Media Arts and Cultures

Media Arts and Culture program description.

NOTE: See the beginning of Section H for abbreviations, course numbers and coding.

MAAC1001 Understanding Media I: Technology and Culture3 ch

Provides an introduction to the study of media, technology and culture. Surveys a variety of contemporary media forms, from print to radio to film, television and the internet, considering their history, their impact on modern culture, and their present state in the digital age. Course may be taken on its own but is designed to be combined with MAAC 1002 for a complete introduction to the study of media and culture. Students who have already completed MM 1001 for credit may not enrol in MAAC 1001.

MAAC1002Understanding Media II: Power and Pleasures3 ch (LE)

Complementing material covered in MAAC 1001, this course presents a more hands-on approach to critical media studies by introducing students to basic concepts in semiotics and close analysis of media texts. Lectures will cover notions of signs and signification, the way codes and conventions contribute to socially-constructed meaning, as well as the personal, political and cultural implications embedded in all media constructions. Students will learn to break down and analyze magazines and television ads, music clips and movie posters, websites and viral videos, isolating how each of these texts convey messages and reflect the values and assumptions of the world that produced them. In addition to tests and written assignments, students will complete individual projects that will apply what they have learned to communicate critically and creatively via digital media. Students who have already completed MM 1002 for credit many not enrol in MAAC 1002.

MAAC1021Introduction to Culture, Arts, and Media (Cross-Listed: CCS 1021)3 ch (3C) [W]
An interdisciplinary exploration of the pivotal role which culture, media, and the arts play in shaping understandings of the world around us. By considering a variety of cultural expressions, creative and artistic practices, and media representations, both old and new, from around the globe, this introductory course invites students to open up to new ways of thinking about how culture is created and continually contested, and is ultimately central to how we experience our lives. Required for CCS Majors and Honours students.
MAAC1023Media, Technology, and Creativity3 ch (3C) [W]
The complex interplay of arts, culture, and technology supplies the subject matter for a critical and creative engagement with contemporary digital culture. Students are introduced to key concepts in media studies through a series of topical modules while also working individually and in groups in a creative environment with an array of digital media tools used in the wider Media Arts & Cultures curriculum.
MAAC2021Popular Culture (Cross-Listed: CCS 2021)3 ch (3C) [W]

This course introduces historical and theoretical contexts for the study of mass-mediated popular culture, from movies and TV to comic books and video games. It also explores the reciprocal relationship between creative expression and economic constraints, between the mainstream, sub-cultures, and counter-cultures, as well as familiar designations of "high-brow" and "low-brow." Using specific media case studies, students will engage with contemporary debates about the impact of representations, the role of ideology, the agency of the audience, the meaning of fandom, and the politics of taste. While learning to analyze and evaluate their relative merits, students will learn to step back and think critically about the larger implications and the cumulative effects of our constant exposure to popular culture texts. Students who have already completed MM 2021 for credit may not enrol in MAAC 2021.

MAAC2022The Art of Film (Cross-Listed: FILM 2022)3 ch (3C) [W]

Introduces students to the language of motion pictures and to critical tools for discussing and writing about the 7th art – the art of film. By studying how movies function aesthetically, and how they become meaningful to audiences, students will acquire critical and formal analytical skills that will both enhance their appreciation for cinema and serve them more broadly as consumers and/or producers of visual culture. Topics will include mise-en-scène, framing, image composition, photographic space, colour, editing, sound, and narrative structure.

MAAC2095Introduction to Video Games (O)3 ch (3C) [W]

An introduction to the study of games as interactive electronic and digital media. Topics may include the history of computer games and videogames, game genres, the current structure of the games industry, and an overview of game studies as an academic field. Assignments may include both written work and creative media projects. No previous experience with digital games is required.

MAAC2797Rock and American Popular Music (Cross-Listed: MUS 2797)3 ch (3C)

This course is a survey of the history of Rock music from its origins in the late nineteenth century to the present day. Topics addressed include: the effects of technology in the music industry, role of African-American music in the development of popular music, the developments of Jazz, R&B, and early Rock and Roll, and the “white appropriation” of African-American music. The course finishes with a survey of recent trends of disco, new wave, heavy metal, rap and alternative music. Restriction: Credit may not be obtained for both FNAT 2792 and MAAC 2797.

