating contemporary culture. Prerequisite: CMC 100.

CMC 230 Media & Disability: Using media as text, this course examines the (mis)representation of people with disabilities in TV, film, documentary, graphic novels. and digital media. We will analyze disability at the intersection of culture and identity, and consider how media vary when created by and for the non-disabled. Several problematic implications include able-bodied actors in disabled roles ("crip face") and acquired disability as a fate worse than death (Million Dollar Baby). Using a hands-on approach, we will engage in analysis to understand how emerging media challenge stigma and employs contemporary disability theory.    

CMC 310 Media, Peace, and Justice: Develops and applies talents to realization of peace and justice through study of media and hands-on learning: Global Peace Film Festival Production, multimedia making, lab instruction in digital video. Prerequisite: CMC major, FIL minor, or consent.

CMC 320 Political Economy of Body and Food. What's wrong with the ways we relate to our bodies, to others' bodies, to eating, and to food - and what can we do about it? This course examines the political and economic interests behind body and beauty ideals, body image, body dissatisfaction, eating disorders, steroid abuse, our cultural fear and hatred of fat, anti-fat prejudice, and inequalities related to the current food system.

SOC 335 Sociological Theory: Examines concerns of early founders in light of contemporary trends within field. Addresses values in sociological inquiry, problem of applying general scientific model to sociology, and biases of researchers. Prerequisite: Sociology major or consent.

CMC 400 Senior Seminar/Research Practicum with Lab: Involves synthesizing scholarly research, conducting original research, and producing a documentary film pertaining to the student's area of concentration. Lab builds competency in documentary filmmaking. Prerequisites: all core courses, plus at least four courses toward area of concentration.