School of Media and Cultural Studies
The School of Media and Cultural Studies, (SMCS) of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai (a Deemed University) is engaged in media teaching, production, research and dissemination. A unique feature of the School is the close linkage between its technical and academic work. The work of the School facilitates a synergy between research, teaching and production, all of which are informed by a keen sense of connection with local subaltern cultures of resistance and invention.
Production is an important component of the School’s work. It has to its credit more than 35 awards for its documentary films at national and international film festivals. Its films are widely distributed and used. The School is also involved in media and cultural studies research.
The SMCS has done pioneering work in critical media education in the country. In 2007, it started a two-year Master’s degree in Media and Cultural Studies, which focuses on professional media practice and research within a framework that enables the development of a critical perspective on media, culture and society. It seeks to enable the creation of a lively group of thinking doers and doing thinkers. Students produce documentary films and other video/audio/web-based texts. This is the first of its kind in the country and is a prototype for a socially responsive, multi-disciplinary media progamme that seeks to contribute to both mainstream media and the education and social sector.
The Post Graduate Diploma in Community Media, introduced in 2012, is designed for social workers, community activists and cultural organisers who are engaged in grassroots level activities, with the goal of supplementing their field efforts with the knowledge, perspectives and skills that will enable them to work with communities and facilitate the expression of their concerns through the media.
Missions and Objectives
The vision of the School of Media and Cultural Studies is: to be a centre of excellence that actively promotes critical thinking, education, research, production, dissemination and advocacy in the areas of media and contemporary culture, with a focus on equity, social justice and human rights.
Keeping in mind this vision, the SMCS dedicates itself to the achievement of the following mission and objectives:
- To explore, develop and disseminate a critical perspective on media, culture and society within a globalising world, through teaching, production, research, dissemination and extension work.
- To participate actively in the processes of creation and dissemination of community and alternative media within India and in the countries of the global South, with the objective of contributing to the empowerment of marginalised groups engaged in struggles for equity and social justice.
- To respond creatively to the changing culturescapes through cutting edge media production and research that pushes the boundaries of media language and theorizing about media and culture.
- To archive and disseminate audio, visual and print resources with a view to documenting and encouraging research into cultures of resistance, protest and innovation.
- To actively network with a diverse range of creative individuals, groups, institutions, media organisations and movements towards collectively building lively and engaged forums for sharing and collaborative work on education, production and research in media and culture. In doing so, to contribute towards the emerging alternative spaces that engage with and critically question the mainstream media.
The School has initiated various activities to facilitate networking and dialogue on themes relating to media and cultural studies within TISS and beyond. The programmes include an annual national student seminar and film festival, Adda, the Film Club, Culture Cafe, a forum for dialogue, an Artist/Scholar-in-residence programme and fellowships to early career media practitioners.
The initiatives of the SMCS, including the MA, the PGDCM, the Archive and the Fellowship have been made possible by the generous support of the Jamsetji Tata Trust.