GMSI faculty and students design and teach a number of undergraduate and graduate lectures and seminars.


In the twentieth century, the United States became an economic and military super power that boasted a profitable arsenal of media/communication technologies and a widely circulated popular culture that altered the place of“America”in the world. Meanwhile, particularly toward the end of the twentieth-century,with the advent of satellite TV and the Internet, the nation-state as the locus of modern politics and socio-cultural identity was changing. Global capitalism, human migration, and mass communication and media circulated with increasing breadth and intensity across borders and frontiers; The peoples of the world were coming together in new physical and virtual settings, particularly mediated ones. This seminar uses historical and contemporary case studies and theory to help you begin to make sense of global processes of change and of mass-mediated communication’s role in these changes.It considers how the spread of U.S. popular culture and its appropriation by others has played overseas. We will examine processes through which European and non-Western cultures have blocked, taken up,and otherwise transfigured the forms of U.S. commercial cultural production at the national, transnational, and sub-national level.This seminar is designed to introduce you to critical terms and problems in processes of globalization and identity formation that are changing the ties that bind and differentiate citizens and peoples of the 21st century world.It is also designed to give you a college-level introduction to performing original research.

This course offers a framework for thoughtful understanding of processes involved in the production,dissemination, and reception of mediated news content. We will examine sociological, psychological, and critical perspectives on the factors influencing the content, structure, and effectiveness of news in our civic lives. You will learn about various social structures, practices, and forces that shape news content, including individual, organizational, political, economic, cultural, and institutional factors.Through this course, you will gain a better understanding of the profound changes, and current challenges, facing journalism practitioners and news consumers, as well as the innovative prospects for the field.

This course examines the emergence of selected communications/information technologies from ancient times to the present. We will explore the rise of communications/media technology and information production across pre-electronic, electronic, and analogue/digital spheres with an eye toward understanding patterns of historical continuity and rupture in the formation of what might be called the contemporaryU.S. media “climate”and its carryover into the ‘networked’ world-at-large.We will speak of “revolutions in communication” in several ways: First, to analyze changes, continuities, and cyclical features of innovation and uptake of communication/media technologies, information systems, and media forms;Second,to consider “revolutions” as processes (social, political, technological,cultural),which tend to be sudden, unpredictable, and difficult to compare. When, where, why, and how revolutions“start,”not to mention when or where they “end”and their consequences, cannot be determined in advance, nor in the midst of their turbulent unfolding;Third, while techno-boosters in the media today (marketers, pundits)are quick to announce the ‘revolution’ of the latest technical tool, it is often the case that the true revolution(or its lack)only becomes visible in retrospect, which brings us back to the value of historical perspectives to put what we see today into context. This survey will give you a foundation in modern communications history. It will help you to see communication technology’s place in U.S. society and culture; to recognize continuities and discontinuities between past and present communication systems in their social, cultural, and political forms;and to distinguish between superficial ‘innovation’ and deeper evolutionary patterns and predicaments in form, organization, and character of modern communications.

This course offers students a framework for exploring the media’s role in processes of globalization and how the globalization of media shapes the socio-cultural, political, economic, ethical and moral dimensions of our lives in this world. Under the impact of new technological advances and transnational flows of people, culture, and capital, media artifacts routinely move across national borders with audiences playing an increasingly participatory role. While paying close attention to audiences and the relationship between media circulation, geography and cultural identities,we will also focus on the ways in which contemporary media industries are grappling with the challenges and opportunities of globalization. Within these broad frameworks, topics explored will include: media and modernity, globalization and hybridity, transnational storytelling, media and refugees, terrorism and social media, and global brands.

This course explores several important ways in which digital media and internet infrastructure are shaping and constraining citizen participation and social organizing in developing and emerging countries. The course will introduce the topic of comparative politics and the comparative method to communication and media studies students interested in global communication.The course will balance theory, methods, and case studies to understand mediated crowd behaviors such as protest cascades,and social movements being facilitated by ICTs and digital media. The readings and discussions address important findings in a rapidly changing field. To address these complex relationships between diverse actors and the tensions between them, this course is organized around four themes: 1) user-centric perspectives to understand modern forms of social organizing; 2) infrastructure-centric perspectives to understand the affordances and constraints of digital technologies on organizational forms; 3) comparative cases from a range of developing countries from authoritarian to emerging democracies; and 4) contemporary tensions arising between technology activists and the infrastructure stakeholders attempting to re-structure global communication systems.

This course focuses on transnational media flows in order to explore changing dynamics of race-relations and ethnic identities in an era of increasing global connectivity. Drawing from various scholarly traditions, we will examine how the production, circulation, and consumption of media serve as key sites for negotiating race relations and shaping constructions of socio-cultural and political identities. Exploring flows of film, television, and new media within and between North America, U.K., South Asia, the Caribbean and other contexts, we will tackle a number of themes and issues including: patterns of migration, representations of identity and difference, “ethnic”cultural production, disporic youth cultures, gendered dimensions of race-relations, relationship between class and race, and state policies. Students will also have an opportunity to conduct independent research on these topics as a final project for the course.

In much of the world, in advanced and industrialized democracies to developing and democratizing societies, there is no longer an issue of whether the internet affects politics—but rather, where, why, and with what consequences. These consequences are also complex, where the digital politics of local contexts are increasingly determined by the decisions of stakeholders residing in altogether different countries, regions, and economies.How do we make sense of these global and transnational changes, and the world as it is being re-wired today? In this course, we will survey the growing literature of digital politics in international contexts, while considering how these lessons involve and affect other stakeholders in interconnected and disparate ways.The case studies for this capstone are the most advanced and cutting edge analyses available to date, and our discussions will also engage with current events as they unfold through the semester and in recent years. Your task in this course is to draw upon frameworks and concepts encountered in your time in communication studies, and apply and identify their capabilities and limitations towards understanding global digital politics today.

This course investigates what Communication as a discipline brings to the study of sexual publics. Rather than assuming sex is a private manner, we will analyze the ways publics are constituted through sexual practices and representations; how changing ideas about sex have been communicated to “the public”; and how these discourses of sexuality construct their audience. We will consider sexual cultures from a transnational perspective and in historical context. The course will address how structural hierarchies such as gender, race, sexual identification, age, and location help to shape sexual publics.

History, like communication studies, can “pass” as both humanistic and social scientific, which creates opportunities, but also conundrums for historically oriented analysis of mediated communication. This interdisciplinary seminar introduces students to selected perspectives, conceptualizations, and critical modes of engagement with the interplay of technology, culture, and media/communication. It incorporates readings and case studies from a range of literatures,including social and cultural history, cultural studies, sociology, and science and technology studies (STS). The aims of the course are to explore ways in which history and critical theory have converged on questions/problems surrounding the role of media and communication in everyday life; to acquaint students with ways of thinking historically about the nature of contemporary phenomena, and to prepare students for further historically contextualized study and research.