MA in Global Communications, Digital Cultures and Industries track

Core Courses (16 credits)

CM5001 Global Communications

This course introduces students to major theories and practices of communications research, particularly those dealing with the globalization of media and culture. Students learn a mixture of approaches: rhetorical, quantitative, ethnographic and textual. They learn how various disciplines—economics, political science, anthropology, sociology, and rhetoric—deal with these issues. They also study a variety of research methodologies, learn how to create research projects and develop thesis-writing skills.

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CM5004 Global Digital Cultures

This course provides an introduction to key topics and theories in the study of the Internet and other digital media as cultural and social phenomena. Four main themes guide our approach: space and networks; bodies and identities; objects and practices; and economics and politics. Within the contexts of globalization, we will place particular emphasis on interrogating transformations made possible by the pervasion of digital media, but also restrictions and contestations that arise. Students will develop their individual interests in relevant topics with an independent research project.

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CM5015 Social Media

This course examines the social, economic and political implications of Web-based social networks like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Particular emphasis will focus on how ‘social capital’ is being transformed by online social networking, leading to new forms of identity construction, status, and power. The course also assesses the disruptive impact of social media on established models in media, marketing, and politics from citizen journalism and branding campaigns to global diplomacy and cyberwar.

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CM5018 Digital Tools In Context

This theory/practice hybrid course will enable students to build a foundation of practical digital skills while critically exploring how they are implemented. Students will develop competence with a selection of data tools and be prepared for greater digital literacy. In parallel, the use of these digital tools will be problematized in relation to recent cultural, economic and political transformations.

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Track Electives (choose 4 = 16 credits)

CM5002 Brands And Belief

This course examines the evolution of critical advertising and brand analysis with a particular emphasis on learning how people come to identify with and believe in brands. It includes an analysis of how brands work as systems for producing differences between themselves by creating imaginary possible worlds associated with brands. Students learn tools of semiotic and linguistic analysis in analyzing brands and how they relate to each other. Each student completes a communications audit of a brand examining all aspects of its communicative strategies from package design to employee behavior, clothing, architecture, and shop design. The course will also examine how branding now has extended beyond consumer brands to such areas as NGOs and politics (political parties as brands and politicians as brands).

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CM5026 Politics & Economics Of Global Media

This course examines the dynamics of the global media system. Students will gain a critical awareness of how international flows of information, entertainment and lifestyle values play a powerful role in shaping cultural and political realities. The concept of "soft power" is key in examining the influence of Western pop culture, whether as "imperialism" or as "globalization". The course examines soft power in various forms: Hollywood movies, television series, pop music, Disney cartoons, fast food such as Coca-Cola and McDonalds, and social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The course also analyzes the influence of non-Anglo-American pop culture — from Turkish soap operas to Latin American "telenovelas".

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CM5028 Advanced Video Production

(Video Production Practicum) This course is intended to give students an opportunity to understand the production process from development through the finished product, from both the theoretical and practical viewpoints. Therefore, during the course of the semester, students will be expected to produce several types of video projects: short videos, ‘limbering up’ exercises, commercials and PSA’s; participate in production of elements for class group projects; and complete a final project in the student’s choice of genre.

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CM5060 Visual Culture, Theory & Communication

This course considers the physical and cultural conditions of vision and viewing within today’s globalized media environment through a transcultural survey of theories and contexts. It presents the act of seeing and the creation of visual objects as activities balancing beliefs in objectivity with ideas of free choice and subjectivity within the circulation of visual information. Consumer packaging, eco-tourism, plastic surgery, bodybuilding, theme park design, subway mapping and screen formatting are some of the subjects to be considered. Students will learn how visual theories extend across cultures, how visual practices shape our identity and environment in fundamental ways, and how vision functions in conjunction with the other senses.

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CM5062 Digital Media Writing Practicum

This course will create a “newsroom” setting encouraging critical thinking about the media. The course will examine how the Internet has revolutionized journalism, story telling, and the media industries more generally. Students will study, analyze and discuss these trends as well as write about particular issues – thus developing their own voices and “brands” as writers and media professionals. Students will maintain blogs and their work will be published and curated on the student media website where they will appear as blogger/columnists. Another component of the course will emphasize career development: each student will produce a professional-grade online profile and portfolio through blogs and social networks

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CM5080 Visual Design Practicum

This course is an intensive introduction to the basics of design principles for a variety of communications strategies. Through hands-on lab time with step-by-step instruction, students will learn the fundamentals of working with Adobe Creative Suite in order to create their own brand and its accompanying visuals. Presentations by professionals working in various fields of design and communications will familiarize students with their first-hand experience. Design literacy is essential to all areas of communication, whether in traditional print, digital media, websites or video. This class will focus specifically on the relationship between image and text, providing students with a solid foundation for any further study of graphics or web design they may wish to undertake in the future, as well as training students to interact effectively with professional designers.. The class will be comprised of lecturers on the fundamentals of design, presentations by and workshops with working professionals, and hands-on lab time to learn practical technical skills as applied to students’ individual branding projects. It suits students who plan to work in advertising, NGOs, branding, global advocacy or any other field of communications. Design literacy is an essential skill, indispensable for the effective communication of any organization’s message. Students will gain appreciation of graphic design; learning how typography color, composition, photography, illustration, etc. work together to produce effective conduits of information.

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CM5091 Topics In Global Communication

Topics change each semester- see the current Academic Schedule for current course descriptions.

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CM5020 Magc Module

Topics for these intensive, practical modules change every semester.

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Open Electives (choose 2 = 8 credits)

Chosen from all MAGC offerings and selected Graduate School offerings.


Internship or Thesis (8 credits)

Total credits: 48