MAAC2998Digital Film Production (Cross-Listed: FILM 2998)3 ch (3C)

An introduction to the fundamental concepts and procedures of visual and audio production, including the techniques and aesthetics of shooting, lighting and editing. Over the course of the term, students will engage in a series of short exercises covering a variety of styles, genres and modes. Taught cooperatively with the New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-op. NOTE: Students who have received credit for MAAC/FILM/ENGL 3999 may not take this course for credit.

MAAC2999Digital Film Production 3 ch (3C)

This second course in the production sequence puts emphasis on application of skills learned in MAAC 2998 by focusing on production of several short projects in various formats. Group work and analysis of student productions constitute the main course activities. Taught cooperatively with the New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-op. NOTE: Students who have received credit for MAAC/FILM 3998 may not take this course for credit.

Prerequisites: MAAC 2998, or permission of the instructor.

MAAC3001Media Arts (A)3 ch
Surveys artists’ engagement with electronic and digital media, as well as media institutions, from the early 20th century avant-garde to the present. Topics may include Dada, Surrealism, Andy Warhol, experimental cinema, video art, modernism, postmodernism, electronic music, remix culture, art and public space, and new media art. In addition to traditional assignments and tests, students will complete individual and group creative projects. Students cannot obtain credit for both MM 2001 and MAAC 3001. Students who have already taken MAAC 2001 may not obtain credit for MAAC 3001.
MAAC3003Click Here!: Interactivity on the Web3 ch (LE)

The use of web applets that advertise, entertain or inform is ubiquitous, and a lexicon of good practice is developing. The course introduces the problem of designing web-browser-based interactive modules that are human-friendly. Through the completion of individual projects, students will use Flash® or HTML5 to display text, images, and computer generated graphics as well as techniques to control the presentation of material in response to how people interact with it. Open to students who have completed 45 credit hours, or with permission of the instructor. Students who have already completed MM 3003 for credit may not enrol in MAAC 3003.

MAAC3021Culture Matters: Critical Approaches to Studying Culture (Cross-Listed: CCS 3021)3 ch (3C) [W]
Offers critical interdisciplinary approaches to understanding culture through examination of key concepts, theories and practices in the field of Cultural Studies. Required for CCS and MAAC Majors and Honours students.
MAAC3055Gender, Women and Media (A)3 ch (3C) [W]

Investigates key issues and theoretical approaches in the study of gender and media, with a particular focus on women as producers, consumers, and subjects of media. Students will research and analyze how media create and challenge stereotypes and ideas of difference along gender lines. Readings, class discussions, and projects will reveal how representations of gender across media-forms play a central role in shaping our attitudes and identities. Open to students who have completed 45 ch, or with permission of the instructor.

MAAC3057Advertising and Consumer Culture (O)3 ch (3C) [W]
Traces the origins, transformations, and current landscape of consumer culture, especially in relation to the role and impact of advertising as a form. Topics may include postmodern culture, consumer identity, gender and representation, viral marketing, activism, and resistance. Open to students who have completed 45 credit hours, or with permission of the instructor.
MAAC3065Horror Access Media & Culture (A) (Cross-Listed: CCS 3065)3 ch (3C) [W]

Why have people in so many times and places enjoyed spooky stories? What, if any, value can we assign to tales of horror and the supernatural? Do ghost stories and monster movies differ across nations and cultures? Questions like these will guide our global study of gothic, horror and supernatural texts chosen from a wide array of media, from literature and cinema, to television, comic books, and video games. Topics may include visual culture and the sublime, Freud's notion of “the uncanny,” Jungian archetypes, gender identity, conceptions of ritual and myth, the modern and the postmodern, subcultures, folklore, religion and secularization. Open to students who have completed 45 credit hours, or with permission of the instructor. Students who have already completed MM 3065 for credit may not enrol in MAAC 3065. Students who have taken WLCS 3065 may not attain credit for MAAC 3065.

