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
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.
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 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.
Media courses train
students in the critical analysis of contemporary media and their impact on
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.
1. All students take the following pre-requisites:
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.
All courses are three credits unless otherwise indicated.
curriculum prerequisites (required)
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.