MEVIT3520 – Mediated Faces and Identities

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

In today’s media-saturated societies, face-to-face human interaction is steadily losing ground to mediated communication, primarily through networked computers. The course explores the social implications of this shift, zooming in on questions relating to faces and identity formation. The face is approached as a screen mediating our relations to other people: as a sign of individual identity, vehicle of expression and marker of social identity and character. Broadcast and online media substantially add to the complexity of social processes, notably those related to group membership (large scale and subcultural), affecting the perception of others as well as our sense of self and belonging.

The course introduces key theoretical perspectives relating to the natural history, the cultural history and the politics of the face, all of which are intimately intertwined with the history of media. In addition, the course revisits a selection of classical concepts (the global village, imagined communities, the male gaze) that the students are invited to modify and update, making the concepts more suitable for analysing today’s digital media landscape and current social realities.

These perspectives and concepts will be brought to bear on contemporary topics that centre around mediated faces and identities: from everyday self-representation and attempts to read other people’s faces, via cultural stereotypes and changing norms of beauty and fitness, to prejudice, hate speech and aggression.

Learning outcome

When you have completed the course, you are expected to be able to:

  • Analyse the relationship between media, faces and identities in different settings and from different perspectives.
  • Have an in-depth understanding of how and why media participate in processes of identity formation both at the individual and group level, including some of the social implications of this involvement.
  • Review academic literature and communicate, analyse critically and assimilate theoretical concepts.


This course is taught over an 8-week period. The teaching consists of lectures, occasional film screenings and a series of six topical workshops. The workshops are particularly work-intensive, and the students are required to come prepared and to participate fully in all workshop activities, which include discussions, various exercises and small presentations. To come prepared means that the students will be expected to have paid careful attention to assigned readings prior to each workshop, and overall, to relevant parts of the syllabus as the course progresses.

Compulsory attendance:

To qualify for the exam, students must attend a minimum of five of the six workshops. Please read about compulsory activities at the Faculty of Humanities


Take home exam over three days. Please see the term page for time and place.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course





Teaching language