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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, instructional support informationresearch tips, new titles, and recommended resources.

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.

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 | Indigenous Heritage & History Month

In recognition of this month's celebration of indigenous history and culture, we present this curated playlist of Indigenous artists from the 20th and 21st centuries. Collected here are artists representing their heritage and identity in musical stylings varying from traditional to contemporary, spanning a spectrum of hip hop, metal, country, and experimental. Listen and explore a sampling of the vast contributions to modern American music by Indigenous peoples.

This list only serves as a diving point into the vast contributions to American and international popular music made by Indigenous artists. Join us in celebrating and exploring these genre defining (and defying) artists. Below the playlist, you'll find a comprehensive discussion of the context and history of the music we've highlighted, as well as a selection of resources for further reading on Indigenous music.

Beyond the Playlist
If you'd like to engage more deeply with the experience of Indigenous people within the context of Turtle Island, we've also curated a list of books, movies, databases, and podcasts to support further curiosity and learning. You can also find that list by clicking on the Indigenous Heritage & History Month box on the left-hand side of this page, in the navigation menu.

Additionally, as part of this celebration and remembering, there is also a series of features related to Indigenous identity, from across IU Libraries:

Next Steps
For more information about the Indigenous communities with ongoing and traditional ties to this land, and how to support Indigenous groups and movements, take a look at our Land Acknowledgment and Local Indigenous Resources guide.

Our playlist moves throughout various points in North American musical history, with artists dating back to the early 20th century. In the early decades of jazz, Mildred Bailey (Cour de’Alene) emerged as a household name. Bailey started her singing career at 17 and went on to perform genre staples of the jazz giants of her time. In the late 1920s, blues music was being recorded and released to great popularity, and among the artists of this blues explosion was Charlie Patton (Choctaw). Hailed as the father of Delta Blues, Patton, of mixed (Black, white, and Indigenous) ancestry, pioneered the driving rhythms and impassioned vocals that became representative of blues music in the delta region and would lay the foundational groundwork for rock n roll musicians to come. 

Moving into the 1960s, Indigenous artists had an undeniable impact on popular music despite a lack of commercial success. Buffy Sainte-Marie, born on the Piapot 75 reserve and adopted by a Mi’kmaq family as an infant, gained notoriety in the New York folk scene for her impassioned and fiercely political compositions and performances. She penned hit anthems of the 1960s counterculture scene, including “Unknown Soldier” and “Cod’ine,” though she is seldom given credit where it is due. Further south along the east coast, rock n roll pioneer Link Wray (Cherokee and Shawnee) emerged with the single “Rumble” in 1958. Wray, born in North Carolina,, would change rock n roll forever with his signature heavy and distorted guitar tones, paving the way for punk and metal musicians to follow. Collected here is an example of Wray’s country and Americana roots from his self-titled 1971 album, a pioneering work of the home-recording movement that would carry into the 21st century. 

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Indigenous artists had a profound influence on popular American genres. Often forgotten in the shadow of his contemporaries like Eric Clapton and George Harrison, Jesse Ed Davis (Comanche, Seminole, Muskogee, and Kiowa) was a highly acclaimed guitar player. Born in Oklahoma, Davis played with hugely popular artists of his time, featuring alongside names like John Lennon, Taj Mahal, Jackson Browne, and Leonard Cohen. On the west coast, brothers Pat and Candido Vasquez-Vegas (Yaqui, Shoshone, and Mexican) formed the all Native American rock group Redbone. The brothers penned radio-rock staples for the 1970s with hits like “The Witch Queen of New Orleans” and the ever-lasting “Come and Get Your Love.” Across the nation at this time, acts were popping up on reservations and in indigenous communities, exemplified here by the band Sugluk with their song “Ajuinnarasuarsunga,” a fusion of rock n roll song structure and first nations language. 

Moving into the 1980s, singer-songwriter Archie James Cavanaugh (Tlingit) released his yacht rock classic “Black and White Raven.” Born in Alaska, Cavanaugh traveled the west coast assembling a band that included members of Redbone to release his often overlooked album, its fusion of disco and soft rock represented here on “Take it Easy.” In country music, First Nations culture is frequently referenced but seldom represented justly. This was not the case in the music of Buddy Red Bow (Lakota). Red Bow dedicated his career to singing of the plight of Indigenous peoples and the injustices wrought by white colonists. The music of Indigenous artists was also significant in rising genres of the decade like new age. Joanne Shenandoah (Oneida and Onondaga) would become an influential figure in this genre and would go on to set the record for Native American Music Awards won by a single artist. 

