Literature, Communication & Media

Unique in integrating the three fields of Literature, Communication and Media, the LCM department educates majors to become articulate, analytical, creative and collaborative communicators.  Courses stress critical analysis, creative expression, and social awareness.  Students develop strong written, oral, and digital communication skills through in-depth engagement with texts, contemporary media, and experiential, applied learning. The program is designed to integrate students’ intellectual growth with the enhancement of their practical skills, both of which are vital to success in a wide range of professional fields.

LCM graduates have the skills and knowledge to enter the professional work force or to continue their studies in graduate school.  Alumni work in administration, business,   communications consulting, education (elementary, high school, and college teaching), global communication,  human resources, information management, law, marketing, media, organizational management, and the rabbinate (Reform, Conservative, Orthodox).  The department has an excellent record of graduate school admissions, including University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Michigan Law School, various California State Universities (CSU), University of Southern California (USC) Screenwriting and Public Policy, and its Annenberg School of Communications.

 

Internships

Qualified students may apply to the Department Chair for off-campus internships designed to help them develop their skills and professional interests related to the major.

THE MAJOR

The major focuses on three core areas: 

S  Literature, Society and Culture hones students’ critical reading and analytical skills while deepening their understanding of social, political, and cultural issues in the United States, the Western world, and the developing world. 

S  Media courses train students in the critical analysis of contemporary media and their impact on contemporary life.

S  Communication and  Experiential Studies involve students’ own creative productions in and beyond the classroom, and the application of communication theory, technologies and analytical skills to real-world situations.

 In addition, all LCM students take a a Capstone class and undertake a Senior Project, the purpose of which is to apply the range of skills mastered as a major to a culminating project expressing the student’s particular area of interest. 

Program Requirements

1. All students take the following pre-requisites:

LCM 192  Introduction to Narrative Art; LCM 193 Introduction to Narrative Structures, and LCM 194 Introduction to Media Studies 

2. Students then take 200-level courses drawn from each of the department’s three major areas:  at minimum, Literature, Society and Culture  - 3 courses; Communication & Experiential Studies – 3 courses, ; Media – 2 courses.  In addition, they may choose two electives from any one of those areas.

3. Students who have successfully completed a minimum of six 200-level courses from the three fields may begin to take 300-level courses.  Students are required to take one 300-level course, currently LCM 350 (Advanced Seminar) and one 400-level course in their final semester (LCM 490, Capstone and Senior Project).  (Students who have earned a grade of A- or better in five 200-level courses may take LCM 350 with the permission of the instructor.)

Students may also combine an LCM major with a major in Behavioral Sciences, Business, Jewish Studies, or Political Science.

The Courses

All courses are three credits unless otherwise indicated.

curriculum prerequisites (required)

LCM 192 INTRODUCTION TO NARRATIVE ART  

This course analyzes how stories are told by examining the authors’ relationships with the readers, the narrative elements that affect them, and the ways in which these vary, or remain the same, across various types of literature. How do we analyze stories? What makes a powerful story? How are plots structured? What kinds of narrative strategies have been employed? How have critical theorists influenced our analyses of stories? Students will examine children’s literature, short stories, plays, blogs, journalism, and a novel to challenge their assumptions about narratives and to expand their literary repertoires. This is an experiential course. Students will learn about the various elements of narrative by writing their own narratives.

LCM 193 INTRODUCTION TO NARRATIVE STRUCTURES 

How are narratives constructed – whether plays, films, short stories, novels, or plays?  What are some of the basic forms, from the traditional “dramatic arc” involving conflict, to the archetypal Hero’s Journey, to the Japanese and Chinese  notion of Kishōtenketsu, the “surprise ending,”  and the disrupted or non-linear narrative? Students examine and themselves produce versions of these structures.

LCM 194 INTRODUCTION TO MEDIA STUDIES 

This course provides students with the language and history of media studies that they need to engage in the critical analysis of their media consumption and production. Students will explore the history of the development of various media and the cultural contexts surrounding them. Students ask the classic question, “does the medium change the message?” Moreover, students explore how their usage of and relationships with media define their perceptions of themselves and their relationships with technology.

