MEVIT4703 – Screen Politics
In Screen Politics we will focus on the political dimensions of our relations and interactions with screens. Screen relations are often intimate and private and appear to be far removed from broader social and political concerns. However, as we will learn, it is in the very intimacy afforded by our screens that they unfold their political powers. Screens both provide and prohibit access to our global realities and affect all aspects of everyday life. They do so by making these provisions and prohibitions seem natural, making that which becomes afforded real and that which drops from sight non-existent. They shape our behaviours and set frames for our expectations.
Television series such as Netflix’s Bodyguard (2018), for example, address us as people for whom an omnipresent danger of terrorism has become the norm. As another example, even a mundane gesture, such as Tinder’s ‘swipe’, which turns dating into an efficiently binary selection process, has political implications in the way that it teaches us something about how to ‘deal with’ other people.
The course will shed light on, and delve increasingly deeper into, processes such as the above. It will do so in three consecutive, interrelated steps, presenting and discussing:
- theories of subjectivity, society and the political,
- the politics of screens (i.e. how our screens and the ways in which they are given to us as nodes, platforms and interfaces grant or bar us from accessing services and enacting rights and responsibilities), and
- the politics on screens (i.e. the politics of representation and participation in the news and other genres)
Screen Politics students will acquire a critical understanding of:
- Theories of subjectivity and the self, as well as their political dimensions.
- Theories of and approaches to screen media and their political implications.
- Theories of politics and political communication and how they intertwine with the above.
Screen Politics students will further learn:
- How to independently analyse and interpret media texts and cultural artefacts pertaining to the political dimensions of screens and the individual as well as institutional practices and the cultures surrounding them.
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Coursework will consist of lectures conjoined with seminar discussions. We will run 14 to 15 two-hour meetings. Each meeting will consist of a shorter lecture parts intermixed with seminar discussions and group work. We will take our time with the course, doing only one two-hour session each week, allowing the course to serve as a fixed meeting place and steady companion throughout the autumn term. It is hoped that this regularity will create familiarity amongst students and between students and course convener so that we all can have active and lively exchanges and a cooperative, in-depth work process.
The lecture parts will highlight important principles, arguments, and other relevant aspects of the curriculum; the accompanying seminar parts will focus on discussions and additional perspectives on the texts, in part as developed and presented by the students themselves.
Students are expected to read and make careful notes during and between sessions on the curriculum and other relevant texts. Such notes will then be useful resources for both in-class discussion and presentations, as well as for the portfolio texts (see below: Examination).
Obligatory qualifying assignment:
This course has an obligatory qualifying assignment. Students are required to give an in-class presentation of one of the texts on the curriculum and relate it to their own screen cultural interests. This presentation will be scheduled at the beginning of the course. The presentation is mandatory and must be passed in order for the portfolio exam to be submitted at the end of the semester.
Examination support material
The exam consists of a portfolio of three texts of 3-4 pages each. The obligatory qualifying assignments must be passed in order to submit the portfolio.
Language of examination
The examination language is English.
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.