MEVIT4702 – Screen Aesthetics

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Chances are you are reading this course description on a screen, just as you are likely to – if you decide to join – enroll using a screen. If you are accepted, confirmation will be sent to you via email or text message, accessed on a screen. In the meantime, you may have checked out the news or your social media feed on your laptop or a watched a video or played a game on your smart watch. Perhaps you just glanced at the information boards whilst waiting for your train. You get it: we live our lives through screens. But this begs the question: during all that screen time, what do we see?

In this course you study how screens communicate their content – which includes considering how the latter is reliant on the former – to their users. It is interested in the ways in which screens engage us, talk to us and with us, taking into account questions of materiality, narrative and narration, style and meaning, tone, and genre. A desktop computer will organize the material you are currently reading differently from a smart phone screen, after all, just as a television screen affords and limits engagements with a film that your watch doesn’t. Do a glossy photograph and an oil painting on canvas refer to the same reality? Similarly, each of these engagements implies a distinct context: the desktop requires electricity, a desk, and a room with a roof, just as what you watch on your phone is, as everyone who has mistakenly watched an episode of Game of Thrones in a crowded bus is aware, dependent on where you find yourself. In other words: how do screens look?

Learning outcome

The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with critical theoretical and methodological approaches to the formal study of screens and screen media including interface culture, television, film and painting.

Candidates who have completed the Screen Aesthetics course will have acquired the following knowledge, skills and general competences:

The candidate:

  •      has advanced knowledge of the relationship between the context and materiality of screens and their respective stylistic registers;
  •       can analyze and formally interpret a variety of screen media;
  •       can assess relevant existing theories and approaches in researching screen-based media, and work independently on practical and     theoretical problems.·  
  •      can use the general competence of scholarly writing about screen-based media in other academic and professional Fields.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

This course is offered to the students enrolled on the Master Program "Screen Cultures", but MA students at other programmes can also be enrolled in the course, if there are available spaces.


This course will be taught by prominent researchers in the field. The course aims to give students hands-on experience of screens in their various historical manifestations, drawing on the resources of museums, archives and other institutions in the Oslo region, and explores alternative pedagogical approaches so as to enable students to learn about screen-based communication, its contexts and modalities.

Classes consist of lectures and seminars. Students are required to be regularly present in classes, to actively participate in seminar discussion, and to give short presentations on assigned topics/texts.

Obligatory assignment.

This course has one (1) obligatory assignment that must be passed in order to qualify for the exam. 

  • Obligatory group assignment

Read more about compulsory activities at the Faculty of Humanities


The final exam is a term paper submission (semesteroppgave), of up to 10 pages. Each page should be about 2300 characters without spaces.
The front page, Reference/literature list and any appendices are not included in the 10 page limit.

You must have passed the obligatory activity for the course in order to qualify for the exam.

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

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in 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

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


Periodic course evaluations: 

Course evaluation Spring 2021

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

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