Media Studies is an intercollegiate major offered jointly by Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, Pomona and Scripps Colleges (Intercollegiate Media Studies [IMS]). Media Studies is an interdisciplinary field that explores the histories, technologies, and social and cultural contexts of a range of contemporary media forms, including mechanical and electronic media such as film, video, television, print, and the Internet as well as other contemporary forms of culture. Media Studies at The Claremont Colleges presents students with an integrated approach to media production and the critical study of the media. Media Studies seeks to understand the present state of media practices through an examination of their historical and technological development, an analysis of their genres, and a rigorous investigation of the theoretical approaches that have been brought both to the creative practices of media producers and the critical practices used by contemporary scholars.
Production is a key element of the Media Studies major, but the mode of production studied at The Claremont Colleges is not oriented toward traditional narrative film or television, or toward commercial models of new media; rather, this major stresses “independent” narrative forms, documentary, video and digital art, and community-based and activist media. Media Studies also understands critical scholarship as a form of media practice, seeking to confront not only the ways that the media construct the contemporary cultural environment, but also the ways in which we as producers and consumers are all constituted by the same cultural formations that we seek to challenge. Above all, the major seeks to explore the media from a perspective that eliminates the traditional boundaries between disciplines and between media theory and media production, thus illuminating new ways of seeing, thinking, and communicating in the world.
T. Kim-Trang Tran