Our Guiding Principles
We want you to become a maker of media that matters:
We understand that popular culture matters. Students learn how media and popular culture affect societies and audiences.
We honor visual and aural production as both an art and a craft. As an art, we teach that quality productions say something compelling and new about the world. As a craft, we emphasize the fundamentals of digital media production.
We believe studying popular culture is intentional and intellectual. We embrace popular culture from a rhetorical and critical-cultural studies perspective, exploring how texts create cultural meaning and affect how we understand the world.
We engage with the written word as the foundation of critical and creative expression. Whether it be a work of analysis, an exploration of critical theory or a narrative screenplay, we believe clarity in communication begins with the written word.
We emphasize the incredible power and responsibilities that media producers have. Quality productions are intentional and thoughtful. Our program teaches that every shot and cut contributes to intentional and cohesive themes, and they affect the audience in real and impactful ways.
In our media-saturated society, media serve as both the barometer and the Pied Piper of our cultural belief systems. This major, therefore, focuses on the interrelated connection between the production and consumption of popular media, synthesizing critical thought and creative practice through a liberal arts-informed curriculum. Students learn how to produce media texts—both the fundamentals of the craft and the creation of the art—while also critiquing how media create and re-create our cultural values and social identities. POP majors develop the skills, the craft, the knowledge, and the theoretical and socio-cultural grounding to create media that matter.
The Student Experience
Every student takes a collection of courses in production, media history, and media studies.
Every student’s education culminates in a common capstone experience. Using industry standard methods, students work in teams to produce an original narrative short film. They pitch concepts, write scripts, then produce their films. Produced over a comprehensive, two-semester-long capstone—class begins with critical and cultural analyses into the film’s genre and conventions.
Every student has the opportunity to submit their digital productions in competition, including national competitions such as the BEA Festival of Media Arts and the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts Communicator competition.
Every student has the opportunity to submit their scholarly productions for presentation at conferences, such as BigSURS (Southern Undergraduate Research Symposium), High-PURCS (HPU’s Research Symposium), and PCA (National Popular Culture Association Conference).
Every student builds a portfolio of written, aural, and visual work for employment or graduate school use.
Every student is encouraged to participate in clubs such as the HPU Cinema Society and compete in film and festival competitions, including our HPU “48 Hour” Style competition.
What you can do with this major
Your degree in Popular Culture and Media Production can prepare you to pursue careers in the fields of Media and Film Production, Education, Advertising, Public Relations, and the non-profit sector.
Your study and preparation opens up the pathway into a variety of career disciplines including:
- Ad copywriter
- Director, producer or screenwriter: digital media content, television or motion pictures
- Media advocate
- Media and cultural critic
- Media consultant
- Media scholar
- Web-based assignment editor
- Online ad agency creative director
The degree can also prepare you for post-graduate education, for example an MA in Mass Communication, an MFA in Film or Screenwriting, or a PhD in Critical Studies, American Studies, or Popular Culture Studies.
Why is pop culture important?
- “Media storytelling affects and broadens people’s viewpoints, which affects national dialogues, which affects public opinion, which affects national ” Paraphrased from Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon.com
- “When you turn on the television and you see love, from anyone, with anyone, to anyone—real love—a service has been done for you. Your heart has somehow been expanded, your mind has somehow grown. Your soul has been opened a little more. You’ve experienced something.” Shonda Rhimes, Producer, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal
- “Working with the media remains an effective and essential way to raise issues, educate the public and prod policy-makers and corporate leaders to change for the better.” Senator Chuck Schumer
- “A writer should have this little voice inside of you saying, ‘Tell the truth. Reveal a few secrets ’” Quentin Tarantino, writer and director, Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained
- “Entertainment that is fact-based is, I think, where people really learn the most, because they’re leaning in, their curiosity is stimulated and they’re being entertained.” Ron Howard, Director, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind
- Combines studies in the creation of media with the critique of media, compared to other schools that focus either on product or on media and cultural
- Centers its studies on students who want to primarily be storytellers and critics of storytellers, compared to schools that focus on students who want to become sports broadcasters, journalists, or entrepreneurs.
- One of the only bachelor’s-level programs that combine media production with media and cultural studies.