English & Media Studies (EMS)

EMS 200 Introduction to Film, Literature and Media     (3 credits)

This course helps students become more adept readers of cultural texts. When we read a text, we engage in a practice; this practice is shaped by the text and by the conditions of its production and reception. This course provides a basic foundation for understanding how a variety of textual forms and genres work in terms of style and form. Students will read, view and listen for plot and pleasure, as well as for the intricate processes of narrative, visual and sonic construction that create meanings and affect audiences. This course asks students to think about how texts are made and to think about what practices we use to critically read cultural texts.

Focus: DIV

LSM: MAS

EMS 201 Introduction to Cultural Studies     (3 credits)

This course considers culture as an arena of social and political struggle. This course looks at how cultural texts change meaning and significance as they become increasingly “popular.” Is what we consider “popular” completely evacuated of substantive meaning? Is it a matter of generational and disciplinary differences? If we are considering subcultural formations, do you have to be “in the culture" to be able to “read” the texts produced by that culture? What does it mean to read from outside? This class gives students a vocabulary to enter debates about the meanings of cultural texts.

Focus: DIV

LSM: MAS

EMS 311 Revisions and Retellings     (3 credits)

Our cultural landscape is littered with “adaptations” of previously told tales that we may not even recognize as tales reworked for our consumption. Analyzing retellings within contemporary popular culture, this course investigates reimagining of previously told tales and asks students to get beyond the question of whether or not there is an original text that should be preserved or that is better, but to critically engage with the creative, cultural, and political aspects of revision, translation, and adaptation. This course moves beyond traditional understandings of adaptation to encourage thinking about the more complicated ways that narratives migrate across platforms and creative networks. Students will read multiple genres: folk tales, poetry, novels, films, graphic novels, games, and social media.

Focus: DIV

LSM: DSC; MAS

Note: Offered once every three or four semesters.

EMS 341 Cultural Studies and the Body     (3 credits)

This course explores how identity is constructed through cultural representations of the body. Through the study of literary texts, films, advertising, museums, laws, and sports, students will develop an understanding of how different types of discourses (legal, scientific, literary, popular, etc.) have categorized and positioned individuals and communities in terms of race, gender, class, sexuality, and (dis)ability.

Focus: DIV

LSM: DSC; MAS

Note: Offered once every three or four semesters.