Mark Garrett Cooper

Mark Garrett Cooper, Professor of Film and Media Studies, University of South Carolina

Mark Garrett Cooper is currently a professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of South Carolina. He was one of the co-editors of Rediscovering U.S. Newsfilm Cinema, Television, and the Archive. Cooper is also an author of three books: Love Rules: Silent Hollywood and the Rise of the Managerial Class (2003), Universal Women: Filmmaking and Institutional Change in Early Hollywood (2011), and co-author of Media U: How the Need to Win Audiences Has Shaped Higher Education with John Marx. Although he has written one book regarding higher education, he has written a bit more about this subject in his articles. His book focuses on “the development of America higher education by viewing universities as media institutions.”

In 2017, Cooper co-wrote Media U: How the Need to Win Audiences Has Shaped Higher Education. In this book, Cooper and Marx contend how research universities have tried to obtain and advise to the public and try to give their universities value to the American Society. Cooper believes that research universities only came about to “connect people” instead of producing or gaining knowledge. Universities were always media institutions. They were always there to control and to gain audiences. Media institution thrives by being involved by media establishments such as books, movies, radio, and even televisions. “They’ve only succeeded to the extent that they do behave as media institutions.”

In May 2018, Mark Garrett Cooper co-wrote a piece on Does Merit have a Future? He believes that the “history of our higher education suggests that to create a new consensus about merit would require a mass-mediation […] to the popular magazines that first helped convince Americans of the university’s value. It could increase worth to the university if they catered to specific needs to each person such as “student centeredness,” curricular activities, or even “media-savvy” learning tools than accepting one’s selectivity or specialization. Today, campus life interfaces are far more entangled with academic merit to differentiate school brands.

In June 2018, Cooper and Marx were in an interview with UCDavis to show ” how the need to create an audience stamps each of the university’s steadily proliferating disciplines, shapes its structure and determines its division of labor.” They also agreed that there is” a profound dissatisfaction with histories of the university […] academic mission against football, movies, television, the internet, mobile phones, or any other commercially successful, widely adopted media form,” and how this generation is changing the way we see universities in the media world.

In another interview with Inside Higher Ed a couple of months later, he explained that the book broadens this view beyond a normal relation is far more entrenched that we typically see. The idea behind writing this book comes from the dissatisfaction with the constant problems that resulted in a “crisis in the humanities.” Our universities are spurring the regulation to destroy public ranking. Many people “value credentials to the extent that institutions of higher education (among other media institutions) have been effective in associating them with careers, self-fulfillment, public service and the pleasures of campus life.”

In June, Mark Garrett Cooper wrote a short article regarding why there is no such thing about private higher education. Others influence all higher education. Cooper believes that it shouldn’t. Colleges and universities in America must attract out in public to prosper. He is shutting down the idea of private higher education, but he is saying the only way to stick out is to be comprehensive outside of your universities.

Although Mark Garrett Cooper is still relatively new to the idea of higher education, he is changing the ideology of universities many Americans don’t encounter often. “Higher education, just like every American institution, was caught in the crossfire of opposing ideologies […]”. Universities could still change the way we see higher education, even when we don’t have a general agreement. It swaps the way we see American research universities. As we go on every day, universities are still blooming into research universities; it could go either way- exhilarating or threatening.





University Photo

“Resources for:” The Dawn of Religious Freedom in South Carolina,

“Media U.” Columbia University Press.Print

Cooper, Mark Garrett. “Rediscovering U.S. Newsfilm: Cinema, Television, and the Archive.” Routledge, 25 June 2018, pp. 131–220

Cooper, M. G., and J. Marx. “Crisis, Crisis, Crisis: Big Media and the Humanities Workforce.” Differences, vol. 24, no. 3, Jan. 2013, pp. 127–159., doi:10.1215/10407391-2391977. Journal

Jaschik, Scott. “’Media U’.” Inside Higher Ed, Inside Higher Ed, 11 Oct. 2018. Web

Dadmin. “Media U: How the Need to Win Audiences Has Shaped Higher Education By Mark Garrett Cooper and John Marx.” Department of English, 13 June 2018. Web

Cooper, Mark G, and John Marx. “There Is No Such Thing as Private Higher Education.” Media U, 4 June 2018. Website

Marx, John, and Mark Garrett Cooper. “Does Merit Have a Future?” Modern Language Association of America, vol. 133, no. 3, 2018, pp. 678–685. Journal

Cooper, Mark G, and John Marx. “13 Why We Love to Hate English Professors.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 9 Nov. 2018. Web