Week 1 Introduction to Accepted Views of the Media: Selections from Newspapers, Cartoons, and Movies

Week 2 Modernity

Benjamin, Walter, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” [1936], in M.G. Durham, and D.M. Kellner, Media and Cultural Studies (Malden, Oxford and Carlton: Blackwell, 2006), pp. 18-40

Week 3 Transmission

Harold Lasswell, “The Structure and Function of Communication in Society” [1948], in Wilbur Schramm, Mass Communication (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1960), pp. 84-99

Week 4 Persuasion and Influence

Elihu Katz and Paul F. Lazarsfeld, Personal Influence. The Part Played by People in the Flow of Mass Communications (Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press, 1955)

Week 5 Signs

Roland Barthes, “The Photographic Message”, in R. Barthes Image, Music, Text (London: Fontana Press, 1977) pp. 15-31

Week 6 Media Rituals

James Carey, “A cultural Approach to Communication”, in Jarice Hanson and David J. Maxcy eds., Sources. Notable Selections in Mass Media (Dushkin / Mc Graw-Hill, 1999), pp. 237-246

Daniel Dayan and Elihu Katz, “Electronic Ceremonies: Television Performs a Royal Wedding”, in Marshall Blonsky, On Signs (Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 1985), pp. 16-32

Week 7 Midterm Exam: 20%

The exam covers all readings and lecture material from weeks 1 to 6 in the form of definitions, identifications, and short answers

Week 8 Prosthesis

Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media. The Extensions of Man (New York, Toronto, London: McGraw-Hill, 1964)

Week 9 Decoding

Stuart Hall, “Encoding/decoding”, in Culture, Media, Language, edited by Stuart Hall, Dorothy Hobson, Andrew Lowe, and Paul Willis (London: Routledge, 2002), pp. 128-138

Week 10 Public / Civil Sphere

Jüger Habermas, “The Public Sphere: An Enciclopedia Article”, in Meenaskshi Gigi Durham, Douglas M. Keller, eds., Media and Cultural Studies (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2006)

Alexander, J.C., “Communicative Institutions: Public Opinion, Mass Media, Polls, Associations”, in The Civil Sphere (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 69-105

Week 11 Agenda Setting and Framing

Walter Lippmann, “The World Outside and the Picture in Our Heads”, in Public Opinion (New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 1991), pp. 3-32

Maxwell McCombs and Donald L. Saw, “The Agenda-Setting Function of Mass Media, in Jarice Hanson and David J. Maxcy eds., Sources. Notable Selections in Mass Media (Dushkin / McGraw-Hill, 1999), pp. 100-108

Week 12 Convergence

Henry Jenkins, “Quentin Tarantino’s Star Wars" Digital Cinema, Media Convergence, and Participatory Culture, in Durham, Keller, eds. Media and Cultural Studies

Day of Exam Week – Final Exam: 40%


Most of the readings are available online and at Ortega y Gasset building’s photocopy store.


Attendance and Participation: 10%

Short Weekly Comments: 10%

These short (350 words) critical comments on the weekly readings will be brought by your group to class every Thursday. They will serve to extend the conversation opened by the group which will be presenting the text/s. They will also allow you to share interests, questions, and concerns related to the readings.

Five Page Paper: 20%

This five-page paper provides an opportunity to approach one of the weekly readings from the course in an analytical work. It also enables the teacher to address or incorporate these topics in that week’s lecture.

Last modified: Wednesday, 6 April 2022, 10:15 AM