ADV 199: Creativity Conquers the World, 3hrs
(MWF 2:00-3:50pm; freshman only)
This course explores the role of creative thinking in solving problems and seizing opportunities – in school, life and work (notably the field of advertising). Through class discussion and hands-on exercises, students will learn about theories of creativity, traits of creative people, creative culture and frameworks for sparking creative thinking. Students will develop the ability to ask the right questions, generate ideas of greater quality and quantity, and spot a Big Idea when they see one.
JOUR 460: The Media and You, 3hrs
(MW 9:00-10:50; all levels and majors)
Getting the Message Out This course will equip students and practitioners in journalism, public relations, business, agriculture and science and technology fields with practical knowledge and tools to understand and work with all forms of media to achieve their goals. The course will include a quick survey of contemporary public relations and clarify several discrete elements: publicity, advertising, branding, press agency, public affairs, issues management, lobbying, investor relations and development. This will set the stage for this course, which will focus on working with and, at times, around news media. The core issue of working with the media will encompass guidelines for good media relations, guidelines for working with the press, and understanding the ethical dimensions of the relationships that form. The course will employ case studies, real and hypothetical. The class will break into small groups for the last four or five sessions to develop a set of strategies, employing an array of media, to reach a PR goal the instructor will develop. The instructor will solicit real world opportunities for class teams to work with local/regional interests on a media and communications plan that suits the client.
MACS 496: Special Effects, 3hrs
(TR 10:00-1:20, Junior, Seniors, Grad students, Sophomores with instructors permission, all majors)
MOVIE MAGIC: VISUAL EFFECTS AND CGI This roughly chronological course will explore special effects technology, history and aesthetics. More specifically, we will use the technological history of special effects (which span cinema history) to examine representational strategies of film. Academic interest in cinematic special effects has largely been limited to discussion of genre (especially science fiction) or by theoretical interest in “the digital”. This course will take a more broad historical view, in order to question the various binaries common in discussions of special effects, especially optical vs. digital, and realism vs. fantasy. Drawing on texts by theorists and practitioners alike, we will examine how the films mobilize specific technologies, and the aesthetic frameworks they bring into play. Students will be expected to apply “close viewing” strategies to assignments, specifically to understand how specific effects techniques discussed are functioning in specific instances, both technologically and discursively. In addition, students will put these viewing and analyzing practices to work in a longer, research based final paper. The course will discuss the wide variety of films that have made extensive and creative use of special effects. We will screen films ranging from early trick films, experimentation in the silent era, studio-era process photography and optical printing, 1960s avant-garde animation, the intensified interest of special effects work in 1970s blockbusters, and into the digital era beginning in the early 1990s, to the present.
MDIA 199: College of Media Orientation, 1hr
(T 12:30-1:50, open to Non Media majors, all levels)
Serves as an introduction to the College of Media and Introduces students to the multiple media perspectives represented by the College’s departments. Provides an overview of the Advertising, Agricultural Communications, Journalism, and Media and Cinema Studies curricula, areas of study, and opportunities available for careers in the field. This is not a typical freshman orientation class.
MDIA 390: News Literacy, 3hrs
(TR 12:30-3:20, open to all students)
The metaphors used to describe the digital, networked, social, interactive and information-rich age in which we live – it’s a wave, a flood, even a tidal wave! – suggest a powerlessness that can be dispiriting. The promise of so much easily accessible information quickly transforms into peril as we wonder just how to make sense of all that abundance, how to find the signal amidst all the noise. This is a particular challenge for journalism, which is competing with ever-increasing numbers of players in the news and information arena who may – or, more often, may not – be providing news that is credible and reliable. Our aim is to build a better understanding of what makes news reliable and credible and, in doing so, help equip people to make smarter decisions and engage in democratic society.