Comparative Media Studies is the examination of media technologies and their cultural, social, aesthetic, political, ethical, legal, and economic implications. At MIT, students are trained to think critically about properties of all media and about the shared properties of different media, as well as the shared properties and functions of media more generally, both within one period of time and across generations.

MIT Comparative Media Studies offers both undergraduate degree opportunities, as well as a two-year course of study leading to an SM degree.

MIT Comparative Media Studies research and educational projects explore a wide variety of traditional media and their uses in education, entertainment, communication, politics, and commerce. Faculty are widely recognized for their leadership in developing both archival and instructional interactive projects, creating new models for thinking about, producing, and using digital media. Through several research and project initiatives we work closely with Microsoft, Initiative Media, LeapFrog Enterprises, American Theatre Wing, and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

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Recent Submissions

  • CMS.801 Media in Transition, Fall 2004 

    Ravel, Jeffrey S. (2004-12)
    This course centers on historical eras in which the form and function of media technologies were radically transformed. It includes consideration of the "Gutenberg Revolution," the rise of modern mass media, and the "digital ...
  • CMS.405 Media and Methods: Seeing and Expression, Spring 2009 

    Davenport, Glorianna (2009-06)
    This class examines frameworks for making and sharing visual artifacts using a trans-cultural, trans-historical, constructionist approach. It explores the relationship between perceived reality and the narrative imagination, ...
  • 21H.418 / CMS.880 Technologies of Word 1450-2000, Fall 2002 

    Ravel, Jeffrey S. (2002-12)
    Explores the impact of the printing press upon European politics and culture during the first several centuries after Gutenberg and compares these changes with the possibilities and problems inherent in contemporary ...

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