William Little headshot

William Ganse Little

Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Programs
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Department of Media Studies
Office location and address
204 Wilson Hall
115 Ruppel Dr
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904

William G. Little is Assistant Professor, General Faculty in the Department of Media Studies. He is a former Associate Professor of English at DePauw University. He is the author of The Waste Fix: Seizures of the Sacred from Upton Sinclair to The Sopranos (Routledge 2002), as well as articles on film and on contemporary American literature.

His pedagogical and research interests focus on genre study of film, history and philosophy of film, and film and race studies. He is also at work on a creative project set in the American midwest in the first decade of the twentieth century.

MDST 150: Special Topics in Media Studies
Special Topics in Media Studies.
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 http://www.uvastudentcouncil.com/student-services/initiatives/cavalier-education-program/ (copy and paste Web address into browser) for specific descriptions.
MDST 3115: Breaking Bad: Once Upon a Time with the Pests
Credits: 3
The course explores Breaking Bad through study of the show's narrative, characters, and formal design. Topics examined include: socio-economic anxieties and spiritual longings in contemporary America; the political and religious implications of addiction to speed (technological and pharmacutical); the show as revisionary Puritan narrative and revisionary Western; the problem of being bugged; the desire to get away with it; the poetry of W.W.
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 3630: Screening Terrorism
Credits: 3
This course examines contemporary cinematic & televisual representations of terrorism. It aims to do the following: to promote critical awareness of the ways in which terrorism is depicted on screen, particularly in the post-9/11 world; to encourage exploration of the complex ways in which real acts of terror involve performance & theatrics; to address the ethics and responsibilities of film and TV in re-creating acts of terror on screen.
MDST 3640: American Gangster Film
Credits: 3
This course offers in-depth examination of American gangster films, tracing the genre's development from early silent film to the present. It investigates the extensive influence the genre has had on the nature of the American film industry and explores how the representation of gangster life on screen articulates crucial anxieties, frustrations, and desires circulating in American society at the time of the film's creation.
MDST 3650: Shooting the Western
Credits: 3
This course provides an overview of the enduring genre of the American Western in its classic and revised forms. The course will address the social and historical contexts informing the films. Students will be asked to perform both cultural and formal analysis of the cinematic texts.
MDST 3800: Field Experience in Media Studies
Credits: 1
Provides an opportunity for students to get credit for field work, in the area of media studies. Students must put a proposal together for the project with a faculty sponsor, which must be approved by the add/drop deadlines. Restricted to Media Studies Majors.
MDST 3900: Specialized Field Experience in Media Studies
Credits: 1–3
This course is reserved for Media Studies students interested in receiving credit for participation in student-led and UVA-affiliated enterprises that are media-related under the guidance of a faculty member or industry professional in the area of media studies. Students must put a proposal together for the project with a faculty sponsor, which must be approved by the add/drop deadlines. Restricted to Media Studies Majors.
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 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 4660: Watching the Detectives
Credits: 3
This course examines a number of American detective films and how the portrait of the hard-boiled private eye dramatizes concerns about class, race, gender relations, urbanization, the rationalization of experience, the limits of self-knowledge, the blurring of boundaries between bodies and machines, and the collapse of distinction between private life and public life.
MDST 4670: White Out: Screening White Supremacy
Credits: 3
The course will draw from multiple genres and time periods to present an overview of how cinematic projections of whiteness have served to reinforce white supremacy. Equally important, students will examine films that counter the medium's terrifying consecration and preservation of white privilege, films that hold up whiteness for critical inspection.
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
IMP 4970: Interdisciplinary Thesis
Credits: 3
Required Thesis for Interdisciplinary majors.
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.