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The subject will explore the intimate connections between screen and media technologies and changing understandings of culture in the 20th century. It focuses on how innovations in print and photographic technologies, telegraphy and telephony, the moving image, sound recording, radio, film exhibition, TV and video, and the transformation of analogue by digital technologies, have enabled changing visions of culture. It studies terms such as mechanical reproduction and the culture industry, the optical unconscious and trauma, massification and broadcast, public sphere and media literacy, fragmentation and globalisation. Students will be encouraged, and given the confidence, to move between cultural histories and cultural studies. They will be introduced to the histories of key media technologies, and examine attempts to theorise the significance and influences of those technologies within cultural studies. As a result, students should have, on completion of the subject, a strong critical knowledge of how histories of media technologies are central to contemporary culture.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of the subject, students should have:
- developed a high level critical understanding of the relationships between media histories and Cultural Studies;
- demonstrable knowledge and understanding of the cultural histories of post-print media technologies;
- mastered relevant research skills including use of the library, e-research skills, and appropriate referencing and presentation of written work with attention to intellectual honesty and a respect for ethical values
- engaged with the question of how the changing forms of media over the last two centuries have been both produced by and, in turn, have shaped contemporary culture;
- developed methodological capacity and theoretical competency in Cultural Studies to be able to communicate effectively and have a critical understanding of the ways in which innovative histories of media can contribute to theorising culture; and
- demonstrated the ability to effectively apply flexible reading strategies and writing practices in analysing media histories, while also recognising the value of interdisciplinary approaches to knowledge and its significance in Cultural Studies.
At the completion of this subject, students should gain the following generic skills:
- have advanced research and analysis skills;
- show critical and ethical self-awareness;
- have the ability to develop and communicate effective arguments in both oral and written form; and
- develop advanced skills in media and information literacy and management.
Last updated: 16 September 2022