MAAC3066Trauma and Seduction: Early German Cinema (A) (Cross-Listed: CCS 3066, FILM 3066)3 ch (3C) [W]

Beginning with the earliest silent movies and concluding with National Socialist propaganda films, this course offers an introduction to a prolific and important era in German film history: the Weimar Republic and pre-WWII period, 1918-1939. Our discussions will situate the films within larger political and cultural discourses. Emphasis will be placed on such topics as the cinematic response to the trauma of WWI; German national identity; expressionism and modernity; the politics of gender and sexuality; the impact of sound on film aesthetics; the relationship between cinema and other media; the ethics of film production. Films to be studied include features by directors such as Lang, Lubitsch, Murnau, Pabst, Riefenstahl, Sagan, von Sternberg and Wiene. In English. Students who have taken WLCS 3065, or GER 3066 may not attain credit for MAAC 3065.

MAAC3072(Re)constructing National Identity: Contemporary German Cinema (A) (Cross-Listed: CCS 3072, FILM 3072) 3 ch (3C) [W]

Studies the major accomplishments of East and West German cinema of the postwar period, as well as cinematic trends since German unification. We will consider questions of narrative, genre, and authorship, examine film's relationship to other media, and focus on the dynamic interaction between film history and social history. Films to be studied include features by prominent directors such as Wolf, Fassbinder, Wenders, von Trotta, Carow, Dörrie, and Tykwer. Students who have taken WLCS 3062, or GER 3072 may not attain credit for MAAC 3072.

MAAC3075Framing Reality: Theory and Practice of Documentary Media (A) (Cross-listed: FILM 3075)3 ch (3C)

This course surveys the history and aesthetics of non-fiction filmmaking from the birth of cinema to the digital age. It will examine epistemological and ethical questions raised by documentary's encounter with reality and its attempt to present “the truth.” Films screened are drawn from an array of nations and range from the personal to the political as well as more experimental and avant-garde works. The course includes a film production component as students will apply what they have learned in class by producing a short non-fiction film as a final project. Open to students who have completed 45 credit hours, or with permission of the instructor. Students who have already completed MM 3075 for credit may not enrol in MAAC 3075.

MAAC3082History of Canadian Cinema [A] (Cross-Listed: CCS 3082, FILM 3082)3 ch (3C) [W]

Focuses on the first half-century of filmmaking in Canada and the nation's long struggle to develop and sustain a functioning film industry in the shadow of Hollywood. Readings and screenings trace the history of the movies in Canada from the silent era to the 1970s. Issues raised may include Canadian/American relations, national and regional identities, tensions between art and entertainment, media and cultural policy, representation of race, class, gender, and relation of Canadian film to other media (TV, radio, video) and other arts (painting, music, literature) in Canada. Open to students who have completed 45 credit hours, or with permission of the instructor. Students who have taken WLCS 3082 may not attain credit for MAAC3082.

MAAC3085Television Studies (A)3 ch (3C) [W]

This course explores the different approaches used by scholars to understand the cultural role of television in contemporary North American life. Special attention is paid to the impact of new technologies like colour broadcasting, satellite and cable systems, HDTV and the internet. Topics may include TV genres from sitcoms to soap operas, the rise of reality TV, fatherhood and family values, advertising aesthetics, Saturday morning cartoons, Hockey Night in Canada™, and the ethics of the evening news. Open to students who have completed 45 credit hours, or with permission of the instructor. Students who have already completed MM 3085 for credit may not enrol in MAAC 3085.

MAAC3087Serials, Franchises and Fandom3 ch (O) [W]
This course explores the history of storytelling and fandom throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Topics include "serialitis" during the silent era of film, merchandising and serial promotion, transmedia franchises, fan-made texts, and the building of fan-communities through ongoing narratives. Media discussed may include dime novels, comic books, film, radio, television, video games, anime, podcasts, and online forums. Open to students who have completed 45 credit hours, or with permission of the instructor.
MAAC3095Digital Game Studies (A)3 ch (3C) [W]

Digital games are a major cultural and artistic force in the contemporary media landscape. In this course, students will have the opportunity to consider digital games of various kinds and how they might both relate to and be distinct from the other forms of media. Using critical readings, class discussion and gameplay projects, we will consider competing notions about the nature of games, gaming practices, gameplay, and gaming cultures. No previous experience with digital games is required. Open to students who have completed 45 credit hours, or with permission of the instructor.

