Viveca Greene, assistant professor of media studies, earned a Ph.D. from the communication department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In 2003, Viveca received the university's highest teaching honor: The Distinguished Teaching Award. She holds an Ed.M. from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Professor Greene is co-editor (with Ted Gournelos) of A Decade of Dark Humor: How Comedy, Irony, and Satire Shaped Post-9/11 America (University Press of Mississippi, 2011) and her work has appeared in The Nation, In Media Res, and We the Media: A Citizen's Guide to Fighting for Media Democracy.
She teaches courses in consumer culture, popular culture, audience research, and media studies.
In this research- and writing-intensive seminar, we will explore a range of contemporary issues pertaining to irony, crisis, and political culture in the U.S. from a critical media studies perspective. Together we will conceptually map salient moments of media irony, parody, and satire in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, addressing the significance of such comedic texts not only as sources of entertainment and catharsis, but also as essential components in political discourse and cultural engagement. Intended for Division II students interested in a course that combines common readings and independent projects (focusing on the analysis of primary texts), we will also investigate the manner in which both entertainment and news media more broadly speaking cultivate--and undermine--public and private values, pleasures and anxieties. Prerequisite: It is expected that students will have taken a prior 100-level course in media studies or cultural theory.
Countless scholars have discussed the ideologies communicated through media texts, but most persist in privileging their own analytical interpretations. In this course students will explore various theorizations of audiences, methodologies employed to study them, and results of how audiences interpret films, advertisements, television programs, and other cultural texts. We will also seek to better understand why people make radically different meanings of the same texts. Audience Research & Media Studies is a rigorous, time- and labor-intensive course that requires significant independent work outside of class. It is designed for advanced Division II and first-semester Division III students committed to reading and analyzing existing audience studies, as well as to conceptualizing, carrying out, and documenting audience studies of their own. Students must have completed at least one prior course in media studies, and students should begin the course with a general sense of the issues or media texts they wish to explore in their studies.
This course will introduce students to the theory and practice of media studies, an interdisciplinary field of inquiry that analyzes the complex interactions between media, culture, art, politics and ideology. We will use American comedy as a lens through which to focus our study, as well as to develop an understanding of the relationship between media institutions, texts and audiences. In this discussion-based and writing-intensive course, students will read and write analyses of both cultural theory and specific texts, and ultimately produce a final paper on a topic of their own choosing.
Shortly after September 11th many journalists suggested that the attacks marked the death of irony. Nevertheless, irony, parody and political satire were used to challenge the Bush Administration's response to the attacks. How do these forms of communication allow people to speak the unspoken, to challenge the political, social and cultural status quo, and to consolidate community? What are the limitations of these rhetorical strategies? Using irony as a means of exploring cultural theory and politics, we will grapple with its social functions, the extent to which it has been an effective means of addressing issues such as the War on Terror and racial inequality, and why -- despite what commentators have argued -- irony shows no signs of losing its cultural hold in the United States. In addition to gaining familiarity with relevant cultural and social theory, students will read and write analyses of specific satirical cartoons, comedic television programs and online publications.
Assistant Professor of Media Studies
Mail Code DB
Music and Dance Building 1
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002