Maia McCabe

Class Year


Access Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

Media Studies Program

First Advisor

William Hoynes

Second Advisor

Philip Scepanski


My thesis is in two parts: The first focuses on television’s response to the September 11th attacks, as well as the economics and content of premium cable channels such as HBO and Showtime. The second explores Showtime’s Homeland as a case study, focusing specifically on its depictions of terror, Islam, and U.S. foreign policy (as the title suggests.) The project examines both Homeland’s first and fourth (most recent) seasons and deeply explores the content of the show. Finally, Homeland’s controversial critical reception is reviewed. Arguments both in favor of and against the show’s depictions of the topics listed above are explored from multiple angles. By and large, I judge Homeland to be a “progressive” show though my analysis cannot account for every aspect of the show’s complexity nor the complexity of its audience reception. Nevertheless, my study underscores the necessity of exploring popular media for the insights it can provide about our cultural juncture as well as its capacity to shape mass perceptions of vital contemporary issues.