Communication and Media Studies Department

Lorena Martin and Brittany Pace capture footage for their field video production course.
Lorena Martin and Brittany Pace capture footage for their production course.

Aristotle SculptureCommunication is an ancient field of study, tracing its roots to the Golden Age of Greece when Aristotle studied rhetoric, the art of persuasion. Citizen participation in politics was at the heart of Greek democracy. The power of the spoken word was key to participation.

 During the 20th Century, communication inquiry began to broaden beyond its traditional focus to include knowledge gained from psychology, sociology, anthropology, and other contemporary fields of study.  Scholars examined the effects of communication on attitude formation, interpersonal relationships, group decision making, and organizational behavior.  Meanwhile, the introduction of radio, television, and film further expanded the scope of the discipline. 

Today, students and faculty consider issues involving gender and communication, multiculturalism, ethics, health communication, media and public policy, and other current topics.  Understanding the process of communication is as important to democracy as public speaking was for the ancient Greeks. 

 The bachelor of arts degree in communication provides comprehensive knowledge about the nature of communication, the symbol systems by which it functions, the environments in which it occurs, its media, and its effects.  Employing critical and empirical approaches, the program spans the social sciences, humanities, and fine arts.

The bachelor of arts in media studies focuses on understanding, creating, and exploiting various social and participatory mediathrough a program of integrated courses in media writing, criticism, and production.  Our goal is to graduate literate, capable, and responsible media professionals. 

The Communication and Media Studies Department also offers two minors.  The minor in cinema studies and the minor in communication and media studies.

News & Events

Heath Bouffard with Camera
Heath Bouffard, senior media studies major and 2014 Maine Association of Broadcasters Award recipient is working with Portland artist Marty Pottenge on a project with funding from National Endowment for the Arts. The project, “All the Way Home: Veterans Story Exchange”, seeks to tell the story of 100 active duty military personnel and veterans. Read about it on the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal.
photo from breaking bad.
David Pierson, associate professor of media studies and editor of Breaking Bad: Critical Essays on the Context, Politics, Style and Reception of the Television Series, will respond to a lecture by Jason Read, associate professor of philosophy. Why We Love Breaking Bad: Work, Austerity and Autonomy will take place on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 2:30-4:00 PM in the Glickman Library 7th floor events room on the Portland Campus.
Hollywood and Hitler, 1933-1939 by Thomas Doherty
Ariel Rogers, Assistant Professor of Film Studies, will introduce Brandeis University Professor of Film Studies Thomas Doherty in a talk about his highly acclaimed book, Hollywood and Hitler, 1933 -1939. The talk takes place Friday, March 25, 6:00 PM at the Patriot Cinemas Nickelodeon in Portland. The talk is part of the Maine Jewish Film Festival's 2014 offerings.

Service Learning Project Presentations

Please join us for a showcase of these capstone projects on Thursday, May 1, at 7:00 p.m. in Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, on the Portland Campus of the University of Southern Maine. 

Free and open to the public.

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