This Global Comparative Lens course explores questions of media ownership, content, flow, cultural values, political power and technological impact in relation to one of today’s most used but least understood terms: globalization. To do so, students survey industrialized, newly industrialized and developing countries and examine the interrelationship between “global culture” and local culture as related to global media systems. Particular emphasis will be placed on the media systems of the countries visited during the voyage. To deepen their understanding of these changing media landscapes and how they are related to broader historical processes, the course is grounded in key media theories such as cultural imperialism, development communication, flow and contra-flow, genre and format trading, cultural hybridity and others. Students will also examine new dynamics in media production and consumption as related to mobile technologies, the Internet and “legacy” media such as radio. Port of call field excursions provide opportunities to visit media institutions and/or citizen media organizations, with some opportunity to meet and learn from current practitioners in the field.
Field WorkCountry: South Africa
Day: 1 - Tuesday, 15 March
The Cape Town Field Lab is designed for Global Media students to familiarize themselves with media studies in South Africa in terms of both theory and practice. The Centre of Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town will host us. Activities include a screening and discussion session on student film and video productions, a lecture on media in South Africa by one of the nation’s most prominent media scholars, and a working lunch with UCT Media Studies students at the university’s upper plaza overlooking the city of Cape Town. Through this field experience students will learn about the forces shaping South Africa’s contemporary mediascape and the underlying ideas informing the training of a new generation of South African media practitioners and researchers, as well as have an opportunity to gain a perspective from South African students about their professional goals and creative aspirations within today’s increasing complex and technologically driven global media landscape.
1. Identify and critically evaluate the forces shaping South Africa’s contemporary mediascape
2. Gain an understanding of the ideas and concerns that inform the curriculum of South African media programs
3. Provide a space for student-to-student learning through dialogue about the interrelationship between global culture and local culture as related to today’s media.