Moving into the 21st century to the present, Indigenous artists still hold an influential place in modern American genres, driving them forward with ingenuity and expert artistry. Artist Martha Redbone continues in the tradition of rhythm n blues and soul music, fusing these sounds with traditional indigenous music drawn from her heritage of Choctaw, Cherokee, and African American. Artist Samantha Crain melds folk rock, indie rock, and americana with indigenous influence reflective of her Choctaw heritage. Inuk artist Beatrice Deer makes indie rock that is consistently inventive and exciting, earning her the Best Inut/Cultural Album award for her 2005 effort “Just Bea.” In the vein of indie rock, Silver Jackson makes music in numerous groups, performing under this name as well as his Tlingit name.  Groups like Cemican and Nechochwen fuse First Nations history and political outcry over unjust treatment of Indigenous peoples with the harsh and aggressive sounds of metal, driving the genre forward still in the 21st century. Doom metal group Divide and Dissolve (Black, Tsalagi, Maori) fuse classical music with doom metal and lyrical outcry over injustices wrought against indigenous peoples to create uniquely political music for the 21st century. Artist Black Belt Eagle Scout furthers the mix of traditional indigenous influence with alternative rock, creating post rock informed by her Swinomish heritage. Artist Tanya Tagaq (Inuk) create music unlike anything heard before, fusing traditional throat singing with ambient soundscapes derived from noise and drone music. In hip hop, First Nations artists bring exciting changes and new voices to the cultural forefront, as is the case with Angel Haze (Cherokee), who raps of their experiences as an individual identifying as pansexual and agender in the hip hop world, as well as celebrating their mixed Indigenous heritage. Groups like A Tribe Called Red fuse electronic genres like dubstep and house with hip hop and traditional First Nations music to create a sound wholly their own in the massive EDM music market.

Featured | Disability Awareness & Pride Months

In celebration of National Disability Awareness Month in March, Disability Pride Month in July, and National Disability Employment Month in October, we curated this feature to focus on disabled, neurodivergent, crip, and sick creators in a wide range of mediums. Disability is a topic in film, literature, music, and other media that often gets pushed to the side due to fear, stigma, and pity. This feature is a testament to the vibrant community of disability media and its creators that refuse to let diagnoses or illness stand in the way of artistic expression. 

To read more about disability language and the use of "crip," enjoy this article by Dean Strauss: "Queer Crips: Reclaiming Language," and Brittany Wong's Huffington Post article "It's Perfectly OK to call a Disabled Person 'Disabled,' And Here's Why."

The Playlist
To get started with this feature, we have compiled a selection of music from disabled, sick, and neurodivergent artists from across time and genres. To learn more about these artists and communities, and the particularities of their musical contributions, enjoy some of the resources we used to help make this playlist:

Next Steps
If you would like to engage more with this month-long celebration, the Libraries have curated a number of interrelated resources and features to continue and deepen the conversation. You'll find these, below:

Indiana University Disability Resources
There are a number of resources and services available to students, staff, and faculty on the Bloomington campus. A selection of these is provided here:





Feature Films


Short Films


Journal Articles


Visual Art

Recent Additions

The Media Manifesto

Our media systems are in crisis. Run by unaccountable corporations and dominated by agendas and algorithms that are shrouded in mystery, these formerly trusted sources of information and entertainment have lost their way. As consumers, we have plenty of choice, but as citizens we have an abundance of misinformation and misrepresentation. In this incisive manifesto, four prominent media scholars and activists put forth a roadmap for radical reform of concentrated media power. They argue that we should put media justice, economic democracy and social equality at the heart of our scholarship and our campaigning.

Media, Migrants and Human Rights. in the Evolution of the European Scenario of Refugees' and Asylum Seekers' Instances

The volume is a collection of essays - the result of studies, research, projects - on the theme of migration, of the condition of refugees and asylum seekers, of respect for or violation of human rights, of the narration of these events in the media. It offers a lucid glance, through the voice of several scholars, of the European scenario and its evolution in recent years.

