Uncovering the Media City

Screens are ubiquitous to everyday life. From hand-held cellphones to the large-scale digital and LED billboards that adorn the buildings of central urban districts — and inclusive of the video and large-scale screens that populate the public buildings of our campus, including The Media School — screens are central mediums through which we navigate our public lives.

Look beyond the media being presented on the screens to understand how screens mediate our relationships to public space — your campus, your city or community and the larger world. Uncovering the Media City: Public Screen Cultures and Urban China is a four-credit, semester-long course during spring semester that enables understanding of how producers, designers, artists and users in the globe — here and in China and Hong Kong — are particularly placed in relation to these sociotechnical dynamics.

Taught by associate professor Stephanie DeBoer, this class includes spring break travel to Shanghai and Hong Kong, two central locations in which public screen media are made, designed and most pervasively used. During spring break, students will witness screen-adorned cityscapes and visit the wide range of actors engaging with public screens in these locations. They will visit design studios and LED factories, and talk to both media artists and “out of home” advertising representatives. In their exploration of screen cultures, students will partner with faculty and students of City University of Hong Kong’s School of Creative Media and Tongji University’s College of Design and Innovation in Shanghai. They’ll also visit Hong Kong’s Videotage media art center and outdoor advertising company JC Decaux‘s central office in Shanghai.


To apply for the course, you must:

  • be on track to be a sophomore by credit hours (30 hours completed) by the end of fall 2017 semester, or a master’s student.
  • have a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  • be on track to have completed at least one previous course in The Media School at at least the 200-level.
  • be on track to be admitted to The Media School by the end of the fall 2017 semester.

The Media School provides a scholarship to all students admitted to this course to lower the course fee assessed for travel.

  • Full program costs: $3,450
  • Scholarship from grants: $1,200
  • Course fee after scholarship: $2,250

The course fee covers round-trip transportation from Bloomington, lodging, all required activities, health insurance and some meals. We recommend students have at least $600 available during the trip to cover meals and personal expenses. These expenses can be reduced through other scholarships and grants, such as the Hutton International Experiences grant.


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