Communication & the Liberal Arts

Mission Statement

The program in  Communication and Media Studies within the Center for Art and Media offers a major and a minor in communication. The department is an integral part of Goucher's liberal arts education. Students are encouraged to develop a sense of communication history and are provided with the means of mastering the language of modern media. They are challenged to develop a critical view and ethical judgments about contemporary media issues. Academic and theoretical classes are supplemented with skills-oriented coursework, applied internships, and research activities.

Our coursework seeks to raise and perhaps answer important questions about human beings, social organization, and cultural forces. These questions treat a wide range of issues, from how social groups are represented in culture to the economic forces that structure media practices. We seek to understand the historical development of film genres, opportunities to create work that experiments and challenges traditional forms, and the artistic and persuasive impact of individuals. Our field is by necessity interdisciplinary, traversing history, politics, sociology, and art, within a global perspective. The most important things students can learn in their education is to ask probing questions; to discover what resources are available to aid in answering these questions; to really consider and understand other people, other ideas, and new ways of thinking, observing, and being: to explore the world to the best of their abilities. This is an awesome and endless task -- a process more than a result.

In conjunction with this exploration, the department seeks to foster the ability to express and communicate ideas, arguments, historical findings, and creative insights. Students develop their writing skills in both analytical and creative contexts. Many also learn to express themselves using newer media technologies. They learn to apply theoretical concepts to creative work and experiential insights about production to their intellectual research. Students are encouraged to pursue specific interests in digital media, television and film studies, video and audio production, print, radio and television journalism, photography, public relations, and popular culture studies. The department sponsors a student-staffed campus radio station, and serves in advisory roles with the student newspaper, The Quindecim, and the student digital website, The Goucher Eye. Students complete internships in a variety of arenas, including website production, television, radio, public relations, film, and news writing and production. Motivated students are always encouraged to pursue independent research in their particular areas of scholarly interest.

To sum up, we hope that all of our students will leave Goucher and our department as lifelong learners; as critical problem solvers; as innovative and ethical creators; as independent, intelligent people who view life through the filter of history and multicultural understanding. We also hope our students will leave here with the ability to write well and to communicate well in other forms, such as video, audio, photography, and new media. We maintain high expectations and hope that students will also challenge themselves continuously, strive to work independently, and take full advantage of the opportunities that Goucher, and our program, present to them.