Currently, I plan to teach the courses in person, but all courses at Allegheny College, including mine, will have course materials, activities/assignments, and online teaching and student collaboration through Zoom built into the Canvas learning platform that we will be using. Details will be provided to students registered for the fall semester.

COMM 351*00: MEDIA AND IDENTITY (Tue/Th: 1:30-2:45pm. Alden 210) 

For more examples of fan-generated descriptions of famous movies, see the Jimmy Fallon challenge here.

The COMM 351 course on Media & Identity in fall 2020 will explore how humor in media narratives, characterizations, and jokes, can often underscore critical insights about a social, political, or cultural issue that is sensitive and, therefore, difficult to get a wider public to attend to. 

How do humorous representations define the identities of groups/individuals being portrayed? Can funny representations be empowering? When can too much laughter actually end up depoliticizing issues? We will be examining these and other questions through the critical analyses of specific media texts and contexts.

COMM 120 (Introduction to Media Studies)

COMM 120*01: Tue/Th 03:00PM - 04:15PM, Alden Hall, Room 210

COMM 120*02: Tue/Th 09:30AM - 10:45AM, Vukovich 203

 The purpose of this course is to provide students with the knowledge and skills to critically analyze media contents and institutions. Topics examined in the course include, but not limited to, critical media analyses, the study of media institutions and practices, the embedded histories and ideologies in media representations of the real world, the construction of media “target” audiences, and how media discourses are shaping our sense of who we are as a nation and our place in the world. By the end of the course, class participants will be media literate. In other words, they will be able to locate and distinguish credible news sources from those that are not, and to recognize political and economic agendas that shape what is covered in the news and how. Students will also be able to identify how various “discourses” shape the language of representation, and what factors affect the ways in which we interpret these messages.  

The Independent Study option allows students to work closely with the faculty member on a research project that fits with the research supervisor's expertise and that cannot be accommodated by a current course being offered by the College.