Elizabeth Ellcessor headshot

Elizabeth Ellcessor

Associate Professor
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Department of Media Studies
Office location and address
202 Wilson Hall
115 Ruppel Dr
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904
MDST 3000: Theory and Criticism of Media
Credits: 3
This course introduces students at the beginning of the major to theoretical and critical literature in the field. Topics range from the psychological and sociological experience of media, interpretation and analysis of media forms and aesthetics, theories of audience and reception, anthropological approaches to media as a cultural force, and contemporary theories of media from humanities and social sciences perspectives. The goal of the course is to provide a foundation for thinking critically about media and to give them a sense of media studies as a critical and theoretical field. Restricted to Media Studies majors.
MDST 3505: Special Topics in Diversity and Identity in Media
Credits: 3
This course will offer historical, comparative, and critical perspectives on issues of diversity and identity in media studies. Topics may include the relationship between media and underrepresented groups, media use in identity construction, masculinity and feminine role models in media, media power, etc. Prerequisite: MDST Major and Minors or Instructor Permission
MDST 3510: Topics in Media Research
Credits: 3
This hands-on course prepares students to read, evaluate, and design research in media studies. Drawing on critical, historical, administrative, and industrial traditions in the field, students will learn to assess the validity and anticipate the ethical requirements of various methods & data collection procedures. Following a theme selected by the instructor, the course culminates with each student proposing a new, original research study.
MDST 3559: New Course in Media Studies
Credits: 1–4
This course provides the opportunity to offer a new course in the subject of Media Studies.
MDST 3661: Media Bodies
Credits: 3
Increasingly, we use media to better understand our bodies - MRIs, fitness trackers, bluetooth hearing aids, and other media help to construct bodily health, ability, and gender. We will study a range of tech that mediate bodies, and also consider how media representations of "normal" bodies effect social life and mental health.
MDST 3662: Disability and Media
Credits: 3
Disability is a pervasive, yet little studied, dimension of popular media. This class considers the stereotypes, interventions, and politics of on-screen images of disability as well as the ways in which disability affects the production and reception of media texts and technologies. Thus, we will watch a range of disability media, engage with disability cultures, and consider necessary additions to media experience (such as close captioning).
MDST 3665: Digital Media Accessibility
Credits: 3
Accessibility--building digital technologies that they can be used by people with disabilities--involves specific technological, critical, and interpersonal skills. This teaches practical web development skills alongside theoretical questions about the meanings of access, disability, design and the ethics of technological innovation.
MDST 3701: New Media Culture
Credits: 3
A survey of issues in the study of new media and of new media artifacts. Objects studied may include films with digital special effects, digital animation, digital video, video games, digital art, internet art, and others. Theories of new media, media art, media change. Taught primarily via discussion with some lectures. Short papers, class participation, final project. Prerequisite: one course in Media Studies, English, Art History, or a related discipline.
MDST 4010: Distinguished Majors Thesis Writing or Research Project
Credits: 3
Writing of a thesis or production or a project with appropriately researched documentation, under the supervision of the faculty DMP thesis readers or project supervisor.
MDST 4310: Celebrity Studies
Credits: 3
This course explores celebrity, stardom, fame, and self-branding as it is produced, circulated, and consumed for and by people of color. Paying particular attention to how race and ethnicity intersect with the phenomenon of celebrity in the media, this highly student-driven class will investigate celebrities of color through both historical and analytical lenses.
MDST 4559: New Course in Media Studies
Credits: 1–4
This course provides the opportunity to offer a new course in the subject of Media Studies.
MDST 4960: Advanced Independent Projects in Media Studies
Credits: 3
This course is designed to allow students to pursue independent research and study of a topic that is not contained within the course offerings of Media Studies. This course will not fulfill the capstone requirement
MDST 8000: Media, Culture & Technology
Credits: 3
This is a core course that surveys key texts in Media Studies. The course takes a historical approach to the development of the field, but also surveys the various developments in the social sciences, the humanities, and film studies relevant to the interdisciplinary study of media.
MDST 8900: Graduate Independent Study
Credits: 3
A single semester of independent study under faculty supervision for MA or PhD students doing intensive research on a subject not covered in available courses. Requires approval by a Media Studies faculty member who has agreed to supervise a guided course of reading and research.
MDST 8966: Master's Thesis Development
Credits: 3
Students meet as a cohort to translate their intellectual interests into a specific thesis project through iterative development, critique, and refinement of their research questions and proposed methods. Students will read and critique published work, gaining a sense of best practices in research design. This course is heavily reliant on peer feedback and collaboration. The culmination of this class is a thesis proposal.
MDST 8999: Thesis Writing
Credits: 3
In this course, students form a writing community to foster accountability and confidence in conducting, writing, and sharing original research. Instruction will address developing a regular writing habit, writing for different audiences, communicating in visual and multimedia formats, and the practices of placing work in academic journals, policy venues, or popular online and print publications. This course is heavily reliant on peer feedback.
SARC 9993: Advanced Independent Research
Credits: 1–6
Advanced independent research on topics selected by individual students in consultation with a faculty advisor. Prerequisite: Permission of the Director.