Media Histories

Subject 106-009 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available

Usually fifty points of first year arts including 12.5 pts from an approved study area and completion of the first year Cultural Studies subject 106-101.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Chris Healy

Subject Overview:

The subject will explore the intimate connections between media technologies and changing understandings of culture over the last 150 years. Students will be introduced to the histories of major 'old'‚ media technologies, and examine attempts to theorise the cultural significance and influences of those technologies. The subject focuses on innovations in print and photographic technologies, telegraphy and telephony, sound recording, radio, film, TV and video, and the transformation of analogue by digital technologies. Students will be introduced to key concepts such as mechanical reproduction and the culture industry, the optical unconscious and trauma, massification and broadcast, public sphere and media literacy, fragmentation and globalisation. On completing this subject, students will have a strong understanding of how critical histories of media technologies are a rich resource for thinking about contemporary culture.

Objectives: Students who successfully complete this subject will have a sound understanding of the cultural histories of post-print media technologies;
have a strong critical understanding of how cultural critics have interpreted, and been influenced by media histories;
have the ability and confidence to produce cultural studies of media history.

An essay of 1000 words 25% (due mid-semester) and a second essay of 3000 words 75% (due at the end of semester).

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved formal extension will be penalised at 2% per day. Students who fail to submit up to 2-weeks after the final due date without a formal extension and/or special consideration will receive a fail grade for the piece of assessment.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

  • A Social History of the Media (2nd ed) (Asa Briggs & Peter Burke), Polity, 2005
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
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;

  • develop advanced skills in media and information literacy and management.


Formerly available as 106-009 Print to Pixels: Cultural Histories and as Media Histories and Cultural Studies. Students who have completed 106-009 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts(Media and Communications)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Cinema & Cultural Studies
Cinema Studies Major
Cinema and Cultural Studies
Cinema and Cultural Studies
Cultural Studies Major

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