This course will focus on the ways that Marxist social thought underwrites its recent descendant, Cultural Studies, and the ways that it can inform the study of the contemporary media. To this end, we'll read Marx and his many followers, as well as more contemporary revisions of Marxist thought. We'll also read a number of critical applications of Marxist theory to various forms of cultural production. The course will be driven by concerns raised by student interest -- the goal is not simply that you emerge understanding more about Marxism and its role in cultural analysis, but also that you take an active role in thinking this critical method. Therefore, the class will be focused around group projects, student presentations, and discussion; lectures will be available, but only in response to specific questions and concerns.