An interdisciplinary lens for viewing media and audiences
A new interschool PhD program set to start classes this fall will take a multimethodological approach to educating and training a new generation of media scholars and practitioners.
Doctoral candidates in the Rhetoric, Media, and Publics program will dissect both the history and the present state of the media to better understand, critique, and innovate within the field. Attracting journalists, academics, and everything in between, the joint PhD reformulates SoC’s existing Rhetoric and Public Culture program in partnership with the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. Core courses will address history and theory of rhetoric, audience creation and dynamics, media technologies, media theory, and more.
“This is a humanistic, critically oriented program that leans heavily into humanistic theories and methods to understand contemporary life,” says Angela Ray, associate professor of communication studies and SoC’s associate dean of graduate studies. “And in capitalizing on the expertise of faculty across these three schools, the program will additionally focus on community engagement and emerging modes of scholarly intervention.”
“Different fields have different lenses and, sometimes, in such an interconnected, complicated world, a single lens is not adequate,” says Medill associate professor Kalyani Chadha, a member of the program’s planning committee. “To produce a richer picture of the landscape, it helps to have these interdisciplinary collaborations, and the three deans—E. Patrick Johnson, Adrian Randolph, and Charles Whitaker—really see the value of it.”
The inaugural cohort will be assembled this spring.