American Univesity of Beirut

Media Studies Undergraduate Courses

​​​MCOM 201 Introduction to Media Studies 3.0; 3 cr.

An introduction to the field of media studies, its concepts and theories, and the various modern media industries and professions in today’s world. The course aims to help students become better informed about career options in this field and more discerning media consumers. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Annually.

MCOM 202 Communication Theory 3.0; 3 cr.

An over view of the ways in which mass communication has been viewed by social scientists and by practitioners, with a focus on the range of issues studied and questions raised, and the schools, approaches, and trends in the field. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Annually.

MCOM 203 Arab Media and Society 3.0; 3 cr.

An in-depth examination of the political, social, economic, and technological effects of old and new Arab media systems on modern Arab society, with an emphasis on Lebanon and the Arab East region. It focuses on probing the development and current state of print, broadcast and new media systems in the region. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Annually.

MCOM 204 From Telegraph to Twitter: Media History 3.0; 3 cr.

This course situates the histor y of communication – from the telegraph to today’s social media – as more than a histor y of technology, and discusses the complexity with which the social world is constructed. Both technology and history enter into conversation, opening up points of critical engagement of modern understandings of the world.Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Annually.

MCOM 205 Interpersonal Communication & Folk Media 3.0; 3 cr.

This course examines the interpersonal communication process with a focus on the folk (oral) media as traditional face to face communication media. The course involves an interdisciplinary investigation of relationships between Arab daily life and folk media, roles of formulating folk culture in theatre and films, and popular music and its audience. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Occasionally.

MCOM206 Introduction to Cinema 3.0; 3cr.

This course is designed to introduce students to the study of cinema. Three major areas of study will be emphasized: cinema history, film analysis, and global industries. Students are required to attend two lectures a week as well as weekly film screenings. . Pre or corequisite: ENGL203. Annually

MCOM 210 Research Methods in Media Studies 3.0; 3 cr.

An introduction to the design and implementation of research methodology in media studies. It covers formulating research problems, reviewing scientific literature, designing instruments, and utilizing data collection and analysis techniques, both quantitative and qualitative. Students participate in actual research projects and apply various techniques of data collection and analysis to interpret research findings.Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203.  Annually

MCOM 215 Media Law and Ethics 3.0; 3 cr.

A sur vey of Lebanese, Arab and International media laws and regulations, and their application within the realms of journalism, public relations, advertising, digital media, and entertainment, with an exploration of ethical guidelines, moral values, and social responsibilities of media scholars, practitioners and educators. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Occasionally.

MCOM 216 Public Opinion 3.0; 3 cr.

A general study of the nature of public opinion, and the interplay between psychological and socio-cultural processes in the formation and dissemination of public opinion. An attempt is also made to explore the impact of public opinion on media and socio-cultural change. Measurements of public opinion are also explored. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Occasionally. 

MCOM 217 Political Communication Campaigns 3.0; 3 cr.

This courses introduces students to the subfield of political communication, covering its main theories, research methods, and modern applications and strategies. Students gain theoretical and working knowledge of political campaign operations, political press offices, the roles of a political press secretary, media advisor, and communication director, and the technologies used in modern political campaigns. Prerequisite: MCOM 202 or consent of instructor. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Occasionally.

MCOM 218 Media Activism for Social Change 3.0; 3 cr.

An introduction to the theories and strategies of media use for non-violent activism and advocacy campaigns and social movements, with a focus on principles of civic activism in the era of digital media convergence. The course balances theory and skills by examining case studies of media activism from around the world and using digital media tools with a stress on digital tools and civic activism principles to develop social and political change campaigns for civil society groups. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Occasionally.

MCOM 219 Media Depictions of Society 3.0; 3 cr.

This course examines the role of the media in constructing our social reality through an examination of media practices, both historically and in the present. It particularly examines the representations of Arabs and the Arab world in the Western media, and the US in the Arab media. It covers politics of culture and identity as they shape and intersect with today’s globalized media. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Occasionally.

MCOM 220 Popular Culture 3.0; 3 cr.

