I’m a sophomore at Clark University, and I’m planning on majoring in Media, Culture, and the Arts. If you haven’t heard of it, you’re not alone; the program was just launched this semester. I found out about it last year over discussions with Professor Manon regarding the Screen Studies major, and what kind of program I was looking for. The interdisciplinary nature of the program appealed to me in a big way, and from conversations I’ve had with others, they feel the same way. This article is meant to serve as a brief explanation of the major in general and what it means to me.
The MCA major is replacing Clark’s Cultural Studies and Communication (CSAC) program, meaning that students already declared as CSAC majors can finish the program, but no new declarations can be made. In order to declare for MCA, students must pass the 101 level course which is being taught for the first time this semester (Fall 2016), significant in the fact that there are currently no declared majors. The program itself is new, as are the topics it focuses on, and many of the job opportunities it prepares students for. Professor Hugh Manon, who teaches the MCA 101 course this semester, extols its range of opportunity:
"Besides being a rigorous and edgy new pathway through the liberal arts, what I find exciting about the MCA major is that the possibilities for experimentation and innovation are literally endless, limited only by your willingness to take risks and develop new approaches to media.”
Students are prepared for these endless possibilities by a dual approach requiring them to learn practical skills in workshops as well as study theory, taking classes from the Screen Studies, Studio Art, Music, Theater, and Art History programs. It is recommended to take a production workshop class such as drawing or digital film production concurrently with MCA 101 to understand the purpose of the major; both understanding and contributing to Media, Culture, and the Arts.
We live in a changing world, with technological advances moving faster and faster. The World Wide Web became available to the public in 1991, six years before I was born, and now children are growing up with access to endless information, unable to imagine life without the internet. As this element of culture changes, so do creative outlets, the way people share art, and the various forms art can take. The amount of content being produced on a daily basis is mind-boggling, with hundreds of hours of content uploaded to YouTube every minute, countless channels on television broadcasting 24/7, Vine, Snapchat, Twitter, even Odyssey. To me, the MCA major is a way to address this constantly changing culture and learn skills that can be applied to jobs that may not even exist yet. I know that I want to create things, whether those things by physical art projects, films, written pieces, or anything in between, and I feel that this program will prepare me to achieve those goals.