CCT Course Clusters


The Communication, Culture & Technology Program offers a course of study leading to the Master of Arts degree. Students design their own curricula with the guidance of faculty academic advisors.  The following is an overview of areas of study possible in CCT. 

Course clusters are designed to give students an overview of what CCT offers and to provide ideas for grouping courses in your area(s) of interest. These are not formal concentrations. Students are encouraged to take courses in many different cluster areas.

Cultural Studies

Cultural Studies encompasses a number of different fields related through the interdisciplinary study of the history and theory of mass and high cultures. In its methodological dimensions, Cultural Studies brings a variety of different theoretical frameworks to bear on the study of culture: Marxism and materialist analyses of class, studies of the rise of the nation and nationalism, ethnic studies and critical race studies, colonial and post-colonial studies, theories of sex/gender, feminism and queer theory, new historicist critique, semiotics, and psychoanalysis, and medium-specific studies of the social and personal impact of print culture, cinema, television, video, radio, music, performance, and emerging digital technologies. This area is characterized by the dynamic intellectual engagement with social practices and technological forms as they change over time and distance. 

Globalization Studies

Globalization issues critically examine the interconnectedness of people, places, and things and the emerging patterns of interdependence as well as dependence. CCT's unique orientation brings cutting edge emphases in examining globalization: the importance of information and communication networks; the rising issues of culture and identity; the role of international negotiations in shaping global rules; the international political economy of globalization.

Art, Media & Representation 

Visual culture today is formed by our constantly reconfiguring media systems and forms of representation. We readily recognize and negotiate visual content from all levels of culture and from many kinds of technologies. We live in a world of media and mediations and the institutional environments that construct their meaning. Images and ideas today circulate rapidly through "high art" to TV, film, video, and the Web, and then back again across all kinds of media technology. Courses in this cluster will study contemporary media and the visual arts and focus on key issues like the nature of representation and mediation, the foundations of visual culture, and the social function of the visual arts in a post-Internet world.

Media and Politics

Mass media are integral to the workings of government institutions, the nature and legitimacy of political processes, the dynamics of political culture, and the development of citizenship orientations. Students working in this area will explore the influence of traditional news media, including print, television, and radio, on the political system. They also will investigate the relationship between newer technologies and formats, such as those associated with the Internet, on political institutions and civic orientations.

Technology and Society

Human interactions are embedded in a web of emergent networks that constitute social structure. Communication and information technologies not only sustain and mediate these interrelationships; they also act to radically restructure and reconstitute them. Courses in this cluster focus on the interplay between social and technology-based networks; they examine how and under what circumstances major social changes are brought about, and to what effect. 

Technology, Business & the Economy

Technology advances are radically altering the economy, changing the way that business is being conducted as well as the criteria for success. Transcending organizational and geographic boundaries, communication and information technologies provide new opportunities for businesses to innovate, enter markets, gain strategic advantages, and reduce transaction costs. Courses in this cluster will focus on how these technologies are affecting the business landscape, examining both the opportunities and challenges that they pose.

Technology, Information & Innovation Policy 

Making policy requires making choices. This cluster of courses explores how and why policymakers make decisions that affect technology and technology users. A theme of these courses is the interaction between the process of technology evolution and the policymaking process -- when does one process override the other, and what are the cultural trade-offs when one process does override the other? Another theme is the cultural process by which policymakers accumulate knowledge from different disciplines that they use to make decisions -- how do they know when they know enough?