From the mid-20th century until the present moment, popular cultural productions and consumer products have become ubiquitous worldwide. While globalized chains of production and distribution account for the availability of these cultural products, we ask what is the significance of their popularity? What are the histories of these commodities, and what tensions do they reconcile or expose in the cultures from which they emerge? And, indeed, what precisely is popular culture, anyways? Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Occasionally.

MCOM 221 War and Media 3.0; 3 cr.

This seminar asks ‘what is a visual culture of war?” as it expands across an array of media platforms, technologies, and aesthetic conventions. Through a careful examination of key readings and visual representations, we will work to build a more precise theoretical and analytical language for understanding war not simply as an “event” or set material effects on the battlefield and home front, but as a discursive production mediated through a number of often intersecting media sites and institutions. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Occasionally.

MCOM 222 Introduction to Visual Culture Studies 3.0; 3 cr.

This course introduces students to the study of visual culture and examines the role images play in society. Students will explore key historical and contemporary issues, and critical perspectives on the relations of power and desire that structure practices of looking. Students will become familiar with methods of comparing different media forms, social arenas, and cultural contexts. Students will also pursue a research-intensive final project that welcomes image-making as part of the research/writing process. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Annually.

MCOM 223 On Television 3.0; 3 cr.

This is an advanced undergraduate course that introduces to students to the study of television as a distinctive approach to the study of the media landscape. Students will explore television’s political economic structures, cultural form, and social function in a range of national, regional, and global contexts. Junior standing or permission of instructor. Pre or Corequisite: ENGL 203. Occasionally.

MCOM 224 Palestinian Film and Media 3.0; 3 cr.

In this undergraduate seminar, students will examine the role played by film and media in efforts not only to resist Israeli occupation but to articulate emancipatory visions of Palestinian liberation. Through close readings of current scholarly literature, weekly film screenings, and seminar discussions, students will interrogate the relationship between culture and politics and explore such contested topics as identity, memory and trauma, power and resistance, and spectacle and sur veillance. Junior standing or permission of the instructor. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Occasionally.

MCOM 225 Introduction to Photojournalism 3.0; 3 cr.

This course covers the history of Photojournalism and its place within the wider field of photography and society at large. Students will learn of the related fields of Documentary Photography and Street Photography, and will explore early and modern masters, the social and political impact of their work and varied methodologies. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Occasionally.

MCOM 226 Journalism and Society 3.0, 3 cr.

This course examines the various forms and phases of transition that have framed the evolution of journalism and the relationship between these transitions and social, political, economic and technological factors, with a focus on the current digital age. The course traces the trajectory of the industry’s transformations in addition to the challenges and debates - both academic and societal - that have emerged in parallel to this trajectory. This comprises introductory issues relevant to the basic definition of journalism as well as more contemporary topics pertaining to the challenges of market-oriented digital production, media activism and political restraint, media trends and identity formation, the birth and evolution of new media platforms and applications, and the proliferation of digital entrepreneurship. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Annually.

MCOM 227 Media and the Environment 3.0; 3cr 

This course examines media’s role in shaping the built and natural environments around us. It draws on developments in environmental communication and critical media infrastructure studies to consider media both as modes of communication and as technologies with material forms. The course explores the genres and communication strategies used by activists, artists, and media producers to articulate the environment and its problems. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Occasionally.

MCOM 228 Introduction to Digital Media 3.0; 3cr.

In this course, students will learn how to navigate an ever-changing media reality beginning with digital media's origins and exploring its various life-cycles up until our contemporary moment. Pre or corequisite: ENGL203. Annually

MCOM 229 Sex, Gender & Media in the Middle East 3.0; 3 cr.

In examining how discourses of gender and sexuality have shaped the ways in which the “Middle East” has come to be imagined, this seminar will cover key debates that have, in turn, shaped academic knowledge production on gender in the region, The course also examines media’s central role in the production and circulation of discourses and counter-discourses on the status of women and sexual minorities, as well as men and masculinities, in the Middle East. Pre/co-requisite: ENG 203. Occasionally. 

