The MA in Global Communications (MAGC) program is a 48 credit Coursework and Research Masters consisting of three semesters, which can be completed in one calendar year.* The program is composed of four core courses (16 credits) selected from seven core offerings (one of which is mandatory) and six electives (24 credits).The final 8 credits for the completion of the degree requirements are obtained by taking an internship or writing a thesis.
The Visual and Material Culture Track is an optional track within the MA in 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.
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.
Choose one of the following courses:
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).
This course will first define essential aspects of the material and analyse different theoretical approaches to the study of material culture. We will then investigate how ‘stuff’of material culture (landscapes, objects, clothing, paraphernalia of the everyday environment) mediates contemporary identity in the context of a globalised culture and examine how the interplay between design, form, and function is represented by media as embodying cultural value. We will reflect on the nature of consumption, consider the politics of value of commodities, and explore how media are transformed into signs of global material culture.
This class studies in detail the relations between media, gender and sexuality in a complex global environment. We will build on a theoretical foundation of gender in terms of embodiment, representation, consumption and institutions, and apply various methods of analysis to a range of global media. We will examine how gender enters debates around globalization, including anti-globalization movements, and how constructions of gender influence the mediation of global issues such as nationality, war and terrorism, and transnational flows of people, culture and capital.
Choose three of the following courses:
This course examines the theories of self and identity formation in a globalized world where traditional techniques of identity formation coming from religions and schools and family are being supplemented or changed by techniques coming from other cultures and countries. Some of these ways of self-identification are influenced by consumerism, advertising and media. Some are influenced by traditional physical and moral training or globalized martial arts. Some are influenced by the implantation of psychological and therapeutic techniques from the West. Others are linked to the circulation of techniques of self-formation from yoga, tai chi, and kabala that have been taken out of their traditional contexts and globalized, mediatized and modernized. This course looks at people who seek to make and define themselves in various different local contexts. It will also examine the rise of religious fundamentalism, its appeal to youth, and how it uses media. The course also looks at the role of media, institutions and advertising consumer culture in this process.
This workshop provides the opportunity for a cross-analysis of color design and color communication. Visits to museums and on-site field research in the multicultural environment of Paris are an integral part of the course. Students will examine how color principles are articulated in the context of cultural, historical, socio-economic, and environmental factors. In this practicum, students will produce a set of color studies illustrating their understanding of the application of the principles of color usage and how color interacts with values of ethnicity, culture and habitus to produce communication.
(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.
The origins of the contemporary "museum" can be seen in the rage for collecting unique and unusual objects which characterized the Renaissance and the age of exploration. Possession of such objects conveyed not only the power and wealth of the collector, but also displayed the collector's intellectual and aesthetic preferences to a selected audience, thus simultaneously confirming the identities of both collector and spectators as members of a privileged group. In the Age of Enlightenment and the Encyclopedia, the classification and organization of facts and objects - both intellectual property and material culture - gave birth to the concept of the modern 'museum'. This course investigates the construction and communication of national, cultural, and community identities and diverse definitions of heritage through the medium of the contemporary museum, where material culture is exhibited and organized to express verbal and visual narratives that evoke particular interpretations of history and values. Lectures and discussions will alternate with museum visits in which museum display and techniques of exhibition are identified and analysed. Issues of visitor participation, the museum experience, digital tools, websites and virtual visits will be considered. Several guest lectures by professionals will expand upon contemporary museum issues. Please note that an additional fee will be charged for this course.
This course introduces students to audio and video storytelling for television and digital platforms. Over one or, if they choose, two semesters, students with any level of video experience will move from the basics of field reporting and anchoring newscasts to more advanced and sophisticated levels of long-form video news. Class meetings will include the production of AUP's weekly television news webcast. A significant amount of course time will therefore be devoted to mastering news writing skills and journalistic techniques such as interviewing, news scripting, etc. The course will also examine how news stories are produced for ear and eye, including the construction of various story formats. The classes will help the student understand the role of the broadcast reporter, through the study and discussion of current issues in audio visual journalism, historical development and the organization of news operations.
This is an experimental graduate level course designed to give a limited number of students hands-on training in preparing television news stories and features. Students will spend the semester producing video for internet broadcasts. The emphasis will be on story telling, so the course is intended for students who already know how to shoot and edit video. For those with limited video experience, there will be two weekend seminars (four days) of basic video instruction available. In addition to time spent putting together projects outside the classroom, students will be expected to spend a fixed number of hours per week volunteering for the production of the website broadcasts.
Brands, their creation, their identity and their management derive from a set of disciplines and principles that have been developed over the past 60 years. These disciplines are the architectural underpinnings for successful branding and they apply equally across categories of products and services and geographically across countries. The Branding Practicum will instruct students in these disciplines and principles and ask students to apply them to the creation of a new international brand in a category of their choice. Students will analyze a chosen category, create a new brand proposition for it, develop the branding identity for the new brand including name, logo, selling proposition and more. They will also create a global marketing strategy for the brand.
The development of effective advertising is an intellectual and creative process that has evolved over the past century and includes the disciplines of research, targeting, strategy, strategy derived creative execution and evaluation. Today, the form and content of advertising is changing as the digital age opens new channels and types of messages. The Advertising Practicum will instruct students in the real world creation of effective advertising. Students will learn “the creation process” from start to finish, develop strategies and create advertising campaigns. Finally, they will compete to win an international brand’s advertising account by solving a strategic and creative challenge facing that brand just as it is done in the advertiser/ advertising agency industry worldwide. At the course’s end, students should have completed an advertising exercise that they can present to future employers as an aid to securing a job of their choice.
This course looks at the interface between communications and urban space. With the rapid spread of neo-liberalism and the internet, urban theorists see the city as increasingly ‘capsularized’. Across the planet, new forms of human-created environment—the theme park, the free-trade zone, the gated community—are constructed. While urban space has often been carefully designed, well crafted public-relations strategies now situate cities at local and global levels. Thus, within a framework of contemporary urban theory underpinned by case studies, students will reflect on the affective politics of the city, thinking critically about the interplay between mediated communication and urban policy, public space and built form.
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.
Topics change each semester- see the current Academic Schedule for current course descriptions.
At the end of the course work students have the option of completing a thesis or an 8-credit Internship. In the last semester of their studies students may choose to complete a 14,000 to 20,000 word thesis (instead of an Internship). Additional paperwork available in the Office of the Registrar is MANDATORY for registration of the thesis.
In the last semester of their studies students may choose to complete an Internship (instead of a Thesis) with a corporation, international organization, government body or NGO - requires a 50-60 page report and represents 3/6 months' work. Registration of the internship is subject to the MA Program Director's approval. Please contact the Internship Office for more information.
|CREDITS PER COURSE||NUMBER OF COURSES||TOTAL CREDITS|
|1ST SEMESTER||2ND SEMESTER||3RD SEMESTER|
|2 core courses||2 coure courses||2 elective courses|
|2 elective courses||2 elective courses||Internship/Thesis|
|16 credits||16 credits||16 credits|
* The length of the internship or thesis may vary, however—many students choose to take additional time for these components.
** A special note: U.S. Federal regulations state that AUP students receiving federal loans cannot do their Internship or write up their thesis in the United States. Students can only complete an Internship in the United States when it is not in pursuit of their degree.
See the tuition and costs for this program.
Access the Fall 2014 Requirements for the MA in Global Communications, Visual and Material Culture Track.