MAAC3101Media Design I3 ch (LE)

Explores strategies for creative visual expression across media, working within the constraints of the design paradigm. Topics will include formal design theory, colour theory, basic typography, image construction, and an introduction to visual communications using lectures, assignments, readings, in-class seminars, group discussion and critique. Open to students who have completed 45 credit hours, or with permission of the instructor. Students who have already completed MM 2002 for credit may not enrol in MAAC 3103. 

MAAC3102Media Design II3 ch (LE)

Provides an opportunity for students to develop further skills and broaden their understanding of visual communication. Topics will include organizing efficient design systems, producing eloquent moving image typography and developing consistent visual identity programs. The work and design strategies of leading contemporary practitioners will be examined.

Prerequisite: MAAC 3101. Students who have already completed MM 3001 for credit may not enrol in MAAC 3102.

MAAC3113Music, Computers and Technology (Cross-Listed: MUS 3113) 3 ch (3C)

The uses of computers in music from a practical and historical perspective is identified and studied. Early uses in notation, composition, presentation, interactive media applications are explored. Project based with work in current Software applications. Open to students who have completed 30 credit hours, or with permission of the instructor.

MAAC3212Lens Media I3 ch (LE)

Examines the principles of still image construction using digital technology. Covers the general theories of light in natural and artificial environments. Introduces notions of colour, form, line and texture as they relate to photographic image making. Workshop activity will provide students with skills in making still images in the studio and the natural environment.

Prerequisite: Students will have normally have completed 45 ch. Students who have already completed MM 3212 for credit may not enrol in MAAC 3212.

MAAC3213Lens Media II3 ch (LE)

Explores the construction of a single image from multiple still photographs, and the concepts of aspect ratio and information density in image making.  Students will examine how these images may be used to build immersive environments, and experiment with presentation technologies that expose consideration of physical and social presence in these environments. 

Prerequisite: MAAC 3212, or permission of the instructor. Students who have already completed MM 3213 for credit may not enrol in MAAC 3213.

MAAC3362Sound Design3 ch (LE)

Sound design, though often overlooked, is an essential aspect of much contemporary media. Course focuses on creativity and technology for recording, editing and mixing sound to engage audiences in film, video, drama and multimedia production. Topics include: technical and artistic application of sound design for film with regards to specific genres, foley artistry, animation, game audio, soundscape design and sound motif. Open to students who have completed 45 credit hours, or with permission of the instructor. Students who have already completed MM 3362 for credit may not enrol in MAAC 3362.

MAAC3401Digital Culture3 ch (3C) [W]

Examines major theories of digital culture and contemporary media. Using examples from a broad range of social, artistic, and cultural practices, the course analyzes the development of digital technologies and their impact on today’s culture. Topics and approaches may include cyborg theory, the information economy, convergence, media ecology, virtual worlds, remix culture, and new media aesthetics. Open to students who have completed 60 credit hours, or with permission of the instructor. NOTE: Students who have received credit for MM 3107 may not take MAAC 3401 for credit.

MAAC3431Global Media, Politics, and Power (O) (Cross-Listed: CCS 3431)3 ch (3C) [W]
Uses core readings and theoretical frameworks from media studies to examine the complex relationships between media, society, and politics, across the twentieth century and into the new millennium and in global perspective. Topics include media ownership and regulation; media and social movements; censorship and freedom of the press; television and digital culture in emerging democracies; the politics of the popular; media arts and activism. Students who have taken WLCS 3431 may not attain credit for MAAC 3431.
MAAC3501 to 3509Individual Studies in Media3 ch

Courses of independent study in a topic of special interest to the student, to be taken under the supervision of a Faculty member. Topics will be specified in a written proposal and approved in advance by the Director of Media Arts and Cultures. Students who have already completed a MM 3501-9 course for credit may not enrol in the matching MAAC 3501-9 course.

MAAC3601Game Design I3 ch (3C)

The fundamental challenges of creating interactive gameplay are the subject of this course that introduces students to the processes employed by designers for the creation of a game. Students will interrogate notions of “gameplay” and the evolution of the medium, compare and re-design a variety of existing games, workshop ideas, and create their own game designs. This course is open to students who have completed at least 45 ch at the university level.

MAAC3602Game Design II3 ch (3C)

Building on skills learned in Game Design I, students work in groups to conceptualize and implement a digital game while examining more advanced issues in game design and development from a variety of perspectives.

PrerequisiteMAAC 3601 or permission of the instructor.

MAAC3793East Coast Music (O) (Cross-Listed: CCS 3793, MUS 3793)3 ch (3C)
The relationship between music and East Coast identity is the focus of this course that covers a range of music styles, regional differences, and contemporary modes. The theme uniting the various case studies is the importance of music to the region's culture(s). The subject also allows for a broader reflection on music's importance to identity. Topics may range from Cape Breton fiddle, through Halifax hip-hop.
MAAC3795Dark Futures: Visions of Dystopia since World War I (O) (Cross-Listed: CCS 3795)3 ch (3C)
Offers an exploration of dystopian literature and film from a broad cross-section of cultures over the past 100 years or so. Based on an examination of texts by authors such as Karel Capek, Evgeny Zamiatin, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Sandra Newman and films such as Stalker, Late August in the Hotel Ozone, and Battle Royale, students will consider how dystopias reflect, respond to and anticipate totalitarianism, environmental degradation, dehumanization, and other social, political, cultural and technological challenges facing humanity.
MAAC3981Screen Acting (O) (Cross-Listed: FILM 3981)3 ch (1.5C/1.5WS) (LE)

Explores the relationship between actor, director, script and camera. Workshop exercises allow students to explore various modes of working with actors on a film set and during the rehearsal and audition process in order to realize the development of character within the setting of story and script. Limited to 20 students. NOTE: Students who already have credit for ENGL 3980 or FILM 3980 cannot obtain credit for FILM 3981.

MAAC3998Film Production (Cross-Listed: FILM 3998)3 ch (3C/WS) (LE)

This course introduces students to the processes and technical aspects of motion picture film production. Topics include: 16mm film camera, analog and digital sound recording, lighting for film, film crew roles, budgets, casting and rehearsals, locations, script breakdowns and film forms, and advanced editing. Students will participate in both the production of a short, small-group 16mm film project, and a larger, full-class Super 16mm film project produced as an industry-model film. Taught cooperatively with the New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-Op and the Film Industry of New Brunswick. Limited to 20 students. NOTE: Students who already have credit for ENGL 3990 “Advanced Film Production” and/or ENGL 3999 “Film and Video Production” cannot obtain credit for MAAC 3998. 

MAAC3999Editing and Post Production (A) (Cross-Listed: FILM3999)3 ch (3C/WS)

An intensive hands-on course in the theory and application of post-production techniques for digital filmmaking and video production, with a focus on editing for narrative film. The course covers history of film editing, basic techniques, best practices, and changing technologies. Grading is principally based on creative assignments that grow out of engagement with this material.

MAAC4000Digital Film Production III (Cross-Listed: FILM 4000)6 ch (6WS)

This full year course takes students through the entire process of production of a professional quality short film, from fundraising, budget planning, and pre-production work through the shoot to the final edit and on to the marketing and submission of the film to festivals. Students work together as a production team, taking on a variety of responsibilities while supervised by the instructor.

PrerequisiteMAAC /FILM 2999 or permission of the instructor.

MAAC4001Advanced Production (Cross-Listed: FILM 4001)3 ch (3C/WS) (LE)

Students produce more complex films, developing a project from beginning to end, working on each other’s projects, and gaining hands-on experience in a variety of skilled positions on a film’s crew.

Prerequisite: MAAC/FILM 2999 or MAAC/FILM 3998, or permission of the instructor.

