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Media, Technology and Culture


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor: Dr Scott Rodgers (subject to change)
  • Assessment: nine examples of media technologies, each documented with images, video and/or sound, and critically analysed in 300 words (45%) and a 3000-word essay (45%)

Module description

In this module we take a thematic look at media understood as technologies. The recent prominence of contemporary media such as mobile devices, apps and social networking platforms reminds us of the limits of analysing media only in terms of its:

  • content (i.e. ‘media texts’)
  • creators (i.e. ‘the media’) or
  • consumers (i.e. ‘audiences’).

Contemporary academics and commentators are increasingly suggesting we also think about the media as technological forms. Thinking about media technologically invites us to question what exactly counts as ‘media’ in the first place, and from there, what it might mean to do ‘media studies’ - particularly in an age of digitalisation.

You will explore the histories of media technologies as well as more recent developments in digital media. The focus will be on exploring the various ways in which academic and popular debates have centred on the ambiguous relationships between media technologies and their social, economic, political and cultural conditions.

Indicative syllabus

  • Introduction: the ambiguous relationships of media, technology and culture
  • Technological histories: communication without transportation; the domestication of media technologies; experiencing moving images
  • Emergent technologies: computational culture; media as infrastructure; ubiquitous media
  • Current debates: participatory media; algorithmic culture; platform capitalism