An introduction to the historical development of media in modern culture, this course will expose students to a range of critical accounts of photography, film, recorded sound, print, television, video, and new media. We will examine the material and aesthetic components that define various media as well as the political, social, and economic functions that media serve. Lectures, screenings, and discussions will be structured by major theoretical texts and approaches drawn from the humanities disciplines of film and media studies, critical theory, and cultural studies. This course will demonstrate the foundational role of media in the construction of Western civilization, concepts of the global, and contemporary life around the world. It will also provide a solid theoretical basis for all forms of media study, including both production and analysis.