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Media Studies

Media Studies refers to the broad range of interdisciplinary subjects focusing on media culture and production.


Welcome to the Media Studies subject guide for Indiana University Bloomington

We're glad you're here. This guide contains information pertaining to the field of media studies. Here you'll find featured content, helpful resources and services for scholarsinstructional support informationresearch & writing tips, new titles, and recommended resources. You will also find a list of campus & community resources relevant to film and media. For a description of what you'll find in each section of this guide, just hover over each item in the navigation menu on the left-hand side of this page; if you're using a mobile device, you'll also find a summary on each page.

The subject specialist and collection manager for this area is nicholae cline. If you would like to contact them, please use the profile box located on the left-hand side of this page. If you would like to request a purchase for our collections, you can use this form.

To learn more about who we are and the services we offer, including links to key general library services, take a look at the About Us page of this guide.


About Media Studies

Media Studies refers to the broad range of interdisciplinary subjects focusing on media culture and production. This may include media theory; game studies & design; communication & culture; telecommunications & communication science; media production, design, & aesthetics; mass media & popular culture; film & cinema studies, including the history & culture thereof; identity & representation; policy, copyright, and other legal frameworks; media ecology; journalism and the news, public relations and advertising, among many others. This subject area may also maintain commitments to sociocultural concerns relevant to information technology, such as the surveillance economy, social media, and other forms of technologically mediated interactions.

Media studies may and often does intersect with other fields, including philosophy, literary & social theory, art history & criticism, and cultural studies, et al.

This guide comprises resources and information relevant to students within the IU Media School, as well as those engaging with media, generally, in their research. Scholars of media often find themselves working with and across a variety frameworks, both regional and global; formats, both analog (filmvideocassettes/DVDs) and digital; and styles, from radio programming to movies, from television to video games, and beyond.

To learn more about the IU Media School, please visit their website.

Featured | Black Histories & Futures Month

In recognition and celebration of Black History Month this February, we have curated a selection of books, films, podcasts, and music that celebrate the voices, writing, lives, and history of Black people in America. This collection loosely centers around Blackness in media—aiming to highlight Black music, pop culture, television, and performance. In these selections you will find Black creators discussing the impact of media misrepresentation on Black masculinity, connections between Black music and culinary traditionsrest as a form of resistance, the history of Black performance in America, Black feminist sound, and ekphrastic Black & queer futures alongside a variety of other topics. We hope that you can utilize this collection alongside additional IU Library resources to recognize and celebrate the work of Black intellectuals, writers, poets, chefs, directors, and creators this February. 

Our collection is only a small sampling of texts. See below for additional reading lists:

About the Playlist

In addition to the resources we've gathered in this feature, we've also curated a sampling of music by black artists, across time and genre. To learn more about the deep and varied contributions of black musicians to the development of this medium, take a look at some of the resources we used to make this and other related playlists in the Sounds of Black History Month feature.

Note: To enjoy the playlist in full, click on the white Spotify icon in the upper-right corner of the playlist, and press the "like" (♡) button in the application to save.

Next Steps

National recognition months are a great opportunity to celebrate and participate in events and learning that honor the history of marginalized communities. We recognize, however, that these months, and the creation of resource guides, is only one small step in celebrating and recognizing the contributions of marginalized communities across America. We also recognize that reading books, engaging with films, and listening to music by Black creators is only one aspect of supporting Black communities. To engage more fully, consider supporting local Black-owned businesses, learning about the history and experiences of Black people in Bloomington and at IU, and supporting institutions at IU the are dedicated to Black students. Please see our feature on Local Black History for resources specific to Bloomington, Indiana. 

In particular, we would like to highlight the Celebrating Black Cinema series hosted by the Black Film Center & Archive, the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, and the City of Bloomington. See the full list of events on the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center Calendar.

To explore more programming at IU, see below:

While Black History Month, as a formulation, often emphasizes history and the present (and thus maintains a retrospective focus), we acknowledge that there are many Black futures that we can dream, cultivate, and grow together. While we have highlighted a number of resources that imagine a different world, in the (or "a") future we hope to shift our focus to looking forward, with new features and resources that highlight what is possible.

If you'd like to engage more deeply with Black History Month through library resources, the IU Libraries Arts & Humanities department has created a number of resources and features to provide more holistic coverage of Black history:

For more poetry, explore the following curated lists:

Feature Films

Documentary Films

Episodes Highlighting Black Voices

Featured | The Sounds of Black History Month

In recognition and celebration of Black History Month in February, we have created a series of curated playlists designed to celebrate the voices, innovations, and influence of black artists and musicians across music history. 

The first in our series of playlists, titled “Masterpiece,” explores a variety of genres and musical movements traditionally recognized as being driven by black artistry and innovation, genres that provide a space for the voices of black artists to be heard and celebrated. This playlist focuses on key figures in pop, jazz, soul, funk, r&b, and hip hop, spanning from the mid-20th century to the present day.

