Modern Culture and Media


Modern Culture and Media (MCM) is an interdisciplinary concentration that explores the ties between media and broader cultural and social formations. We stress creative thinking and critical production: comparative analysis and theoretical reflection, as well as work that integrates practice and theory. We thus bring together aspects of modern culture that are normally separated by departmental structures such as film and media studies, fine art, literature, literary arts and philosophy. This concentration offers the student a range of possible specializations.  A student might decide to focus on the critical study and production of a certain type or combination of media (print, photography, sound recording, cinema, video, television, and digital media); or they might focus on certain cultural, theoretical and/or social formations (for example, gender/sexuality in post-Cold war television, postcolonial theory and film, the changing form of the novel, theories of subjectivity and ideology, video games and theories of representation).  These paths are united by a commitment to critical thinking/practice: rather than reproducing conventions, MCM concentrators learn how conventions emerge, what work they do, and explore ways to change them. 

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Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Understand the foundations of contemporary cultural criticism, including theories of cinema, television, and digital media
  • Become adept at analyzing media texts and their apparatus
  • Develop their writing abilities in a sequence of papers
  • Produce a body of original work that may be creative, critical-theoretical, or a combination of both


Click here for a list of the Modern Culture and Media concentration requirements.

Honors and Capstones

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Students who qualify for Honors are eligible to apply to do an Honors project or thesis. Students should submit a letter of interest in their 6th semester, and a formal proposal, by the first day of their 7th semester.  Applications will be screened by the MCM Honors Committee. (Application forms are available in the MCM office.) If approved, a student must then register for MCM 1970, a one credit course which can count towards their Focus Area requirements, and MCM 1990, a one-credit thesis course in which they complete the Honors thesis.


  • Track I
  • Track II

Liberal Learning

This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:

  • Enhance your aesthetic sensibility
  • Expand your reading skills
  • Collaborate fully
  • Understand differences among cultures
  • Embrace diversity
  • Engage with your community
  • Develop a facility with symbolic languages
  • Learn what it means to study the past
  • Evaluate human behavior
  • Work on your speaking and writing

Download the full statement on Liberal Learning at Brown

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Affiliated Departments


Graduating Class

Year Total Capstone Honors
201334 34 11 
201427 27 
201527 27 
201629 29 
201729 29 13 

Alumni Pathways

MCM alumni are award-winning film producers and directors as well as photojournalists, artists, composers, curators, and university professors. For more information, visit the MCM website.

See more details on the CareerLAB website.

Dept. Undergraduate Group

Visit this DUG's website to learn more.

Student Leaders:

  • Carissa Haynes
  • Ana Marx
  • Miles Taylor
  • Ilgin Korugan
  • Keri Brooks

If you are an advisor and would like to make changes to the information on this page, contact, or email Dean Besenia Rodriguez.