Film and Media Studies

Most of us approach and use human communications as content seen through a window. FMST insists on looking at — describing, analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating – the window. FMST argues that content (expressive stories, factual stories, concepts, images, sounds, information) always interacts with the mechanisms that convey it.

Of course FMST is also interested in content, especially as it moves from one medium to another (like from printed page to radio to film to video game). But even as FMST students examine content, they ask: What are the asserted or assumed possibilities and limits of various media? How have media changed and accrued across time and been institutionalized and conventionalized in different societies and cultures? How are media created, and what differences do the circumstances of creation make?

Media theorist Marshall McLuhan famously asserted, "The medium is the message." We like his later, more whimsical claim even better: "The medium is the massage." Keep poking around our website, and find out what we mean. (Hint: Look for the subhead "Thinking FMST" at the bottom of many of our site's pages.)