The Media-Democracy Paradox in Ghana

This volume focuses on the matrix offered by the media-democracy paradox in Ghana, Africa, and the Global South. As the first black African country south of the Sahara to attain political independence from Great Britain, Ghana is widely acknowledged by the international community as a model of democracy. This book examines the praxis of this democracy and its media, delving into Ghana's evolvement, media practices, leadership aspirations, pressure group politics, and ideological cleavages.

Mediating Multiculturalism

Using digital storytelling--a new media genre that began in California in the late 1990s and that proliferated across 'the West' in the 2000s--as a site of analysis, this book asks, 'What is done in the name of the everyday?' Like everyday multiculturalism, digital storytelling is promoted as an accessible, enabling, and ordinary phenomenon that represents cultural experience more accurately than official sites. As such, the genre frequently houses stories of migration, community, and ethnic and racial differences.

Modernist Magazines and the Social Ideal

The new photo-illustrated magazines of the 1920s traded in images of an ideal modernity, promising motorised leisure, scientific progress, and social and sexual emancipation. Modernist Magazines and the Social Ideal is a pioneering history of these periodicals, focusing on two of the leading European titles- the German monthly UHU, and the French news weekly VU, taken as representative of the broad class of popular titles launched in the 1920s. The book is the first major study of UHU, and the first scholarly work on VU in English.


What are Monsters? Monsters are everywhere, from cyberbullies online to vampires onscreen: the twenty-first century is a monstrous age. The root of the word «monster» means «omen» or «warning», and if monsters frighten us, it's because they are here to warn us about something amiss in ourselves and in our society. Humanity has given birth to these monsters, and they grow and change with us, carrying the scars of their birth with them. This collection of original and accessible essays looks at a variety of contemporary monsters from literature, film, television, music and the internet within their respective historical and cultural contexts.

News 2. 0

Offers fresh insights and empirical evidence on the producers, consumers, and content of News 2.0. The second generation of news--News 2.0--made, distributed, and consumed on the internet, particularly social media, has forever changed the news business. News 2.0: Journalists, Audiences and News on Social Media examines the ways in which news production is sometimes biased and how social networking sites (SNS) have become highly personalized news platforms that reflect users' preferences and world views.

News on the American Dream

News on the American Dream traces the development of the Portuguese­American press from its beginnings in the late nineteenth century to the present, taking readers from the East Coast to Hawaii, with strategic stops in places with large Portuguese communities, including New Bedford, Massachusetts; Oakland, California; and Newark, New Jersey. Alberto Pena Rodríguez's nuanced analysis of the political, economic, social, and cultural roles played by these publications proves how important they were for the Portuguese­American community and the history of the ethnic press in the United States.

No Laughing Matter: Race Joking and Resistance in Brazilian Social Media

'No Laughing Matter: Race Joking and Resistance in Brazilian Social Media' examines the social phenomenon of construction and dissemination of colonial-like racist discourses fostered against upwardly-mobile black women through disparagement humour on social media platforms, adopting a fresh and innovative perspective. In this book, Luiz Valerio P. Trindade explores the idea that disparagement humour might not be as exempt of social impact as the jokers might believe, and that, in fact, this kind of humour reveals the hidden facet of deep-seated colonial ideologies still present in Brazilian society despite being hailed as a unique model of a post-racial society.

Sex Work, Health, and Human Rights

This open access book provides a comprehensive overview of the health inequities and human rights issues faced by sex workers globally across diverse contexts, and outlines evidence-based strategies and best practices. Sex workers face severe health and social inequities, largely as the result of structural factors including punitive and criminalized legal environments, stigma, and social and economic exclusion and marginalization. Although previous work has largely emphasized an elevated burden and gaps in HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) services in sex work, less attention has been paid to the broader health and human rights concerns faced by sex workers. This contributed volume addresses this gap.  The chapters feature a variety of perspectives including academic, community, implementing partners, and government to synthesize research evidence as well as lessons learned from local-level experiences across different regions, and are organized under three parts: Burden of health and human rights inequities faced by sex workers globally, including infectious diseases (e.g., HIV, STIs), violence, sexual and reproductive health, and drug use.

