The uniqueness of Modern Culture and Media resides in its commitment to situate the study of media in the context of the broader examination of modern cultural and social formations. Modern culture is characterized by the development and dissemination of media that can be identified as technical modes of reproduction: print insofar as it is connected to mass dissemination, photography, sound recording, cinema, video, television and most recently digital media.
MCM faculty and students attempt to unite aspects of modern culture that are normally separated by university departmental structures (such as fine art, literature, and philosophy). We study the products and processes of both "high" and "mass" culture with equal seriousness, and with critical intent. What we mean by modern is the period of the 19th to 21st centuries, dating from the invention of photography in the middle of the 19th century. In addition to uniting the study of cultural theory with the study of the mass media, we are committed to uniting actual work in the production or creation of media texts with our analytical and theoretical consideration of the arts and media.
Our goal is to help our students become active participants in contemporary American culture, both as thoughtful critics and as creative workers. MCM students are knowledgeable about the theory, history and analysis of media and culture and are able to produce innovative work that interrogates and transforms conventional understandings of these forms.