  

 200 LEVEL:

I. Literature, society, culture  (choose 3)

LCM 206 A or B  SPECIAL TOPICS: ISSUES IN AMERICAN LIFE & CULTURE  These two courses examine major issues of American life and culture from the days before the European settlement of the continent to the 21st century.   Students engage a variety of literary genres and media (poetry, essays, short stories, novels, plays, films).

LCM 208  A or B THE DEVELOPING WORLD: SPECIAL TOPICS  - These courses focus on a major issue – such as the Construction of Gender, Postcolonialism, Social Class or Social Issues   drawn from the literature and/or film of the region known as “the global south,” or the developing world. 

LCM 260 A or B  THE WESTERN WORLD : SPECIAL TOPICS  - These two courses, each of whose focus may vary from year to year, engage issues emerging from medieval to contemporary European literature, theatre, and film.

LCM  261  A or B  SPECIAL TOPICS IN  LITERATURE, SOCIETY AND CULTURE.  Courses will vary from year to year.

 

II. Media studies    (two courses)

LCM  271  POPULAR CULTURE – LOS ANGELES AS LABORATORY 

This course examines the production and consumption of popular culture, with particular emphasis on visual culture and images. With Los Angeles as our laboratory, students become field researchers critically examining issues in the cultural life of the city. The course will focus on theories and methodologies that enable us, as field researchers, to critically examine the cultural life of the city and their relevance to contextual issues of authority and the global economy.

LCM 274 CHILDREN AND MEDIA  

This course examines the effects of mass media on children’s social and personality development, body image, self-concept, and self-esteem. We will look at examples of how television, movies, the Internet, magazines, music videos, and video games shape and socialize children’s understanding of gender roles, ethnic groups, role models, authority figures, sex, and dating. We will discuss the implications of children’s media use; we will also analyze the ethical questions that are raised whenever children are targeted by the media.

LCM 275 NEWS AND PUBLIC OPINION
In this course, students will learn how public opinion is formed, measured, used, and understood. We will focus on the role of interest, knowledge, partisanship and media use in opinion formation and change. We will discuss current political and cultural topics and discuss public opinion theories such as priming, framing, and agenda-setting.

LCM 276  SPECIAL TOPICS IN MEDIA

The focus of these courses may vary from year to year.

LCM  278  CRITICAL MEDIA LITERACY

This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of critical media literacy. By examining seminal texts and key works from cultural studies, critical theory and media studies, students will analyze how messages are sent and received, as well as how their contexts and audiences shape them. Students will not only critically examine media narratives, but they will also create their own original counter narratives by utilizing new media.

 

III.  Experiential and communication studies  (Students choose three courses, which must include: 230 or 231; 232,233, or 282 A or B;  282 A or B, 283, 285 or 286)

LCM 230 ADVOCACY AND SOCIAL MEDIA This course focuses on the tools needed to become an effective advocate for a social cause. Students will research and identify a cause that merits their intervention, learn to lobby, take charge of media relations through the use of social media,  implement the communication of their chosen message, and write an op-ed.

LCM 231  COLLABORATION AND PRESENTATION

In this course, students identify major social, cultural, or political issues that concern them, learn and implement effective strategies for collaboration in researching the issues, and using a variety of platforms to effectively present the results of their research in a college arena.

LCM 232  RHETORIC AND PUBLIC SPEAKING  

Students learn formal techniques of rhetoric derived from significant speeches of the past, write their own formal speeches about important contemporary issues or concerns, and deliver them publicly to the college audience.

LCM 233 ARGUMENTATION AND DEBATE 

Students learn how to forge strong formal arguments about contemporary controversial issues, along with the techniques of formal debate.  They then hold a formal debate on an agreed-upon issue and present it to the college audience.

LCM 282 A or B  WHAT’S THE STORY?

Students each identify a “story” of particular meaning to them, develop the story (through research, creative writing, etc.)  and use a variety of media (podcasting, video, social media, performance) to present that story to their peers.  This course may be repeated for credit (though it cannot count for the major more than once.)

