University of Wisconsin–Madison

Summer Term 2017 Course Descriptions

Graphic of the United States outline filled with buttons representing many nations and cultures.

J162: Mass Media in Multicultural America

Instructor: Hemant Shah
Online only: May 30-August 27

In this course, we will consider the cultural history and experiences of racial and ethnic minorities and explore the way these groups are portrayed in mainstream mass media. We will focus primarily on three mass media channels: print, television and film; and on two communication forms: news and entertainment. We will learn about the differences and similarities between the terms “race” and “ethnicity;” the central roles and functions of mass media in multicultural societies; the different ways in which mass media create and perpetuate stereotypes of racial and ethnic minorities and majorities, how these images circulate in mass mediated culture and what impact they may have on individuals and societies; and the factors that lead to changes in the ways racial and ethnic minorities and majorities are depicted in mass media. We will explore these and other related issues through a number of learning activities such as quizzes, writing assignments, group discussion and self-reflection.

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J175: Media Fluency in a Digital Age

Instructor: Deb Pierce
Online only: May 30–June 25

Digital media is very much a part of our day-to-day lives. Being “digitally fluent” is considered a key 21st Century skill. So, what does it mean to be fluent in digital media? It goes way beyond putting a “snap” on your Story or posting to Facebook. It’s a matter of knowing which digital medium is best given what you want to say—and who you want to converse with! Through this course, students will critically examine and engage with digital media across political, social, and economic landscapes. Students will analyze how digital media content is created – and even create some of their own! They will also study how digital media are consumed by various audiences across social, political, and economic environments. This course meets the Digital Media Studies certificate “Core” requirement.

Photo depicting characters from the cast of "Mad Men".

J445: Developing Creative Messages for the Media

Instructor: Douglas McLeod
On campus: May 30–June 25

This class is normally open only to Journalism majors who have already taken the prerequisite J345 and fills very quickly during the regular semesters. This summer, all majors and non-majors (with consent of instructor) will be considered for enrollment (after all majors with the appropriate prerequisites have been given a chance to register). This is a chance for students who have tried to register for the course and found it full, or who are not eligible to get into this course for Fall and Spring semesters. J445 is a project-based course that focuses on developing creative strategy and messages for strategic communication campaigns. Through various assignments and group projects, we spend a majority of the time in the course conceptualizing, creating and evaluating campaign messages that can be used as portfolio pieces. Students will get plenty of opportunities to hone their strategic thinking and digital imaging skills in an applied context. Note that J445 counts toward the Digital Studies certificate.