March 9, 2015

New Minor in Media and Social Change

By Katherine Vu

Still from "Save the Children," a PSA from USC MISC

From the Gutenberg Bible in the Early Christian Church to the Federalist Papers in the American Revolution to Twitter in the Arab Spring, media of all kinds have been cornerstone to social change since recorded history. New media technologies are among the most effective tools in spurring people toward action, in addition to educating and informing the public of pressing issues.

With that in mind, starting Fall 2015, students will be able to minor in Media and Social Change at the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA). The curriculum for this new major will be geared toward studying how different types of media have propagated social change, the successes and failures of these methods, and how students can create impactful media themselves.

"Students are more aware today than ever before of the power of media and its effect on our culture,” said Michael Taylor, Executive Director and Founder of the USC Media Institute for Social Change (USC MISC) at SCA. “There is a huge desire among students to learn how to make and use media for positive social change, and this minor is designed to meet that need."

Classes focused on documentary production, new media technologies, and race and gender studies will anchor the minor’s 16-unit curriculum. Students will be tasked with developing a critical eye toward the media and how it is used in society, while simultaneously shaping their own voices as storytellers.

"I’ve been teaching undergrads here at USC for many years, and I’ve always been struck by their interest in how media can be effective around social change issues,” said Doe Mayer, Mary Pickford Chair of Film and Television Production. ”I’m delighted that all divisions of the film school have come together to offer media studies, overview classes, and production options for these passionate, creative, and inquisitive students, and I feel sure that this new minor will open many eyes to the way media can help make change happen in society."