In addition to this more general playlist, we also created three other playlists that offer deep dives into genres where black voices and influence are often obscured or overlooked: including rock music, celebrating black pioneers in punk, metal, and other rock music movements; folk and country, where black contributions to the evolution of folk and country music into popular culture is centered; and electronic, where we highlight key black contributors to the evolution of electronic music in all its many sub-genres.

Provided in tandem with these playlists are library and freely available resources to aid in the further exploration and celebration of black contributions to contemporary popular music and culture. 

Resources for Further Exploration

Beyond the Playlist

As with many of these national commemorations, one month is never enough time to fully honor and celebrate the history and culture of marginalized communities, let alone heal the legacies (and ongoing reality) of harm they've experienced. We recognize that there is much more to be done, that racism and anti-blackness can't be eliminated simply through the creation of resource guides, and that the work of realizing justice won't soon be over. But nevertheless, we keep trying, contributing how we can and building upon the efforts of those who came before us, and we continue to learn from and with one another.

If you'd like to engage more deeply with Black History Month, the IU Libraries Arts & Humanities department has created a number of interrelated resources and features to provide more holistic coverage of this remembering. You'll find those, below:

And for all things Black culture, you can never go wrong with the resources, services, and collections of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center Library.

For the other three playlists in our Black History Month feature we will focus on the voices and innovations of black artists in genres where they are often overlooked, or excluded. To start, we present here a curated list of Rock musicians and bands from the genre’s inception to the present day. Here, we illustrate and outline a handful of the black artists who drove the genre forward, keeping it fresh into the new decade, from rock, to punk, to metal, and back again.

Playlist Resources & Further Reading 

Continuing in our celebration of contributions and innovations by black artists to genres wherein their voices are often forgotten or overlooked, we present a curated playlist of black songs that have influenced and driven the sounds of folk and country music for over a hundred years.

Playlist Resources & Further Reading

Classical music in particular has long been dominated by the contributions of white men, despite the breadth and artistry of black composers from as early as the 19th century. In this playlist, we highlight compositions from across musical time to showcase the many ways black artists have explored and challenged the conventions of classical music.

Playlist Resources & Further Reading

Our final playlist in our Black History Month series explores the contributions and innovations made by black musicians in the rapidly evolving electronic music genre. While much debate exists over the true beginnings of music made entirely with electronic instruments, one thing that is certain is black artists have been at the forefront of exploring the capabilities of electronic compositions, pushing the types of music that can be created entirely with synthetic instruments to new heights with each decade.

Playlist Resources & Further Reading

Recent Additions

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Critical Race Media Literacy

This volume offers deeper exploration and advancement of critical race media literacy, a concept which fuses the genres of media literacy and critical media literacy with critical race theory to bring a new and salient frame to the discussion of media literacy across all levels of education in today’s globalized, race-based, and media-saturated climate. Bridging the gap in research that has not addressed the ways in which media is a conduit of racial dialogue and ideology, the book brings together a diverse group of scholars that explore their perspectives on critical race media literacy as it is experienced from the interface and consumption of a variety of media texts and social phenomena. Topics addressed include news literacy, children’s literature, Black political movements, media protests, and ethnic rock—Critical Race Media Literacy addresses these topics within existing media literacy contexts to enhance media literacy scholarship and educational pedagogy. This book will provide a timely and important resource not only for scholars and students of media literacy and media education but also for educators working in diverse learning settings.

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American Mass Incarceration and Post-Network Quality Television

Far more than a building of brick and mortar, the prison relies upon gruesome stories circulated as commercial media to legitimize its institutional reproduction. Perhaps no medium has done more in recent years to both produce and intervene in such stories than television. This unapologetically interdisciplinary work presents a series of investigations into some of the most influential and innovative treatments of American mass incarceration to hit our screens in recent decades. Looking beyond celebratory accolades, Lee A. Flamand argues that we cannot understand the eagerness of influential programs such as OZ, The Wire, Orange Is the New Black, 13th,and Queen Sugarto integrate the sensibilities of prison ethnography, urban sociology, identity politics activism, and even Black feminist theory into their narrative structures without understanding how such critical postures relate to the cultural aspirations and commercial goals of a quickly evolving TV industry and the most deeply ingrained continuities of American storytelling practices.

