Seminar in Media Studies: Television Studies

Th 5:30PM - 8:30PM / 1414 Cathedral of Learning / CRN 27272

What do we mean when we say television today? This course works through answers to this question by exploring how such things as Netflix, iPads, YouTube, mobile phones and other digital technologies have altered television’s economics, aesthetics, and representational practices. How, for instance, have televisual representations of gender, race, and class changed as television has transformed from a three-channel broadcast medium to the more narrowly targeted, on-demand medium characteristic of on-line streaming? How have these transitions changed both television itself and the academic study of television as a field? In pursuing such questions, we will combine a survey of classical work in television studies (e.g. Raymond Williams, Lynn Spigel, Todd Gitlin, Jane Feuer)—and classical network and early cable-era television programming—with an exploration of more recent research upon and examples of the “post-network” television of the digital age. Our readings and discussions will explore issues within television and television studies itself, while also taking up questions of cultural politics, the philosophy of technology, platform studies, and infrastructure that are central to media studies more generally.

Number of Credits


Brenton J. Malin

Course Term


Course Category

Category B: Disciplines and Intellectual Movements

Course Year