Sean Duncan

Assistant Professor
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Department of Media Studies
Office location and address
115 Ruppel Dr
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904
INST 1550: Interdisciplinary Studies-Student Initiated Courses
Credits: 1–3
With sponsorship and supervision by a faculty member and approval of the Dean's Office, acting for the Committee on Educational Programs and the Curriculum, students may initiate a course in which they provide the instruction. The grade is determined by the faculty member. These courses count as "outside the College." Students in the College may offer no more than 3.0 credits for the B.A. or B.S. Consult the INST course web page at (copy and paste Web address into browser) for specific descriptions.
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: 3
This course provides the opportunity to offer a new course in the subject of Media Studies.
MDST 3704: Games and Play
Credits: 3
This course is an introduction to game studies, surveying theories of play and research on contemporary videogames to "folk games" to sports/e-sports. Historic tensions and debates in game studies will form the foundation for the course, then students will engage with game studies as inherently interdisciplinary, developing novel research projects on games and play as well as interrogating their own play experiences.
MDST 3710: Comics & Sequential Art
Credits: 3
This course addresses the medium of comics, including comic books, graphic novels, la bande dessinee, fumetti, and manga. Addressing comics as media, we will investigate comics form, publishing, creative movements, and adaptations into televisual media. Students will engage with primary comics sources, comic studies scholarship, and each others' creative work.
MDST 3712: Interactive Storytelling
Credits: 3
This course approaches the design and creation of "interactive stories." Over the term, students will develop prototypes of multiple interactive storytelling media (interactive fiction, games, simulations, scenarios), balancing an understanding of the scholarship on interactive narrative with individualized design goals. No experience with game design or programming is required.
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 4251: Histories of Games
Credits: 3
This course presents approaches to understanding multiple histories of games. Focusing on a central game series, franchise, or genre, students will engage with the history of game development, the impact of game play, and community practices around games. Students will engage with archival research, conducting individual research projects on game histories.
MDST 4510: Capstone Topics
Credits: 3
A capstone seminar, this course offers students a supervised opportunity to pursue original research in media studies. Related to a theme selected by the instructor, the project will entail design of a research question, extensive collection and analysis of literature and data, and completion of a 15-20 page paper that provides new, critical insight or information on the subject examined.
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 4712: Gaming the World
Credits: 3
We will look at playful media (games, role play & other interactive experiences) not for how they entertain but for how they challenge social, economic & political systems in the world. We will address: Games for coping with trying times, for promoting systems thinking (including modeling, interrogating, & disrupting these systems), as well as world-building & "the civic imagination." No experience with games is necessary. Requisite: MDST 3704 or MDST 3712 OR instructor permission
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 7559: New Course in Media Studies
Credits: 1–4
This course provides the opportunity to offer new topics in the subject of Media Studies.