Journalism, Media, and Public Discourse

Eleanor Townsley, Nexus director, track chair

Kenneth Tucker, track chair

217G Dwight Hall

Overview and Contact Information

Many departments, including English, history, sociology, and politics, offer hands-on and theory-based courses in journalism and public media. Students learn to examine the world with an educated, critical eye; to collect material from a wide range of sources; and to analyze and communicate information clearly and concisely. MHC’s approach reflects the reality of the job market: employers in journalism and media want students who are knowledgeable and articulate across a wide array of subjects in the liberal arts, who are creative, flexible thinkers with superior writing and analytical capabilities. The Nexus in Journalism, Media, and Public Discourse encourages students to explore journalism and media through many venues. In the classroom, students can master the nuts and bolts of reporting and fact-checking a news story, examine the history of the New York Times, or analyze the role of media in contemporary society.


This area of study is administered by the following Nexus track chairs:

Eleanor Townsley, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Sociology and Director of Nexus, Teaching Fall Only

Kenneth Tucker, Helen P. Bibbero Professor of Sociology

Requirements for the Nexus

A minimum of 18 credits:

Three courses above the 100 level chosen from the list of courses approved for this Nexus or selected with approval of the track chair12
One approved 300-level course from the list of courses approved for this Nexus or selected with approval of the track chair4
Completion of the UAF application stages 1 and 2 1
A substantive internship 2
COLL-211Reflecting Back: Connecting Internship and Research to Your Liberal Arts Education2
A presentation at LEAP Symposium
Total Credits18

Additional Specifications

  • Nexus students will develop a brief proposal outlining their specific area of focus and provide a course outline for approval from the track chair. A Plan of Study form must be returned to the Nexus Program office.

  • The sequence of a Nexus is part of what makes it unique:
    • In preparation for the summer internship or research, students complete courses chosen in consultation with the track chair. If seeking funding through LYNK UAF, students will additionally complete orientation and advising, and online training.

    • COLL-211 is taken after the internship or research project and culminates in a presentation at LEAP Symposium.

Courses Counting toward the Nexus

Courses other than those listed below may count toward the Nexus. Students should consult the Nexus track chair for consideration of courses not on the list.

ANTHR-221Anthropology of Media4
ANTHR-230Language in Culture and Society4
ANTHR-316WCSpecial Topics in Anthropology: 'Writing Capitalism's Ruins'4
ANTHR-352Digital Cultures4
Art History
ARTH-242History of Photography: The First Hundred Years4
Asian Studies
ASIAN-312Newspaper Reading and Journalistic Practice in China4
College(Interdeptmnt) Courses
COLL-211Reflecting Back: Connecting Internship and Research to Your Liberal Arts Education2
Critical Social Thought
CST-349SVAdvanced Topics: 'Media and Surveillance'4
CST-349VCAdvanced Topics: 'Victorian Literature and Visual Culture'4
ENGL-202Introduction to Journalism4
ENGL-301DMStudies in Journalism: 'Bots, Bytes, Tweets, and Snaps: Digital Media and the Transformation of Journalism in the 21st Century'4
ENGL-301MWStudies in Journalism: 'Magazine Writing - Sequence I'4
ENGL-325Victorian Literature and Visual Culture4
Film, Media, Theater
FMT-102Introduction to Film Studies4
FMT-104Introduction to Media Studies4
FMT-230NCIntermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'Social Media: Networked Cultures'4
FMT-230RAIntermediate Courses in History and Theory:'Reel America: History and Film'4
FMT-230WMIntermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'History of World Media'4
FMT-330EAAdvanced Courses in History and Theory: 'Envisioning Apocalypse'4
FMT-330SVAdvanced Courses in History and Theory: 'Media and Surveillance'4
FREN-225Intermediate Level Courses in Culture and Literature: Introduction to Contemporary Culture and Media of France and the French-Speaking World4
First-Year Seminars
FYSEM-110PEPerforming the Self4
HIST-283RATopics in the Recent History of the United States: 'Reel America: History and Film'4
HIST-301NYColloquium: 'Reading the New York Times: Journalism, Power, History'4
SOCI-216MDSpecial Topics in Sociology: 'Sociology of Media'4
SOCI-234Social Problems4
SOCI-240Collective Behavior and Social Movements4
SOCI-316PSSpecial Topics in Sociology: 'Digital Media and the Public Sphere'4
SPAN-240CNVisual Cultures, An Introduction: 'Latin American Cinema'4
SPAN-250LMConcepts and Practices of Power: 'Making Latin America: From Independence to the Present'4