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Major in Media, Culture, and the Arts (B.A.)

two female students talking into mics in a studio

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Study media’s past. Then create its future.

Study at the crossroads of theory and practice. Our interdisciplinary program in media, culture, and the arts (MCA) gives your passions a directed focus and artistic outlet. Whether you want to direct films or produce music, you can study the arts with our talented practitioner-faculty while you immerse yourself in your own creative work.

Your professors will guide your learning through hands-on assignments and written scholarship in the study of media — in their historical, economic, social, and political contexts, and on personal, local, national, and global scales. Join us and dive into the histories and theories behind various media forms, while creating bold new work that reflects innovative pathways in the medium of your choice.

Catalog Requirements for:

Why Study Media, Culture, and the Arts at Clark?

  • Explore contemporary hybrid and emerging forms such as digital film scoring, virtual reality, video essays, podcasting, and microbudget social documentary.
  • Create and collaborate in the wider context of Clark’s Visual and Performing Arts Department (V&PA), a tight-knit community that includes students majoring in art history; media, culture and the artsmusic; screen studies; studio art; and theater arts.
  • Benefit from a multidisciplinary focus, and learn from professors in the departments of English; Language, Literature, and Culture; Psychology; Sociology; and Visual and Performing Arts, among others.
This is Clark

Our Stories

Alli Jutras

Explore art — and more

Alli Jutras ’19 started off at Clark, transferred to art school — but then returned to Clark after realizing she didn’t want to sacrifice her love for English, science, and history by pursuing art alone. Clark’s major in media, culture, and the arts has allowed her to combine her interests as both a visual artist and a creative writer.

My artwork has evolved from drawing and painting to exploring other media. I’m watching my skills grow and develop, as well, in the media, culture and the arts program. And I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

The Media, Culture, and the Arts Path

MCA defines media as artworks and forms of mass communication, including pre-electronic analog through digital forms. The program’s courses address performance, broadcast, installations, print (from literature to journalism), design (2D, 3D, graphic), photography, film and video production, theater, music and sound, visual fine arts, and all “new” and developing manifestations of media.

As a student in the media, culture and the arts major, you will take courses that familiarize you with a range of cultural theories and historical approaches to media production, which are relevant to the functioning of media in a diverse and globalizing cultural environment. You also take a range of courses in media production.

Requirements for the major include at least 13 courses:

  • MCA 101: Introduction to the Theory, History and Analysis of Media: an introduction to critical theory, cultural studies, and media history and analysis that addresses print; photography; film; sound and music; television; digital media and other forms of visual art
  • 3 Media Production Workshops, each in a different medium
  • 3 History of Sight and Sound courses, each on a different historical period
  • 3 Theories of Culture courses, each from a different program
  • 2 Creative Intermedia Seminars
  • A senior capstone course

The option of double-majoring with art history, music, screen studies, studio art, or theatre arts is determined by each program.

Skills you will learn include:

  • Historical and archival research
  • Critical analysis and theoretical writing
  • Interdisciplinary media production

Patricia M. Plamondon Undergraduate Award in Visual and Performing Arts
The Patricia M. Plamondon Award is given to juniors and seniors who have demonstrated their talent in and commitment to the arts and for whom the award will serve to enhance their studies, research, or project-related travel. The award is made annually by a vote of the full-time faculty of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

The Visual and Performing Arts Department facilities available for your use as an MCA major are:

  • Traina Center for the Arts, a renovated 19th-century Romanesque Revival building, contains studios for design, painting, drawing, and printmaking; the Schiltkamp Gallery for student and professional exhibits; a darkroom for analog photography; the Fuller Multimedia Center, with digital editing equipment; and the Media Arts Study Hub. The attached 194-seat Razzo Hall is used regularly for recitals, screenings, lectures, and other programs.
  • Estabrook Hall contains music rehearsal space, a recording studio, and practice rooms.
  • The Little Center, Clark’s theater building, houses:
    • The Michelson Theater — a 120-seat black box theater used for all theater productions
    • The Experimental Theater — a 30-seat theater used for student productions and student groups, as well as for “read-throughs” of student-written plays
    • Costume design shop
    • Set building shop

During your junior year, you might be accepted into the media, culture and the arts honors program. Joining the program means you’ll work closely with a professor to create a thesis on a topic of your choice. Examples of recent honors topics are:

  • A study of autobiographical documentary, coupled with a short documentary on the experience of restaurant servers
  • A semester-long podcast series on millennial “sadness culture,” along with three portfolio podcasts on various subjects
  • A research thesis on autobiographical comics, coupled with a production of thirty short-form comic strips

Building your foundation

The Clark Experience

The Clark Core allows students to take courses across diverse disciplines, helping them develop critical thinking skills and respect for other cultures and perspectives. You’ll connect classroom learning with action through world and workplace experiences.

Learn More

Faculty and Programs in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts