Institute of Media Studies

Media Studies classes in English language

Digital Online-Teaching for International Students

During the upcoming winter term (November 2020—February 2021), all English-language courses in the Institute of Media Studies will be offered in a way that studends can participate online. Upon your course selection, your instructors will contact you regarding the details for each course (platform, times, modality).

Winter term 2020/2021

Digital Media & Society
Dr. Giuliana Sorce
8 ECTS
 Thursdays 9.30 – 10.30 am

Course Summary

This media theory course will introduce students to the major theoretical approaches to digital media with a focus on its role in society. Contents will include information/network society, social media, online/mobile cultures, cyber communities, digital activism, connective action, hashtag campaigns, digital communication platforms, algorithms and datafication, and platform economies.

Lecturer

Dr. Giuliana Sorce

Additional Information

International students can earn 8 ECTS on completing this course.

This course will be held via Microsoft Teams.

Critical/Cultural Media Theory
Sara Sorce
8 ECTS
Tuesdays 5 – 6 pm

Course Summary

This media theory course will introduce students to the subfield of Cultural Studies as it relates to media. We will trace the development of the field and learn about major theoretical approaches. This course will discuss concepts that enable a critical look at media messages, products, and industries; including ideology and hegemony, culture industry, political economy, audience studies, and issues of media representation.

Lecturer

Sara Sorce holds degrees in media and communication from Purdue University Fort Wayne. She has taught at both Purdue Fort Wayne and Penn State University. Her research interests include Critical Media Studies and Media Production. She has 10+ years’ experience in commercial radio, both as on-air talent and program director.

Additional Information

International students can earn 8 ECTS on completing this course.

This seminar will be held online.

Analyzing Visual Culture and Hybridity: From Synthespians and VFX to Augmented Reality and Deepfakes
Dr. Erwin Feyersinger
8 ECTS
Mondays 12.30 – 1.30 pm

Course Summary

The aim of this media analysis course is to familiarize students with methods of analyzing and contextualizing various forms of hybrid images found in contemporary culture. Specific phenomena that we will look at are Augmented Reality applications and games, visual effects in films, virtual actors and avatars, deepfakes and images manipulation, and mixed media and hybrid art.

Lecturer

Dr. Erwin Feyersinger

Additional Information

International students can earn 8 ECTS on completing this course.

This seminar will be held online.

Analyzing Transmedial Characters
Dr. Lukas Wilde
8 ECTS
 Wednesdays 3.30 – 4.30 pm

Course Summary

Cutting across the boundaries of different media such as films, television shows, novels, comic books, or video games, contemporary international media culture is saturated with fictional characters such as Batman, Spider-Man, Rick Grimes, Jon Snow, or Lara Croft. This introductory class to the analysis of transmedia characters first develops some foundations from character theories within literature and their adaptions to other media (such as films, video games or comic books). It then traces recent approaches to a transmedia character theory. Topics covered will include fictionality, the roles and functions of authorship and canonicity management, (contradictions in) character narratives, and different levels of analysis such as production discourses vs. media texts vs. reception discourses.

Lecturer

Dr. Lukas R. Wilde

Additional Information

International students can earn 8 ECTS on completing this course.

This seminar will be held online.

Introduction to Screenwriting
Niles Maxwell
6 ECTS
Mondays 6.30 – 7.30 pm

Course Summary

This writing-intensive course introduces students to the fundamentals of screenwriting, including format, genre, exposition, characterization, dialog, theme and plot. We will screen and examine scenes from films and television, read and exchange views on screenplays and above all write, review and discuss your screenwriting. Peer feedback will be a regular part of the class. We will emphasize practice over theory. Students are expected to write a feature-length English language screenplay by the end of the semester. We will also cover industry-related topics, such as the business of screenwriting. 

Lecturer

Niles Maxwell is a professional American screenwriter/director with over 10 years of hands-on experience working in the film industry.

Additional Information

International students can earn 6 ECTS on completing this course.

This seminar will be taught on-site (Room 127) with the possibility to participate online.

Summer Term 2020

The Datafied Society
Dr. Stefania Milan
8 ECTS
Dates

tba

Course summary

Today notions like big data, smart city and artificial intelligence (AI) are frequently evoked in the narratives of the industry and policymakers alike. They yield the promise of efficiency, empowerment, and a better life. Yet, they are not free from risks for privacy and citizen agency.

"The Datafied Society” explores the theoretical frameworks that allow us to capture and interpret the technological changes at the core of contemporary society and their societal consequences.

The course has four components: i) Theorizing the datafied society, defining the interdisciplinary theoretical toolbox to study society at the age of AI; ii) Political agency in the datafied society, where we will analyze, e.g., the evolution of contemporary social movements; iii) Decolonizing data studies, investigating non-Western approaches to the study of the datafied society, and iv) Methods for algorithmic accountability, where we will look at innovative methods to study the datafied society and the theory implications of this type of research.

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to understand the datafied society and critically evaluate its consequences on political agency, describe the opportunities and challenges for citizens on the basis of theory and concrete examples, deconstruct mainstream theoretical approaches, and reflect on the methodological challenges of studying algorithmic-mediated phenomena.

This course will be taught in English and engaged participation is expected. Readings will be made available through ILIAS.

Lecturer

Stefania Milan is associate professor at the University of Amsterdam where she focuses on data activism and critical algorithm studies. She is author of Social Movements and Their Technologies: Wiring Social Change (2013, Palgrave MacMillan) and has published in outlets such as Information, Communication & Society, Social Media+Society, and Policy & Internet. Stefania also leads the research network DATACTIVE: The Politics of Data According to Civil Society, funded by the European Research Council.

Additional Information

Students will give a group presentation, write two blog posts and a final paper. International students can earn 8 ECTS on completing this course.

Preparatory Reading

D’Ignazio, C., & Klein, L. (2020). Data feminism. MIT Press. Read at https://bookbook.pubpub.org/data-feminism

van Es, K., & Schäfer, M. T. (2017). The Datafied Society. Studying Culture through Data. Amsterdam University Press. Download at https://oapen.org/search?identifier=624771.

Zuboff, S. (2019). The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. Profile Books.

Analyzing Music Videos
Dr. Erwin Feyersinger
8 ECTS
Dates

tba.

Course summary

tba.

Lecturer

Dr. Erwin Feyersinger

Additional Information

International students can earn 8 ECTS on completing this course.

When Bill Gates Murdered JFK on the Moon: Conspiracy and Paranoia in Film and Audiovisual Media
Melanie Mika
 8 ECTS

Dates

tba.

Course Summary

From Corona protests to QAnon, from George Soros to Bill Gates – conspiracy theories have risen sharply in public awareness recently. However, conspiracies and conspiracy theories have been around for a long time and they are equally a staple in films and television drama. This course aims at giving an introduction to film analysis and takes (mostly fictional) conspiracy narratives as its object of study. Our close readings in this seminar will include Hollywood’s paranoia thrillers that feature political conspiracies (e.g. All the President’s men, The Manchurian Candidate), television narratives of alien invasions, terrorist plots or cyber crime (The X-Files, Homeland, Mr. Robot) and some non-fictional examples trying to prove or debunk certain conspiracy theories.

In the first part of the seminar we will explore concepts and approaches to film analysis with focus on genre, characters and film history. In the second part of the seminar we will more closely examine particular films and series in order to discuss narrative and aesthetic strategies film makers use to convince us that “things are not as they seem”.

Lecturer

Melanie Mika studied musicology, media and film studies in Tübingen, Montréal, Amsterdam and Frankfurt where she graduated from an international Master program. Before focusing on academic research she also gained professional experience in the media, working as an audio engineer and video editor at the public broadcasting station SWR in Stuttgart for 12 years. Since 2018 she is a doctorate student at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt. Her dissertation project examines the representation of mental illness in American television series. Her further research interests include film theory, theories of characters, television drama, aesthetics of secrecy and conspiracy.

Additional Information

International students can earn 8 ECTS on completing this course.

Radio Broadcasting
Sara Sorce
6 ECTS

Dates

tba.

Course summary

This course introduces students to radio broadcast journalism and production. Participants will develop and enhance their communicative and journalistic skills, while engaging in a variety of interactive broadcast projects. These skills include interviewing and storytelling techniques as well as commercial radio announcing. As part of this course, students will produce audio newscasts and features with consideration of audience, target demographics, current events, technological trends, and journalistic integrity. Students will also learn the basics of audio production and editing, as well as the handling of production equipment and its practical uses. This course will be conducted in English.

Students are expected to complete a standalone audio piece for their portfolio as well as engaged participation in practical workshops.

Lecturer

Sara Sorce earned her B.A. and M.A. in media and communication from Purdue University Fort Wayne. She has taught at both Purdue Fort Wayne and Penn State University. Her research interests include Critical Media Studies and Media Production. She hes 10+ years experience in commercial radio, both as on-air talent and program director.

Additional Information

International students can earn 6 ECTS on completing this course.


In the Institute of Media Studies at Tübingen, we generally offer course-work in German. However, we regularly offer courses in English, both to foster language competency in our local students while increasing the choices of potential courses for our incoming international students. Our experience shows that these settings not only foster the integration of our international students but also create spaces for intercultural exchange.

Every winter term and every summer term we offer English-taught courses with an equivalent of 30 ECTS. International students can earn 24 ECTS by enrolling in three Media Analysis or Media Theory courses. These courses often reflect the actual research activities of our instructors, so the specific topics and contents vary. In addition, the Institute offers one practical course on Media Production every semester; topic areas include film and broadcast journalism (radio, TV, digital). At times, we also offer research methods courses in English (e.g., Qualitative Methods).

Winter / summer term
Media Theory / Media Theory A 8 ECTS
Media Theory / Media Theory B 8 ECTS
Media Theory / Media Theory C 8 ECTS
Media Production 6 ECTS
  30 ECTS