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Chokepoint Capitalism

A call to action for the creative class and labor movement to rally against the power of Big Tech and Big Media Corporate concentration has breached the stratosphere, as have corporate profits. An ever-expanding constellation of industries are now monopolies (where sellers have excessive power over buyers) or monopsonies (where buyers hold the whip hand over sellers)--or both. In Chokepoint Capitalism, scholar Rebecca Giblin and writer and activist Cory Doctorow argue we're in a new era of "chokepoint capitalism," with exploitative businesses creating insurmountable barriers to competition that enable them to capture value that should rightfully go to others. All workers are weakened by this, but the problem is especially well-illustrated by the plight of creative workers. Chokepoint Capitalism is a call to workers of all sectors to unite to help smash these chokepoints and take back the power and profit that's being heisted away--before it's too late.

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Analysing Media Discourse

This study of media discourse combines a theoretical framework with empirical engagement and brings together analysis from a range of disciplines. As such, this volume will enable readers to more comprehensively embrace the nature of media communication, on the one hand, and, on the other, it will provide media discourse producers with more effective instruments to understand the role of media in social life.

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The Cinema House and the World

The writings of one of the greatest film critics of his generation on the auteur approach of the French New Wave to a more structural examination of film. One of the greatest film critics of his generation, Serge Daney wrote for Cahiers du Cinema before becoming a journalist for the daily newspaper Liberation. The writings collected in this volume reflect Daney's evolving interests, from the auteur approach of the French New Wave to a more structural examination of film, psychoanalysis, and popular culture. Openly gay throughout his lifetime, Daney rarely wrote explicitly about homosexuality but his writings reflect a queer sensibility that would influence future generations. In regular intellectual exchanges with Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, and Roland Barthes, Daney wrote about cinema autobiographically, while lyrically analyzing the transition from modern cinema to postmodern media. A noted polymath, Daney also published books about tennis and Haiti's notorious Duvalier regime. His criticism is open and challenging, polyvocal and compulsively readable.

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Gender, Sexuality and Queerness in American Horror Story

The horror anthology TV show American Horror Story first aired on FX Horror in 2011 and has thus far spanned eight seasons. Addressing many areas of cultural concern, the show has tapped in to conversations about celebrity culture, family dynamics, and more. This volume with nine new essays and one reprinted one considers how this series engages with representations of gender, sexuality, queer identities and other LGBTQ issues. The contributors address myriad elements of American Horror Story, from the relationship between gender and nature to contemporary masculinities, offering a sustained analysis of a show that has proven to be central to contemporary genre television.

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Grief in Contemporary Horror Cinema

Over the course of the past two decades, horror cinema around the globe has become increasingly preoccupied with the concept of loss. Grief in Contemporary Horror Cinema: Screening Loss examines the theme of grief as it is represented in both indie and mainstream films, including works such as Jennifer Kent's watershed film The Babadook, Juan Antonio Bayona's award-sweeping El orfanato, Ari Aster's genre-straddling Midsommar, and Lars von Trier's visually stunning Melancholia. Analyzing depictions of grief ranging from the intimate grief of a small family to the collective grief of an entire nation, the essays illustrate how these works serve to provide unity, catharsis, and--sometimes--healing.

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Handbook of Japanese Media and Popular Culture in Transition

The Handbook of Japanese Media and Popular Culture in Transitionbrings together new research and perspectives on popular media phenomena, as well as shining a spotlight on texts that are less well known or studied. Organized into five thematic sections, the chapters span a diverse range of cultural genres, including contemporary film and television, postwar cinema, advertising, popular fiction, men's magazines, manga and anime, karaoke and digital media. They address issues critical to contemporary Japanese society: the politicization of history, authenticity and representation, constructions of identity, trauma and social disaffection, intersectionality and trans/nationalism. Drawing on methods and approaches from a range of disciplines, the chapters make explicit the interconnections between these areas of research and map out possible trajectories for future inquiry. As such, the handbook will be of value to both novice scholars and seasoned researchers, working within and/or beyond the Japanese media studies remit.

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Insights on Fashion Journalism

This collection surveys the key debates and issues that currently face fashion journalism, going beyond traditional print media to consider its multiple contexts and iterations in an ever-evolving post-digital media environment. Bringing together a diverse range of contributors, Insights on Fashion Journalism explores the characteristics, complexities, shifts and specificities of the field. Part One focuses on the complex relationships between those who practice fashion journalism, the fashion industry, and the media context in which they operate; Part Two considers the ways in which fashion journalism responds to the socio-political and cultural contexts in which it is created, as well as the impact these contexts have on tone, content, and style; and Part Three investigates how language is employed in different media. Approaching fashion journalism through a critically diverse lens, this collection is an asset for academics and students in the fields of fashion studies, journalism, communication, cultural studies and digital media.