LCM 283  A or B SPECIAL TOPICS IN CREATIVE WRITING  

This course might include Digital Journalism (the writing and production of the Casiano Chronicle or the digital multi-media Cymbals creative arts magazine), a course in the writing of fiction or poetry, or a combination of all! 

LCM 284  VIDEO COMMUNICATION 

In this experiential course, students master the skills necessary for making professional quality videos

 

IV.  ADVANCED STUDIES (2 courses)

LCM 350 ADVANCED SEMINAR (TOPICS WILL VARY FROM YEAR TO YEAR)  

Open to seniors and to others (see above) by permission of the instructor  This course requires students to combine the many skills they have mastered (critical thinking, writing, research, collaboration, public speaking, public presentation, and digital skills) to examine a particular topic whose focus will vary from year to year.

LCM  390  LCM CAPSTONE  and senior project –

Students will review and evaluate their experience as LCM majors, and consider their own professional future as they meet with professionals from the fields of communication, creative writing, journalism, theatre, and film.  The major focus of the course is the selection, researching, development of and production of a Senior Project in Literature, Communication and/or Media.

LCM 401 HONORS THESIS - 1- 3 CREDITS
Open to students whose achievements in the department have been outstanding and who wish to work on a particular project during the fall or spring semester of their senior year. Projects may be critical /essays, performances, or creative projects. By permission of the department chair.

LCM 402 INDEPENDENT STUDY - 1- 3 CREDITS 

LCM 403 LCM INTERNSHIP - 1- 3 CREDITS
With the approval of the department chair, students may plan internships in a wide variety of fields, depending upon their particular interest.
 

An inclusive
jewish environment

While the majority of our students are Jewish, we appreciate and value differences in observance, lifestyle, and thought. Here, everyone’s story and experiences add to the mosaic of our community. As we consider what it means to be human and part of a wider society, we employ an ethical framework informed by Jewish culture and philosophy to prepare all students for success both in civic life and their chosen profession.

  • L.A.’s vibrant Jewish life provides a wealth of opportunities to explore your relationship with Judaism, both on and off campus.
  • Whether observant or secular, we all enjoy celebrations that mark seasonal changes (Sukkot), major historical events like the establishment of the State of Israel (Yom Ha’atzmaut), and biblical legends (Purim).
  • Welcoming Shabbat dinners bring our community together in celebration of Jewish identity and rituals.

ADVISORS AND MENTORS
WHO KNOW YOU

Traveling down a road alone can be hard. But traveling with someone who knows that road well—who can tell you interesting places to stop or where there’s a sharp turn—is a very different experience. Since your academic and personal success is our highest priority, at AJU College you are assigned an academic advisor and a personal mentor from day one to guide you in making smart decisions for your future.

  • Traveling down a road alone can be hard. But traveling with someone who knows that road well—who can tell you interesting places to stop or where there’s a sharp turn—is a very different experience. Since your academic and personal success is our highest priority, at AJU College you are assigned an academic advisor and a personal mentor from day one to guide you in making smart decisions for your future.
  • Your faculty advisor helps with everything from choosing class schedules to recommending courses to help you reach the next phase of your story—whether that’s graduate school, law or medical school, or an entry-level position in your field.
  • All students are also assigned a personal mentor who helps guide you through the social and interpersonal aspects of your college experience.

learn by
serving others

By participating in community-based projects you gain perspective on the challenges facing our human family. Serving others broadens your horizons, engages your ideals, and cements within you the Jewish tradition of civic responsibility. These attributes combine to make you a fuller human being as you move forward on your chosen track.

  • All AJU College students take part in hands-on service projects, part of the Sid B. Levine Service Learning Program.
  • Students have led projects to raise awareness of social injustices like human trafficking, hunger, and gender inequality.
  • Faculty and students annually host middle school students for the Prejudice Awareness Summit, where such topics as bullying and discrimination are discussed and conflict-resolution skills are taught.
  • AJU College participates in the international service projects of the American Jewish World Service, which takes students on study-volunteer trips to El Salvador, Ghana, and India.