Communication And Culture | World Media
C202 | 1090 | Curtin

Professor Michael Curtin
Department of Communication and Culture
Mottier Hall, rm. 211
Tel. 855-5721;

The course will begin by providing students with a conceptual overview of
key issues raised by the globalization of media, including questions of
corporate conglomeration, national sovereignty, cultural identity, gender
relations, audience behaviors, and consumerism.  Using examples from
around the world, it will show how global and local forces interact,
creating new cultural dynamics that are distinctive to the digital era of
film, television, and other mass media.  The second part of the course
will focus in-depth on Hong Kong media, more specifically, on Hong Kong
cinema, which is one of the most productive film industries in the world.
We will examine the history of this cinema as it emerged out of the
turbulent cross-currents of political, economic, and social change in East
Asia.  Throughout the semester we will screen numerous exemplary films and
discuss the social and cultural context of their production and reception,
showing how this local cinema has survived, adapted, and prospered in the
face of powerful nationalizing and globalizing forces.  Careful analysis
of such films as Private Eyes, Autumn Moon, and Heroic Trio will in turn
help us come to grips with many of the key conceptual questions raised
earlier in the semester.

This is an introductory course that presumes no prior knowledge of media
studies, culture industries, film criticism, globalization research, 20th
century world history, or Chinese studies.  Hopefully, by the end of the
semester, students will have developed solid familiarity with all of these

The class will function as a seminar, involving brief presentations and
extensive class discussion.  Prospective participants should also
anticipate a substantial number of reading and writing assignments, since
the course is offered for honors credit and intensive writing credit.