University of California, Riverside

UC Riverside

Media and Cultural Studies

Spooky World




 As we witness the outrage and anguish that is sweeping the country, this is a message of solidarity in the face of untold pain and suffering, of ongoing state violence and systemic racism. The recent murders of three African Americans -- Breonna  Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd -- stand out for their inhumanity and casualness, and their direct linkage to policing; they are a stark reminder of a culture of systemic anti-Black racism that must be opposed.

Many of us in Media and Cultural Studies are filled with grief and outrage during this most challenging time. Yet while these events can feel overwhelming, now more than ever is a time to 梯子国外. Feeling power is about acknowledging that emotions are a vital part of any education. Emotions come to define how and what we see and know.  

We want all members of our community to feel, think and stay safe, but we also recognize that staying safe is often a function of privilege, and not possible for some. That is why we must stand together in solidarity. 

Please reach out to your professors or advisors or colleagues if you are in distress or in need of support, and know that we are with you.

The Department of Media and Cultural Studies provides students with a critical, interdisciplinary analytic skill set that is simultaneously local and transnational, pertinent to social justice and political movements, encompassing the theoretical and the practical.


Congratulations to our colleague Gloria Chan-Sook Kim, who has been awarded a prestigious year-long fellowship by the University of California Humanities Research Institute. (5/11/20)

Congratulations to our colleague Sherryl Vint, who has been awarded a year-long fellowship at UCR's Center for Ideas and Society. (

We are very proud of MCS graduate, Christopher Watkins III, who talks about his new film, Hats, here.


Media and Cultural Studies brings together a group of faculty and students from a range of fields and specialties who are engaged in the critical analysis and making of media and culture.

As public intellectuals, practicing critics, and cultural interlocutors, poets and artists, filmmakers and musicians, sociologists and policy experts, we infuse theory with practice, the creative with the evaluative..


We study how political economy and dominant as well as emergent ideologies condition the historical and contemporary production and distribution, circulation and contestation, reception and appropriation of media and cultural texts.

We analyze how ideology, power and identity intersect and articulate through media and culture.

We interrogate the relationships between the conditions of production (policy, ownership, institutions, regulation); the formations of social movements and practices of expressive cultures; and the production of meaning through different media texts and technologies.

Our graduates are scholars, social activists, media and policy makers, critics, independent media makers and participants in creative and media industries, who can move flexibly between the applied and critical, the professional and scholarly, the empirical and theoretical, and the social-scientific.

How We Do It

Our approach encompasses political economy and media policy, critical race, ethnic and gender studies, ethnography, and historical, material, visual and textual analysis; methods are drawn from the humanities, fine arts, and social sciences, analyzing the relationship between media ownership, production, circulation and reception, employing a problem-based approach to the analysis and media and culture; to critically analyzes the relations between institutions, ideology, and identity, synthesizing critical analysis and cultural production, blending theory with practice.

Our department examines the culture and media of the last century; commercial norms and governmental policy as well as alternative strategies; and the newest forms of media technology and innovation. We analyze old and new technologies, including visual, aural, audiovisual, and computer-generated texts. Our work traverses the local to the global, global north and global south, tracking influences and borrowings from Hollywood to Bollywood, from anime to videogames, to understand the processes of globalization, transculturation, displacement and diaspora, cultural hybridity and imperial domination.

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