MCOM 230: Screening Crises 3.0; 3 cr.

This undergraduate seminar sets out to introduce students to transnational film culture and illuminate how categories of difference—such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, religion, and nationality—can both be reproduced and challenged through film. Throughout, we will alternate between theoretical explorations of keywords in transnational film studies, close readings of the primary texts themselves, and readings about (the economics of) an increasingly global film industry. Pre/co-requisite: ENG 203. Occasionally.

MCOM 234 Labor, Media, and Gender 3.0; 3 cr.

Examining theories of labor, creative economy, and media industries, this course explores the various entanglements between labor, media, and gender. It examines why certain kinds of creative labor—from filmmakers to social media influencer—have become gendered and to what end. The course also studies how media industries have understood and represented gendered labor. Rather than view media work as a static entity, it determines how industrial shifts, technological developments, and economic reforms have shaped creative labor. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Occasionally.

MCOM 240 News Reporting and Writing 3.0; 3 cr.

An introduction to the reporting and writing of various news stories based on reliableinformation gathered through interviewing, research, and observation. Formats include basic newspaper and magazine articles, online news, press releases, and other journalistic formats, with emphasis on accuracy, concise presentation, meetingdeadlines, and objective and ethical reporting. The course covers news styles, anexpanded news vocabulary, sentence structure, story organization and clean writing. Prerequisite: ENGL 203. Every term.

MCOM 241 Introduction to Digital Media 3.0; 3 cr.

This practice-based course introduces students to digital media, employing diverse perspectives in order to explore their cultural, political, economic and environmental dimensions. The course also examines digital media and their relationship/impact/connection to various institutions, discourses and practices, touching on issues of political engagement, the circulation of power, and cultural constructions of identity, relationships, and creativity. Pre or corequisite: ENG 203. Occasionally. 

MCOM 242 Public Relations 3.0; 3 cr.

The course introduces the profession of public relations through a strong emphasis on fundamentals, such as histor y and research. Emerging issues, such as technology, ethics, and the international aspects of public relations are considered through examining PR strategies, tactics, and case studies. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Occasionally.

MCOM 243 Advertising 3.0; 3 cr.

The course introduces the student to the core concepts and practices of advertising. It examines the impact of new media and research methods, with an emphasis on integrated communications and the role of ad agencies. Students learn how to assess the effectiveness of advertising, and how to create a successful ad campaign. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Occasionally.

MCOM 244 Specialized News Reporting and Writing 3.0; 3 cr. (A....Z)

The course explores specialized reporting and writing techniques, including feature stories, opinion columns, profiles, in-depth series, and narrative journalism. It aims to enable students to report and write effectively across news genres and to master transferable communication skills useful beyond the journalism profession. Each term the course covers some specialized and emerging journalism themes, including investigative reporting, data journalism, covering conflict, and violence, technology journalism, non-fiction narrative, and others. Prerequisite: MCOM 240 or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit. Occasionally.

MCOM 245 Broadcast Media 2.2; 3 cr.

The course introduces the students to the histor y of the electronic media, examining the impact of the new media on communication. The course has an interdisciplinar y nature, drawing on the expertise of AUB faculty in the fields of communication, science and technology, history, politics, and economics. Prerequisite: MCOM 240 or consent of instructor. Occasionally.

MCOM 246 Digital and Multimedia News 3.0; 3 cr.

An introduction to digital and multimedia news writing, reporting, researching, producing, and disseminating online. The course covers basic digital and Web design principles, photojournalism, audio reporting, video journalism, news blogging, social media reporting, CMS managing, multiplatform publishing, and writing for a converged news environment. It also covers emerging new media issues, such as interactivity, information architecture, and individualization. Prerequisite: MCOM 240 or consent of instructor. Occasionally.

MCOM 247 Trauma Journalism 3.0; 3 cr.

This course aims to sensitize and train students on how to deal with victims of trauma, conflict and violence, including war, suicide, homicide, rape, domestic violence and other traumatizing experiences. It teaches students how to ethically and fairly cover trauma victims, how to protect themselves physically and psychologically from the negative effects of trauma reporting, and how to professionally and sensibly tell the trauma story to their audiences. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Occasionally.

