Welcome to the Department of Modern Culture and Media



Modern Culture and Media is committed to the study of media in the context of the broader examination of modern cultural and social formations. Our curriculum proposes a distinctive subject matter, stresses comparative analysis and theoretical reflection, and highlights the integration of theory and practice, creative thought and critical production. In research and teaching at both the graduate and undergraduate level, MCM combines the analysis of diverse texts — visual and verbal, literary and historical, theoretical and popular, imaginative and archival — with the study of contemporary theories of representation and cultural production and creative practice in a range of media. Through studying MCM, students will become critically sophisticated and knowledgeable about the theory, history, and analysis of media and cultural forms. They will also learn to produce innovative work — whether in theory, media practice, or historical scholarship — that interrogates and transforms conventional understandings of these forms. 

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We extend our deepest sympathy to Jo Ann Scholes and the Scholes family as we join them in mourning the loss of Robert Scholes, who passed away peacefully on December 9, 2016.

Bob Scholes was one of the most distinguished critical studies and theory scholars of his generation.  His passing also has special significance for Brown University and for the many departments and programs fortunate enough to have been affiliated with him:  English, Comparative Literature, and Modern Culture and Media.  Indeed, Bob was the originator of the Semiotics program and then, later, a primary force in conceptualizing, founding, and leading MCM through the merger of Semiotics with the Modern Literature and Society program and through all the work that he did with the department for so many years.  As just one indication of his enormous support, Bob and Jo Ann recently established a fund to support the MCM graduate program.  Those of us in the MCM department and at Brown more widely have always had enormous respect and appreciation for Bob Scholes--for his brilliance, his vision, his generosity, and his support.  We know that you share this respect and appreciation, and now also our sadness at this news.  

We have heard from alumni who wish to honor Bob. Donations can be made to Brown in the name of The Professor Robert Scholes and Jo Ann Scholes Fund for Graduate Education in Modern Culture and Media (07299911). We also plan to host an event to honor Bob and will write again with information as those plans develop.

For more information about Robert Scholes's amazing life and work, please click here.

Robert Scholes 1929-2016 by Sean Latham

May 12, 2017
The Crafty Reader: 
A symposium in honor of Robert Scholes


Thoughts from the Class of 2015

Thoughts from the Class of 2014 

Thoughts from the Class of 2013