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K-Pop Dance

This book is about K-pop dance and the evolution and presence of its dance fandom on social media. Based on five years of ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, choreography, and participation-observation with 40 amateur and professional K-pop dancers in New York, California, and Seoul, the book traces the evolution of K-pop dance from the 1980s to the 2020s and explains its distinctive feature called 'gestural point choreography' - front-driven, two-dimensional, decorative and charming movements of the upper body and face - as an example of what the author theorizes as 'social media dance.' It also explores K-pop cover dance as a form of intercultural performance, suggesting that, by imitating and idolizing K-pop dance, fans are eventually 'fandoming' themselves and their bodies. Presenting an ethnographic study of K-pop dance and its fandom, this book will be a valuable resource for students and scholars of Media Studies, Korean Studies, Performance Studies, and Dance.

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Performing Fear in Television Production

What goes into the ideological sustenance of an illiberal capitalist democracy? While much of the critical discussion of the media in authoritarian contexts focus on state power, the emphasis on strong states tend to perpetuate misnomers about the media as mere tools of the state and sustain myths about their absolute power. Turning to the lived everyday of media producers in Singapore, I pose a series of questions that explore what it takes to perpetuate authoritarian resilience in the mass media. How, in what terms and through what means, does a politically stable illiberal Asian state like Singapore formulate its dominant imaginary of social order? What are the television production practices that perform and instantiate the social imaginary, and who are the audiences that are conjured and performed in the process? What are the roles played by imagined audiences in sustaining authoritarian resilience in the media? If, as I will argue in the book, audiences function as the central problematic that engenders anxieties and self-policing amongst producers, can the audience become a surrogate for the authoritarian state?

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Screening the Gothic in Australia and New Zealand

The persistent popularity of the detective narrative, new obsessions with psychological and supernatural disturbances, as well as the resurgence of older narratives of mystery or the Gothic all constitute a vast proportion of contemporary film and television productions. New ways of watching film and television have also seen a reinvigoration of this 'most domestic of media'. But what does this 'domesticity' of genre and media look like 'Down Under' in the twenty.first century? This collection traces representations of the Gothic on both the small and large screens in Australia and New Zealand in the twenty.first century. It attends to the development and mutation of the Gothic in these post. or neo.colonial contexts, concentrating on the generic innovations of this temporal and geographical focus.

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Voices of the Race

Voices of the Race offers English translations of more than one hundred articles published in Black newspapers in Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, and Uruguay from 1870 to 1960. Those publications were as important in Black community and intellectual life in Latin America as African American newspapers were in the United States, yet they are almost completely unknown to English-language readers. Expertly curated, the articles are organized into chapters centered on themes that emerged in the Black press: politics and citizenship, racism and anti-racism, family and education, community life, women, Africa and African culture, diaspora and Black internationalism, and arts and literature. Each chapter includes an introduction explaining how discussions on those topics evolved over time, and a list of questions to provoke further reflection. Each article is carefully edited and annotated; footnotes and a glossary explain names, events, and other references that will be unfamiliar to English-language readers. A unique, fascinating insight into the rich body of Black cultural and intellectual production across Latin America.

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Popular Music Heritage

This book critically discusses the significance of popular music heritage as a means of remembering and re-presenting rock and pop artists, their music and their place in the culture of contemporary society. Since the mid-1990s, the contribution of popular music to the shaping of contemporary history and heritage has increasingly been acknowledged. In the same period, exhibitions of popular music related artefacts have become more commonplace in museums, and facilities dedicated to the celebration of popular music history and heritage, such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, have opened their doors. Popular music heritage has found other mediums of expression too. There is now a significant popular music heritage media, including books, magazines, films and television series. Fans collect and display their own mementos, while the live performances of tribute bands and classic albums fulfill an increasing desire for the live spectacle of popular music heritage. This book will be crucial reading for established scholars as well as postgraduate and undergraduate students studying popular music heritage.

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The Reel World

This fully updated and complete guide takes you inside the world of creating music for film, television, and-unique to this third edition-video games. Industry expert Jeff Rona addresses a wide range of topics including musical aesthetics, cutting-edge technology and techniques, and current business aspects. It is packed with interviews with the most influential film, television, and video game composers, along with music editors, music supervisors, agents, contractors and studio executives. Packed with insider's tips, the book also advises on how to nurture positive relationships within your creative team and business contacts. For the aspiring film, TV or video game composer, this book is a veritable cornucopia of useful information for pursuing scoring to picture as a career.

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Understanding Personalisation

Understanding Personalization: New Aspects of Design and Consumption addresses the global phenomenon of personalization that affects many aspects of everyday life. The book identifies the dimensions of personalization and its typologies. Issues of privacy, the ethics of design, and the designer/maker's control versus the consumer's freedom are covered, along with sections on digital personalization, advances in new media technologies and software development, the way we communicate, our personal devices, and the way personal data is stored and used. Other sections cover the principles of personalization and changing patterns of consumption and development in marketing that facilitate individualized products and services. The book also assesses the convergence of both producers and consumers towards the co-creation of goods and services and the challenges surrounding personalization, customization, and bespoke marketing in the context of ownership and consumption.

All Media Studies Guides