Getting to Know the Media Studies Area
The Media Studies area of the Ph.D. program is run by the faculty of the department of Journalism and Media Studies. The department has fourteen full-time Ph.D. faculty. Ours is a nationally recognized faculty, with scholars who have won major grants, fellowships, book awards, article awards, and teaching prizes. We publish in the leading journals in our fields and many write for popular newspapers, magazines, and online publications.
Our faculty have doctoral degrees in a variety of fields, including communication, journalism and mass communication, sociology, history, anthropology, and other areas. We study the operation of media at the local, national, and international levels, and our research methods range from the humanistic to the social scientific. Specific areas of faculty expertise include the relationship of media and journalism—including digital, online, and social media—to topics such as politics and public policy; political and social activism and movements; popular culture and cultural industries; children, youth and media; race, gender, religion, ethnicity, and identity; technology and innovation; the formation of political opinions and attitudes; collective memory; and media theory and cultural studies.
Doctoral students who enroll in this area of concentration study a broad set of questions about the news, communication, and entertainment media: their political, social, psychological, and economic impacts; the historical, cultural, and technological conditions that have given rise to them; and the ways they operate in American society and in other societies around the world. The required courses for this area are foundational classes in media theory and critical or interpretive research methods, which are supplemented by a rich variety of elective courses.