In 1991 a graduate of the Semiotics Program, Timothy Forbes, Brown '76, was responsible for a gift to Brown from the Forbes Foundation. This gift created what is now the Malcolm S. Forbes Center for Culture and Media Studies, the research arm of the department, to pursue projects designed to promote and contribute to scholarship and production dealing with theories, practices and histories of modes of representation as they engage mass mediated culture. The Center sponsors conferences and lectures organized by MCM faculty, and research projects associated with the department. Projects have included symposia and conferences, postdoctoral and faculty fellows, exhibitions and festivals, and archival and research resources. Topics of conferences that have been sponsored by the Center include: Television and Nationality; Modernism and Modernity; The Archaeology of Multi-Media; and Walter Benjamin's Arcades Project. The Center has also sponsored or supported several public events that exhibit media texts normally difficult to access in the U.S. Examples include: a festival of Portuguese and Lusophone cinema; festivals of French and Francophone cinema; and a festival of Turkish diaspora cinema in Germany.
The Center also supports the Modernist Journals Project, which is constructing fully-searchable online editions of English-language journals and magazines that were important in shaping modes of art and literature that came to be called modernist.