Theorising the Spectator

Subject 106-448 (2009)

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

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: Total of 10 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Usually admission to the postgraduate certificate, diploma or fourth year honours in English, cultural studies, creative writing or gender studies.
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:

Subject Overview: This subject mobilises the figure of the spectator as a conceptual focus through which to represent and explore various issues and debates within current cultural theory and criticism. Working across the interdisciplinary traditions of cultural, film and media studies, it addresses competing arguments about spectatorship, assessing their engagement with and contributions to critical understandings of contemporary culture, history and identity. Students should become familiar with the question of spectatorship in psychoanalytic-semiotic theories of the cinematic apparatus; Marxist accounts of ideological interpellation in the mass media, cultural studies models of audience negotiation and subcultural resistance; critical theories about the cultural transformations of modernity; feminist and queer debates about the sexual dynamics of popular culture; postmodern accounts of the virtual subjectivities of cyberculture.
  • have detailed knowledges of the range of theories of spectatorship available in contemporary media studies;
  • be aware of the historical contexts within which different modes of spectatorship have been produced and practised;
  • understand the complex intersections between spectatorial forms and discourses of gender, race, class and sexuality;
  • have an appreciation of the competing models and methods used to theorise and analyse spectatorship and an ability to use these in their own critical work.
Assessment: A 500 word research proposal 10% (due mid-semester) and a 4500 word essay 90% (due at the end of semester) for 4th year students. A 1000 word research proposal 10% (due mid-semester) and a 5000 word essay 90% (due at the end of semester) for masters students.
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • as a result of attendance at scheduled classes, participation in planned activities and discussion groups, and timely completion of essays and assignments, acquire Generic Skills in the following areas:
  • social, ethical and cultural understanding of self and others;
  • critical analysis and synthesis;
  • effective written and oral communication;
  • information management and information literacy;
  • teamwork, flexibility and tolerance;
  • time management and planning.
Notes: Formerly available as 106-092. Students who have completed 106-092 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Cinema Studies
Cinema Studies
Cinema Studies
Cultural Studies
Cultural Studies
Cultural Studies
Gender Studies
Gender Studies
Gender Studies

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