MCOM 249 Writing for Advertising 3.0; 3 cr.

This course is focused on helping students build the essential skills to write clear and captivating messages for different forms of media. Students will craft messages that address the objective, the audience, and the medium. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Occasionally

MCOM 250 Video Editing 3.0; 3 cr.

This course is an introduction to the field of digital and video editing, including the histor y and over view of analog and digital video. The course explores a variety of digital video career options, industr y trends and the practical application of non-linear video editing. Students will learn how to manage data efficiently, how to manage a variety of data formats and will work hands-on with Final Cut Pro 10 or Premiere Pro CC on a variety of editing projects, from simple sequences to branded content, music videos and parallel editing of fiction scenes. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Occasionally

MCOM 251 Intermediate Photojournalism 3.0; 3 cr.

This course is for students who have mastered basic photography skills and are familiar with the histor y of photojournalism. Students will learn about the ethics of photojournalism and explore critical issues in the field today. In addition to photojournalism, the class will cover the basics of documentar y video shooting and the related fields of documentar y photography and street photography. Prerequisite: MCOM 225 or consent of instructor. Occasionally.

MCOM 252 Digital Media Practices 3.0; 3cr.

This course is about the study and production of digital media on video and audio streaming platforms. The course will focus on increasingly popular media phenomena that are being produced independently and around the globe. Students will study, analyze, critique and produce one of these new media forms. Pre or corequisite: ENGL203. Occasionally.​

MCOM 253 Social Media Strategies 3.0; 3 cr.

This course aims to expand familiarity of theories and methods that explore the interrelationship between social media and society, how each is shaped by and in turn shapes the other. Students will critically explore the role of social media in contemporary society, and then engage with planning and implementing social media campaigns including content creation, seeding and promotion. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Occasionally.​​

MCOM 260 Senior Seminar in Media Studies 3.0; 3 cr.

A senior undergraduate seminar on the role of media in society. The content areas may change. Prerequisite: Senior standing. Every term.

MCOM 290 Special Topics Seminar 3.0; 3 cr.

MCOM faculty or visiting professors and recognized scholars might be invited to offer seminars to explore relevant dimensions of their research in progress. May be repeated for credit. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Occasionally.

MCOM 291 Special Topics (Humanities) 3.0; 3 cr.

A humanities course that provides a general over view of an area in media studies that is not normally covered by the department’s offerings. May be repeated for credit. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Occasionally.

MCOM 292 Special Topics (Social Sciences) 3.0; 3 cr.

A social sciences course that provides a general over view of an area in media studies that is not normally covered by the department’s offerings. May be repeated for credit. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Occasionally. 

MCOM 293 Special Topics (Practice-based elective - List B) 3.0, 3 cr.

A practice-based course that addresses an area in media studies that is not normally covered by the department’s offerings. May be repeated for credit. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Occasionally.

MCOM 294 Media Brown Bag 0 cr.

The Media Brown Bag course consists of a series of seminars presented by leading media researchers and practitioners from local and international media initiatives, broadcasters, print media, and advertising agencies. The aim of the seminar is to allow students first hand accounts of working in the media industr y, to engage in discussion with prominent media practitioners, and to allow students to discover potential career paths in media. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Every term.

MCOM 296 Internship 3.0; 3 cr.

A summer period of guided work experience super vised by the MCOM Internships and Workshops Coordinator and designed to acquaint students with a specific media/communication profession and help them acquire core values and basic skills necessary for finding future work and succeeding in that profession. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Every term.

MCOM 299 Directed Study 3–6 cr.

A tutorial course offered to MCOM students with an average of 85 or above in their major at the beginning of their senior year. This tutorial consists of independent research, original creative compositions, or directed reading, and includes the presentation of a report, project, or thesis on the work. Students with averages lower than 85 may be admitted to directed study at the discretion of the department. Pre or corequisite: ENGL 203. Occasionally.


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