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Media Studies

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


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.

Featured | Environmental Justice & Earth Day

In recognition of Earth Day, for the month of April the Media Studies department presents a collection of media highlighting issues surrounding environmental justice. Included here are documentaries on issues surrounding environmental justice and climate change in the United States and around the globe. Also featured here are films and books in the genre of climate fiction, showcasing the ways authors and directors are exploring issues surrounding environmental justice and climate change through various genres in the world of film and fiction. Accompanying these highlights from the collection is a collection of songs, showcasing the ways artists across genres are exploring climate change and environmental justice in song. 

Further Resources

Next Steps
If you'd like to engage further with the themes and ideas explored in the resources we've highlighted here, navigate over to the highlight on Environmental Ethics & Aesthetics at the Philosophy Research Guide.

Recent Additions

Entertaining Entrepreneurs

The Great Recession threatened the well-being of tens of millions of Americans, dramatically weakened the working class, hollowed out the middle class, and strengthened the position of the very wealthy. Against this backdrop, the hit reality show Shark Tank premiered in 2009. Featuring ambitious entrepreneurs chasing support from celebrity investors, the show offered a version of the American Dream that still seemed possible to many, where a bright idea and a well-honed pitch could lift a bootstrap business to new heights of success. More than a decade later, Shark Tank still airs regularly on multiple networks, and its formula has sparked imitators everywhere, from elite universities to elementary school classrooms. In Entertaining Entrepreneurs, Daniel Horowitz shows how Shark Tank's version of entrepreneurship disguises and distorts the opportunities and traps of capitalism.

Fake News

In this dizzying post-truth, post-fact, fake news era, the onslaught and speed of potentially untrue, incorrect, or fabricated information (some crafted and weaponized, some carelessly shared) can cause a loss of our intellectual bearings. If we fail to have a common truthful basis for discussions of opinion and policy, the integrity of our democracy is at risk. This up-to-date anthology is designed to provide a survey of technological, ethical, and legal issues raised by falsehoods, particularly social media misinformation.


Fanvids, or vids, are short videos created in media fandom. Made from television and film sources, they are neither television episodes nor films; they resemble music videos but are non-commercial fanworks that construct creative and critical analyses of existing media. The creators of fanvids-called vidders-are predominantly women, whose vids prompt questions about media historiography and pleasures taken from screen media. Vids remake narratives for an attentive fan audience, who watch with a deep knowledge of the source text(s), or an interest in the vid form itself. Fanvids: Television, Women, and Home Media Re-Use draws on four decades of vids, produced on videotape and digitally, to argue that the vid form's creation and reception reveals a mode of engaged spectatorship that counters academic histories of media audiences and technologies. Vids offer an answer to the prevalent questions: What happens to television after it's been aired? How and by whom is it used and shared? Is it still television?

Growing up on Facebook

Growing up in the era of social media isn't easy. With Facebook now having existed for more than a decade and a half, young people who have grown up using social media can look back and see earlier versions of themselves staring back: nostalgic moments with friends from school, reminders of painful breakups, birthdays and graduations, posts that allude to drama with family, experiences of travel, and blurry drunken photos. How do we make sense of our own personal histories inscribed on and through social media? What are the implications for future careers, for public trust in social media companies, and for our own memories? Growing up on Facebook examines the role of Facebook, and other social media platforms that have emerged around Facebook, in mediating experiences of 'growing up' for young people.

Historical Dictionary of Middle Eastern Cinema

To a substantial degree cinema has served to define the perceived character of the peoples and nations of the Middle East. This book covers the production and exhibition of the cinema of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabi, Yemen, Kuwait, and Bahrain, as well as the non-Arab states of Turkey and Iran, and the Jewish state of Israel.This second edition of Historical Dictionary of Middle Eastern Cinema contains a chronology, an introduction, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 500 cross-referenced entries on individual films, filmmakers, actors, significant historical figures, events, and concepts, and the countries themselves. It also covers the range of cinematic modes from documentary to fiction, representational to animation, generic to experimental, mainstream to avant-garde, and entertainment to propaganda. This book is an excellent resource for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about Middle Eastern cinema.

How Media and Conflicts Make Migrants

The book explores how we understand global conflicts as they relate to the "European refugee crisis", and draws on a range of empirical fieldwork carried out in the UK and Italy. It examines how global conflict has been constructed in both countries through media representations - in a climate of changing media habits, widespread mistrust, and fake news.

Intercultural Screen Adaptation

Intercultural Screen Adaptation offers a wide-ranging examination of how film and television adaptations (and non-adaptations) interact with the cultural, social and political environments of their national, transnational and post-national contexts. With screen adaptations examined from across Britain, Europe, South America and Asia, this book tests how examining the processes of adaptation across and within national frameworks challenges traditional debates around the concept of nation in film, media and cultural studies.

James Joyce and Cinematicity

In this book, Keith Williams explores Victorian culture's emergent 'cinematicity' as a key creative driver of Joyce's experimental fiction, showing how Joyce's style and themes share the cinematograph's roots in Victorian optical entertainment and science. The book reveals Joyce's references to optical toys, shadowgraphs, magic lanterns, panoramas, photographic analysis and film peepshows.

Locating Taiwan Cinema in the Twenty-First Century

"There has been much discussion of New Wave Taiwan cinema of the 1980s and 1990s, including research that studies the pathbreaking contributions of acclaimed directors like Hou Hsiao-hsien.

Media Culture in Transnational Asia

Media Culture in Transnational Asia: Convergences and Divergences examines contemporary media use within Asia, where over half of the world's population resides. The book addresses media use and practices by looking at the transnational exchanges of ideas, narratives, images, techniques, and values and how they influence media consumption and production throughout Asia, including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iran and many others.

All Media Studies Guides

Contributors' Notes

Brett Hoffman (he/him) - Arts & Humanities Library Assistant

Wendy Lee Spaček (she/her) - Arts & Humanities Library Assistant