Updated: Jun 23, 2019
Within the past couple of days, I have been drafting my schedule for the upcoming school year's courses and reflecting on all of the classes I have taken previously. It got me thinking about what courses have made a real impact on me and changed the way that I think, especially those that I wasn't required to take as an FIMS student! Here are three courses I've taken so far that made a world of difference to my academic career:
Intro To Sociology (Soc1020)
Going into university, I had thought that I was pretty aware of social factors that impact the public such as misogyny and racism, but I had no idea the reach that it truly had. The main topic that altered the way that I think was systemic racism and how its seemingly subtle biases permeate into every section of society and are reproduced generation after generation by people in power to maintain social hierarchies. Check out this video that gives a quick rundown of the kind of thing that I'm talking about.
I took this class with Prof. Scott Schaffer (and yes it is intense), there are so many readings and the exams are tough, but I am thankful for the awareness that it has provided me about so many topics even for just being an introductory course. I probably wasn't as enthusiastic about the course while I was elbow deep in the textbook, but reflecting back on it I am so much more aware because of it. Plus, it sparked my interest in a whole bunch of additional documentaries and TV series because it allowed for me to understand all of the social biases that impact both the creation of media content, as well as the content itself.
I definitely see myself taking more electives in the field of Sociology. If you are interested in sociology too, I would recommend watching Mindhunter, When They See Us and The Stanford Prison Experiment.
Media Law and Ethics (MIT2156)
I have taken introductory law classes, but this specialized one really zeroed in on social media, music, copyright, and so much more. Everything we discussed was extremely relevant to current events and media studies, learning about everything that was happening in law as it was happening - that is what made it so exciting and challenging! Every day when you log onto social media, there are content creators and artists complaining about copyright claims and stolen work. Check out this video that outlines how copyright and the law needs to change at the hands of the internet.
I took this class with Prof. Susan Toth, her teaching made me actually excited to study the content (yeah, I know it sounds like I'm exaggerating but I'm not). The textbook was easy to comprehend, and all examples used in class were extremely beneficial when preparing for the 40% and 60% exams. If I could take this class again I would do it in a heartbeat!
Navigating our Media Landscape (MIT1050)
This course is basically a crash course on everything MIT! I truly believe that it encapsulates the majority of concepts and information that you'll need throughout your first couple of years in FIMS. It covers a wide range of media topics that began to kickstart my understanding of media messages, cultural power, and stylistic concepts employed within TV, film, and graphics. There was so much freedom in this course to analyze media artifacts that sparked personal interest (I did a project on American Horror Story ads!). This video gives you a sample of the content within this course.
I took this class with Prof. Norma Coates and it was phenomenal! You could really tell that she cared for every student; she made personal connections with her students and encouraged us all to participate in conversation throughout the lecture. She is super understanding, invited us to come chat during her office hours, and even visited my residence to discuss exam content! If you have the choice, definitely take this class with Norma Coates!
As FIMS students, we are so lucky to have such a diverse range of courses that cater to the interests of just about anyone - so be sure to step out of your classroom-comfort zone!