Contemporary Culture and Media - SO335

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 2)
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4 15 (7.5) DR K Flaxman




unavailable to stage 3 students



Contemporary culture is 'now-time' culture, but when did 'now’ begin - and, will it be over before the course starts? This module focuses on analysing contemporary culture and media and aims to demonstrate the range of possible interpretations that mediated culture can be open to. It raises questions about how culture can be viewed from aesthetic, political, ethical and economic perspectives. What is culture really for? Is it product or a process? Who owns it? Is it for fun or is it deadly serious? In order to think through contemporary issues such as gender relations, sexuality, multiculturalism and otherness, and what they might imply about our changing perceptions of space, place, and belonging, we'll be taking a case study approach to a range of cultural products and objects, media and institutions, and post-modern practices of communication. This module aims to understand the transformation of culture and media and everyday life we are living through and the way it changes who we are.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

22 hours (11 lectures and 11 seminars)

Method of assessment

30% Coursework (one essay 1500 words), 20% Class participation, 50% Examination,

Indicative reading

• J. Storey, An Introductory Guide to Cultural Theory and Popular Culture (London: Harvester, 1993).
• A. McRobbie, The Uses of Cultural Studies: A Textbook (London: Sage, 2005).
• J. Lewis, Cultural Studies: The Basics (London: Sage, 2002).
• Barker, Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice (London: Sage, 2000).
• M. Ryan (ed), Cultural Studies: An Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell 2008).
• A. Kirkby. Digimodernism (Oxford: Continuum, 2009).
• J. McGuigan. Modernity and Postmodern Culture (Buckingham: Open University Press, 1999).
• S. Connor, Postmodernist Culture: An Introduction to Theories of the Contemporary (Oxford: Blackwell, 1989).

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module students will be able to:

• Situate ‘contemporary culture and media’ and the idea of ‘the contemporary’ within a philosophical and historical context.
• Implement key analytical approaches for the study of contemporary culture and media through case studies.
• Understand contemporary culture and media through an inter-disciplinary body of work.
• Understand the contemporary cultural conjuncture as a political, economic and social phenomenon.

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