FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 17, 2010
EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina Logue, 615-898-5081
NEW MTSU MINOR EXAMINES GLOBAL COMMUNCIATION ISSUES
Different Cultural Takes on Different Media and Messages Provide New Insights
(MURFREESBORO) – As technological developments revolutionize communication with unprecedented speed, MTSU is offering a new International Media Studies minor beginning in the current fall semester.
This study track is designed to provide students with an understanding of how various types of media are used around the world. It will offer textual analyses of media messages and audience interpretations, including insight through audience ethnographics.
Dr. Richard Pace, professor of anthropology, helped develop the minor with Dr. Robert Spires, professor of electronic media communication. The minor includes classes from both disciplines, as well as foreign languages and sociology.
Pace, who has been conducting research in the Amazon River region of Brazil since 1981, says the small community of rubber tappers with whom he is familiar only recently became able to gain access to the Internet.
“You have some that embrace it and immediately use it within their own culture context,” says Pace. “We see that with video, for example. Many indigenous groups will take it and record their cultural heritage or certain political messages like preservation of land or lifestyles and then spread that around to other indigenous communities.”
Then again, Pace notes, some groups are resistant to new media because they don’t want its impact to interfere with their cultural values.
Another intriguing aspect of this minor is its potential for the examination of political media through various cultural lenses.
“We’re very much interested in the ideological messages of media,” says Pace. “Regardless of your political system, media will be used by the nation-state to try to basically create good citizens. It’s not always successful, and it’s not always done in a systematic way.”
Of course, since journalism is a conduit for much global communication, the ways in which different cultures report and perceive newsworthy events is of interest.
“Journalism becomes very cultural, very political, very ideological when you put it within this context,” says Pace.
In entertainment media, including movies and television, American exports are very popular overseas. However, in this country, with a few exceptions, imported movies and TV shows don’t seem to get as much traction. Pace says it’s a matter of volume. The United States simply produces more movies and TV shows.
“The same thing will happen once they have enough of their own domestically produced products,” says Pace of the global entertainment market. “The problem is if you don’t have enough in your own language, if your industry’s not producing as much material, then you import and you dub.”
No media will go ignored in this minor. Even graffiti is fair game. In some cultures, it’s considered art. In other cultures, it’s considered vandalism.
“We look at how it is perceived, how it is produced and how it is consumed in all these different contexts, and that’s what makes it a very interesting study,” says Pace.
Some of the courses that can be taken for successful completion of the minor include Global News and World Media Cultures, Media and Emotions in Global Perspective, Anthropology of Music, Topics in French Film and Cultural Images of Gender.
Students who pursue the International Media Studies minor must complete 15 semester hours. The core course required is Cross-Cultural Media Studies. An additional 12 hours of electives are required from among courses in at least two disciplines.
For more information about the International Media Studies minor, contact Pace at 615-904-8058 or email@example.com.
With three Nobel Prize winners among its alumni and former faculty, Middle Tennessee State University confers master’s degrees in 10 areas, the Specialist in Education degree, the Doctor of Arts degree and the Doctor of Philosophy degree. MTSU is ranked among the top 100 public universities in the nation in the Forbes “America’s Best Colleges” 2009 survey.