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Media and Creative Markets

In this module, students will investigate the histories and contemporary conditions of media and creative markets. Courses focus on the production, distribution, and reception of cultural works in the United States and around the world. Topic-based courses will delve into specific markets like television, film, video games, music, and art. Introductory and theory-based courses explore a range of media markets through issues of power, capital, value, labor, and regulation. Students will have the opportunity to work on case studies, history, and their own productions in their pursuit of knowledge.

Learning Objectives

  • To introduce students to how media and creative markets have taken shape historically and in the contemporary period.
  • To allow students to explore how power, capital, value, labor and regulation affect culture.
  • To offer students guidance in researching, developing and producing media texts through an understanding of how they emerge in markets.


Media and Creative Markets Course Requirements


Opportunities for Application and Practice: 

Students have a number of opportunities to extend their coursework in the various relevant labs and research groups directed by the faculty. Students can participate in research projects for course credit or as an extracurricular activity. Students are encouraged to apply for an Undergraduate Research Grant through the Office of Undergraduate Research; available during the academic year and the summer months. These grants provide funds to pay for research expenses for independent academic or creative project in any field. 

Students may also volunteer for local media and creative organizations; examples include:  Chicago Filmmakers, MCA Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, Goodman Theatre, Kartemquin Films, Cards Against Humanity, Chicago Public Media, Chicago Fashion Week, and Chicago International Film Festival. 

In addition, there are a number of student groups on campus that offer opportunities for students to apply their skills including:  Studio 22 (,  Inspire Media (, Northwestern University Women Filmmakers Alliance (, the Block Cinema (, and WNUR-FM Radio Station ( 

Students are highly encouraged to work with the EPICS program to identify a suitable internship within a media and/or creative organization. 

Community Building Activities: 

Students and faculty affiliated with the Media and Culture Markets Module will be invited to talks in the existing MSLCE, MTS, and MA in Sound Arts and Industries speaker series, which feature a regular program of experts in many aspects of media and creative organizations. Top students from the module may be nominated to meet with the speaker in group meetings or over meals. 


Capstone projects will be presented as part of the annual capstone showcase for Communication Studies modules. 

A quarterly lunch meeting allows module students to meet with the module coordinator, advising staff, and one or two module faculty members. The purpose of these meetings is to update students on new courses and other goings on, allow them to ask questions, and provide a forum for informal faculty interaction. 

There are a number of other opportunities and activities that are offered on a quarterly basis for module affiliated students, including panels on applying to jobs/graduate schools, field trips, and media/creative screenings. Students interested in suggesting or organizing a module-related activity may contact the module coordinator. 

Sponsoring Department: Communication Studies

Module Coordinator: Larissa Buchholz

Committee of Instruction:  Larissa Buchholz, Claudio Benzencry, Neil Verma, AJ Christian

Module Advisor: Sarah Syversen

How to Enroll 

Open to all SoC majors.

Students applying to join the Media and Culture Markets module should complete or be currently enrolled in the prerequisite course, (COMM_ST 274) which is offered each fall quarter. Please download the declaration form, print a copy of the form, and complete it. All students who submit the declaration should arrange an appointment with Sarah Syversen who is the module advisor, by calling 847-491-7214. No other application materials are required. The purposes of the meeting include confirming applicant’s eligibility, reviewing requirements of the module, and answering students’ questions about the module. Faculty members who serve as the module’s committee of instruction review applications at the end of fall quarter each year and students who are accepted into the module receive prompt notice of their acceptance. 

Grade Policy

Students must maintain a B- average in module coursework. If their average falls below B-, they will not be permitted to submit a capstone.