Punk Identities, Punk Utopias

Explores the notion of identities, ideologies, and cultural discourse in contemporary global punk scenes.  Punk Identities, Punk Utopias unpacks punk and the factors that shape its increasingly complex and indefinable social, political, and economic setting. The third offering in Intellect's Global Punk series, produced in collaboration with the Punk Scholars Network, this volume examines the broader social, political, and technological concerns that affect punk scenes around the world, from digital technology and new media to gender, ethnicity, identity, and representation. Drawing on scholarship in cultural studies, musicology, and social sciences, this interdisciplinary collection will add to the academic discussion of contemporary popular culture, particularly in relation to punk and the critical understanding of transnational and cross-cultural dialogue.

The Politics of Laughter in the Social Media Age

The Politics of Laughter in the Social Media Age: Perspectives from the Global South brings to critical and intellectual attention the role of humour in the digital era in the Global South. Many citizens of the Global South live disempowered and precarious lives. Digital media and humour, as chapters in the volume demonstrate, have empowered these citizens through engagement with power and their peers, enabling a pursuit of a better future. Contributors to the volume, while alive to challenges associated with the digital divide, highlight the potentials of social media and humour to engage and seek redress on issues such as corruption, human rights violations, racism and sexism. Contributors expertly analyse memes, videos, cartoons and other social media texts to demonstrate how citizens mimic, disrupt, ridicule and challenge status quo. This book caters for academics and students in media and communication studies, political studies, sociology and Global South studies.

The Oxford Handbook of Queer Cinema

The term "queer cinema" is often used to name at least three cultural events: 1) an emergent visual culture that boldly identifies as queer; 2) a body of narrative, documentary, and experimental work previously collated under the rubric of homosexual or lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) cinema; 3) a means of critically reading and evaluating films and other visual media through the lens of sexuality. By this expansive account, queer cinema encompasses more than a century of filmmaking, film criticism, and film reception, and the past twenty-five years have seen the idea of "queer cinema" expand further as a descriptor for a global arts practice. As the first of its kind, The Oxford Handbook of Queer Cinema treats these three currents as art and critical practice, bringing the canon of queer cinema together with a new generation of makers and scholars. 

Music Documentaries for Radio

"Drawing on both academic research and real world practice, this book offers an in-depth investigation into the production of music documentaries broadcast on radio. Music Documentaries for Radio provides a thorough overview of how the genre has developed technically and editorially alongside a discussion of the practical production processes involved. Digital production equipment and online tools used in music documentary production are discussed in detail, outlining how the development of these technologies shapes the output of producers operating in both the public service and the commercial sectors of the industry."--

A Fan Studies Primer

The discipline of fan studies is famously undisciplined. But that doesn't mean it isn't structured. This is the first comprehensive primer for classroom use that shows students how to do fan studies in practical terms. With contributions from a range of established and emerging scholars, coeditors Paul Booth and Rebecca Williams pull together case studies that demonstrate the wide array of methodologies available to fan studies scholars, such as auto/ethnography, immersion, interviews, online data mining, historiography, and textual analysis. This collection also probes the ethical questions that are unique to fan studies work, such as the use of online fan content for research, interview methods, consent, and privacy.  

Screening Love and War in Troy: Fall of a City

This is the first volume of essays published on the television series Troy: Fall of a City (BBC One and Netflix, 2018). Covering a wide range of engaging topics, such as gender, race and politics, international scholars in the fields of classics, history and film studies discuss how the story of Troy has been recreated on screen to suit the expectations of modern audiences. The series is commended for the thought-provoking way it handles important issues arising from the Trojan War narrative that continue to impact our society today. With discussions centered on epic narrative, cast and character, as well as tragic resonances, the contributors tackle gender roles by exploring the innovative ways in which mythological female figures such as Helen, Aphrodite and the Amazons are depicted in the series. An examination is also made into the concept of the hero and how the series challenges conventional representations of masculinity.

All Media Studies Guides

Contributors' Notes

Brett Hoffman (they/them) - Arts & Humanities Library Assistant, 2019-'21

Wendy Lee Spaček (she/her) - Arts & Humanities Library Assistant, 2019-'21

McLain Chadsey (he/him) - Arts & Humanities Library Assistant, 2021-'22

Jo Otremba (they/them) - Arts & Humanities Library Assistant, 2022-present