MAAC4021Advanced Studies in Popular Culture (A) (Cross-Listed as CCS 4021)3 ch (3S) [W]

Seminar focusing on theoretical approaches to the study of popular culture. Topics and theories covered may rotate from year to year.

Prerequisites: 60 ch and MAAC/CCS 2021, or permission of the instructor.

MAAC4401Animation Principles (A)3 ch (LE)

Examines animated image making across a variety of media (film, TV, games), all of which rely on the Phi Phenomenon identified in Gestalt theory. Small project assignments will introduce students to some common animation tools and course discussions will focus on the application of animation concepts to storytelling.

Prerequisite: Students will normally have completed 60 ch. Students who have already completed MM 4401 for credit may not enrol in MAAC 4401.

MAAC4402Animation Methods (A)3 ch (LE)

Considers the practical aspects of storytelling using 3D model-building tools.  Students will gain practical experience using current digital animation software such as Autodesk Maya®. Topics considered include modelling, skinning, texturing, lighting, animation, and rendering. 

Prerequisite: MAAC 4401, or permission from the instructor. Students who have already completed MM 4402 for credit may not enrol in MAAC 4402.

MAAC4404Mobile Media (A)3 ch (3S)

This course explores the impact and influence mobile devices have had, and continue to have, on patterns of life, work and play. Examines the unique media forms and characteristic experiences emerging from the use of smart phones, tablets and other handheld digital devices. Discussions, readings and assignments encourage critical reflection on the relationship between technology and culture in a mobile world.

Prerequisite: 60 ch, or permission of the instructor.

MAAC4405Creative Mobile App Design (A)3 ch (3C)

The course provides an overview of principles of human interface design associated with creating, designing, and prototyping applications for the iPod®, iPhone® & iPad®. Topics covered may include gaming, augmented reality, creative play, or information presentation. Students will explore practical problems associated with planning game-play scenarios, integrating computer-generated imagery, or creating well-designed information displays for mobile devices. Individual and group project work will focus all the steps needed to produce a finished prototype for the app. Mobile devices will be provided for classroom use. Open to students who have completed 75 credit hours, or with permission of the instructor.

MAAC4951Professional Practice3 ch

Individual internship consisting of 80 hours of work in one term on a project for an organization in the community that involves skills and/or ideas directly related to the Media Arts & Cultures program. A faculty member will supervise the progress of the student and a final report on the project undertaken will be evaluated for academic assessment. Subject to faculty and placement availability. The final course grade will be reported as CR/NCR.

Prerequisites: MAAC 3101, and at least 75 ch completed.

MAAC4952Professional Practice3 ch

An internship consisting of 80 hours of work in one term on a project for an organization in the community that involves skills and/or ideas directly related to the Media Arts & Cultures program. A faculty member will supervise the progress of the student and a final report on the project undertaken will be evaluated for academic assessment. Subject to faculty and placement availability. The final course grade wil be reported as CR/NCR.

Prerequisites: MAAC 3101, and at least 75 ch completed.

MAAC4992Topics in Media Arts & Cultures (O)3 ch (3S)

An advanced seminar in theory of Media Cultures and/or practice of Media Arts. Topics will vary from year-to-year.

Prerequisites: 75 ch, and MAAC 3401, or permission of the instructor. NOTE: Students who already have credit for MM 4992 may not enrol in MAAC 4992.

MAAC5000Honours Thesis6 ch [W]

A reading and research course open to students qualifying for Honours in Media Arts & Cultures. To enrol in this course, students must first arrange for a professor to supervise their thesis. The course will result in the writing of an Honours Thesis, normally 40-60 pages in length. Student may not enroll in both MAAC 5000 and MAAC 5980.

MAAC5980Honours Project6 ch [W]

A reading, research and creative practice course open to students qualifying for Honours in Media Arts & Cultures. To enrol in this course, students must first arrange for a professor to supervise their project. The course will result in the creation of a Media Arts Project along with a 10-15 page Project Paper. Students may not enroll in both MAAC 5000 and MAAC 5980.