Digital Community Studies

Interdisciplinary Minor

Directors: Michele Forman and Rosie O’Beirne (Department of History and Anthropology)

The Digital Community Studies minor is an interdisciplinary program for students interested in opportunities for applied research in local communities through the use of new media technology. The minor provides students a solid grounding in the history, theory and practice of documentary film, film history, oral history, ethnography, community studies, and media theory. Students will gain experience in community-based research, as well as attain proficiency in various new media technologies.

The courses are team-taught by members of the UAB Arts and Sciences faculty, offering students instruction in both applied research techniques and digital modes of documentation and dissemination of their research. The minor in Digital Community Studies emphasizes experiential learning and offers students opportunities for hands-on participation in local communities through service learning and internships with non-profit organizations, businesses, and educational and governmental institutions.

Requirements

The DCS minor will require 18 semester hours, including three courses in the core curriculum (9 hours), six hours of additional advanced digital community studies coursework (either 2 courses or one 6 hour-course), and one elective (3 hours). The elective will be drawn from a number of relevant courses already existing in the curriculum of the College of Arts and Sciences involving technology, media, and/or community studies. No grade below C will be counted as credit for the minor.

 

 

 

 

Minor Requirements for Digital Community Studies

RequirementsHours
Digital Community Studies Core9
Select three of the following:
Introduction to Digital Community Studies
Introduction to Film and History
Representing Reality: The Language of Documentary Images
Women in Film
American Independent Film
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: Representing American Identity on Film
Community Ethnography
Advanced Digital Community Studies Elective6
Select two of the following:
Community and Service
Ethnographic Filmmaking/SL
Media and Public Service
Independent Digital Community Studies
Internship in Digital Community Studies
Elective3
Select one of the following:
Comparative Cultures through Films
Urban Anthropology
Ethnographic Research Methods
Intro to Time Based Media
Intermediate Time Based Media
Multimedia Productions
Seminar in Time Based Media
Interpreting Film
Special Topics in Film
Intro to Urban Geography
The American Film
Technology and Society
Popular Culture in American History
American Film and Violent Society
Community Planning and Organization
Political Power in American Film
Politics and the Media
Urban Sociology
Special Topics in Women's Studies
Total Hours18

 

 

Courses

DCS 101. Introduction to Digital Community Studies. 3 Hours.

Lecture based course that explores the ways we use and understand images. Topics include the practice of looking, how viewers make meaning visual literacy in the science and humanities , and a cross-cultural look at visual representation.

DCS 150. Introduction to Film and History. 3 Hours.

This course will examine fiction and non-fiction films as socially significant documents. Students will receive an introduction to the techniques of film analysis in the class.

DCS 201. Representing Reality: The Language of Documentary Images. 3 Hours.

This course will provide a history of the documentary tradition by studying the major stylistic movements, works, and filmmakers of non-fiction film and photography in the 20th century.

DCS 208. Women in Film. 3 Hours.

This course will provide a history of women in film, focusing on both women working in the film industry and the representation of women on screen. The course will focus on American film history, 1930's Hollywood to the present.

DCS 266. New Urbanism. 3 Hours.

This course investigates the community development model of New Urbanism which promotes the values of walkability, diversity and connectivity for healthy living and neighborhood sustainability. Students will explore local communities, connecting New Urbanist design principles to community values and social interaction.

DCS 291. Community Ethnography and Public History. 3 Hours.

This experiential course addresses how to investigate and represent local community history and stories through the methodologies of service learning, participant observation, ethnographic research and oral history. This class addresses the concepts of human memory, nostalgia, folklore, storytelling and public history. Students will learn how to use new media technologies, such as digital video, podcasting and website production, as a way to represent community history and culture for the public.

DCS 309. American Independent Film. 3 Hours.

This course will provide a history of the American Independent filmmaking tradition by studying the major stylistic movements, works, and filmmakers of the 1970s-the present.

DCS 350. Community and Service. 3-6 Hours.

This service-learning course provides students the opportunity to explore social and community issues by volunteering with a local agency, non-profit or community group. Students will use multimedia to highlight their community partner, document their experience and share their interests. Methods such as participant observation and ethnographic field approaches will provide the framework for student exploration.

DCS 390. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: Representing American Identity on Film. 3 Hours.

An interdisciplinary course in which students investigate the formation and representation of early American identity and produce their own films representing contemporary American identity.

DCS 391. Community Ethnography. 3 Hours.

This experiential course addresses how to investigate and represent local community history and stories through the methodologies of participant observation, ethnographic research and oral history. This class addresses the concepts of human memory, nostalgia, folklore, storytelling and public history. Students will learn how to use new media technologies, such as digital video, podcasting and website production, as a way to represent community history and culture for the public.

DCS 401. Ethnographic Filmmaking/SL. 6 Hours.

This course is an interdisciplinary course in which students pair up to produce a short documentary film which represents a community in the Birmingham area. The course contains four key elements: 1) community outreach, 2) intro to social science theory and methods, 3) film theory and the aesthetics of filmmaking, and 4) technical aspects of camera work and digital video editing. This is a designated service-learning course intergrating academic learning, civic learning and meaningful service to the community. Preq: Permission of the instructor.

DCS 450. Media and Public Service. 3 Hours.

This course offers students hands-on experience creating and analyzing media pieces about community issues, including documentary films, public service announcements, translation of academic research to lay audiences, and multimedia grant proposals and reports. Emphasis will be on communicating effectively in the non-profit sector. Permission of Instructor.

DCS 460. Independent Digital Community Studies. 3-6 Hours.

This course will provide an opportunity for advanced students to pursue individual projects in multimedia studies. Prerequisites: Permission of the Instructor.

DCS 470. Internship in Digital Community Studies. 3-6 Hours.

Internships will provide students with the opportunity for hands-on experience with digital technology in workplace setting. Prerequisites: Permission of the Instructor.