Censorship: Film, Art and Media

Subject SCRN40013 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

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

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3.5
Total Time Commitment:



Admission to honours, postgraduate certificate or diploma (Screen Studies or Screen & Cultural Studies), postgraduate diploma or fourth-year honours in Media and Communication, Master of Arts Management, Master of Art Curatorship, Master of Arts and Cultural Management (Moving Image), Master of Arts and Cultural Management, Master of Global Media Communication



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:

Students who have previously completed 107-414 Film, Censorship and the Media are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Wendy Haslem


Subject Overview:

This subject examines the histories, cultural contexts and current debates surrounding censorship in the visual arts. Censorship practices and protocols will be defined and investigated in relation to issues of morality, legality and the public sphere. The changing definitions and complexities of censorship will be investigated in instances of creative freedom challenging prohibition in film, performing arts, visual art and media cultures. Students will gain a theoretical understanding of the historical and emerging debates surrounding the controversial area of censorship, freedom of speech and expression. Students will also study censorship in national and international contexts with an emphasis on specific case studies. This subject will also examine how artistic practice influences wider cultural, political and legal prohibitions underlying film, the arts and media.

Learning Outcomes:

Students completing this subject will be able to:

  • understand the historical, cultural and theoretical context of film censorship, think creatively about the artistic process, develop skills of communication, communicate their views intelligibly and effectively and public speaking and demonstrate a comprehension of research skills;
  • understand the historical and cultural context of censorship as well as its purpose and function; and
  • appreciate changes and developments in censorship ina range of art forms across history and into the present.

A case study and presentation of 1500 words 40% (commenced at the beginning of the semester and due during the semester), and a 3500 word research essay 60% (due in the examination period). Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% (or 10 out of 12) classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. Any student who fails to meet this hurdle without valid reason will not be eligible to pass the subject. All required written work must be submitted in order to pass the subject. Essays submitted after the due date without an extension will be penalised 2% per day. Essays submitted after two weeks of the assessment due date without a formally approved application for special consideration or an extension will only be marked on a pass/fail basis if accepted.

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:

Students successfully completing this subject will:

  • be able to demonstrate an advanced development of research skills;
  • be able to define areas of inquiry and create relevant methods of research in the preparation of essays;
  • be able to conceptualise theoretical problems, form judgements and arguments and communicate critically, creatively and theoretically through essay writing, tutorial discussion and presentations;
  • be able to demonstrate highly developed skills in presentations;
  • to be able to communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically through essay writing and seminar discussion; and
  • be able to participate productively in team work through involvement in syndicate groups and group discussions.

Students who have previously completed 107-414 Film, Censorship and the Media are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts (Honours)(Media and Communications)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Media and Communication)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts and Cultural Management
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Art Curatorship
100 Point Master of Arts and Cultural Management
150 Point Master of Art Curatorship (Coursework and Minor Thesis)
150 Point Moving Image
150 point program - full time over 18 months
200 Point Master of Art Curatorship (Coursework and Minor Thesis)
200 Point Master of Arts and Cultural Management
200 Point Master of Global Media Communication
200 Point Moving Image
200 point program - full time over 18 months
200 point program - full time over 24 months
200 points Master of Arts in Professional and Applied Ethics
Media and Communications
Screen Studies
Screen Studies
Screen and Cultural Studies

Download PDF version.