Back to:Screen and Cultural Studies major

This major embraces material in the field of film and popular media, screen histories, Australian, Hollywood and Art House cinemas, everyday life, television and entertainment, ethnographic and documentary cinema, computer games, the internet and the representation of global cultures.

It offers subjects about the nature and history of film and cultural studies including film and screen aesthetics; identity and gender; sexuality and spectatorship; the nature of narrative structures and class ideologies.

You will encounter a variety of screen media, net-based cultures and popular cultures in order to consider their histories, their significance, and theories that help make sense of how they relate to power, commerce and lived culture today. Innovative teaching will encourage you to encounter new ways of interpreting and analysing contemporary media and culture.

Careers

  • Academia
  • Art curatorship
  • Government
  • Sociology

Subjects you could take in this major

  • This subject provides students with a comprehensive introduction to the study of film language and theory. It is organised around these two separate but related areas. The film language component covers two interrelated topics that are essential for an understanding of the cinema; film aesthetics and film history. The subject begins with the early cinema and progresses through to an analysis of contemporary Hollywood. Key topics of narrative, editing, sound, mise-en-scene, cinematography and the studio system are studied in this historical context. The film theory component of the subject presents a study of the key theories, including: genre theory, auteurism, the classic text, gender, psychoanalysis, entertainment and new media theory, that have informed film aesthetics and the history of the cinema.

  • The subject will explore the intimate connections between screen and media technologies and changing understandings of culture in the 20th century. It focuses on how innovations in print and photographic technologies, telegraphy and telephony, the moving image, sound recording, radio, film exhibition, TV and video, and the transformation of analogue by digital technologies, have enabled changing visions of culture. It studies terms such as mechanical reproduction and the culture industry, the optical unconscious and trauma, massification and broadcast, public sphere and media literacy, fragmentation and globalisation. Students will be encouraged, and given the confidence, to move between cultural histories and cultural studies. They will be introduced to the histories of key media technologies, and examine attempts to theorise the significance and influences of those technologies within cultural studies. As a result, students should have, on completion of the subject, a strong critical knowledge of how histories of media technologies are central to contemporary culture.

  • This subject is an introduction to the study of Australian film and television. Beginning with post-war Australian film and television, we will trace the emergence of the modern entertainment industry in Australia locating it within national and international frameworks and examining the growing debates around what constitutes a national cinema and television industry. The focus will be upon examining specific films and a range of media in television locating products within local and global contexts, analyzing cosmopolitan and nationalist impulses that drive the industry forward. We will study a range of indigenous and non-indigenous products and genres including feature films, video, documentaries, television series, sitcoms and news programs. Road movies, comedy, history films, animation, romance and melodrama are among the genres studied.

  • Through a detailed examination of one or more genres and one or more auteurs, this subject will address the historical importance of genre and the enduring notion of authorship to the production and reception of films, television programs and associated popular screen texts. The study of directors as well as Hollywood, mainstream and established genres will be central to this subject. The evolution of genres, however, and broader notions of authorship that take into account the significant role of producers, writers, stars, actors, studios, critics and audiences will also be studied as a major component of this subject.

  • This subject explores developments in the Hollywood film industry from the 1960s to the present. Students should grasp some of the key issues of this period, including the focus on modernist strategies, revisionist approaches, allusionism and the new generation of Hollywood film school 'auteurs'. This subject will also look at the interconnection between entertainment industries, and the emergence and significance of 'high concept' as a production and marketing strategy.

  • The subject will explore the intimate connections between screen and media technologies and changing understandings of culture in the 20th century. It focuses on how innovations in print and photographic technologies, telegraphy and telephony, the moving image, sound recording, radio, film exhibition, TV and video, and the transformation of analogue by digital technologies, have enabled changing visions of culture. It studies terms such as mechanical reproduction and the culture industry, the optical unconscious and trauma, massification and broadcast, public sphere and media literacy, fragmentation and globalisation. Students will be encouraged, and given the confidence, to move between cultural histories and cultural studies. They will be introduced to the histories of key media technologies, and examine attempts to theorise the significance and influences of those technologies within cultural studies. As a result, students should have, on completion of the subject, a strong critical knowledge of how histories of media technologies are central to contemporary culture.

  • This subject provides an overview of cultural studies approaches to contemporary popular music. Students will be introduced to the interdisciplinary traditions of scholarship that have emerged in the study of popular music's relationship to its social, cultural and political contexts. Topics will include musical evaluation and taste; music genre; sexuality and gender in pop; music industries and music distribution formats; music videos; youth subcultures; politics and radio broadcasting; and race in popular music, with a focus on global hip hop.

  • What is lifestyle? When and how did the concept develop, and what functions does it serve in consumer culture today? How is it represented and constructed through television? How does it relate to parallel concepts like taste, style and identity? This subject frames lifestyle as the site where consumer culture and individual identity intersect, where identities are produced through our interactions with the commodities and media we consume. It approaches lifestyle as the relatively recent invention of advertising, marketing, popular media and related institutions and discourses, contextualizing it within the broader rise of modern consumer culture, in order to provide a historical framework for understanding the rise and global spread of lifestyle culture today. The subject engages key theories for understanding consumer culture and media from Marxist accounts of commodity fetishism and alienated labour to contemporary television studies and social theories of DIY-selves and reflexive individualism. On completion of this subject, students should be able to analyse the complex relations between contemporary consumer culture, lifestyle discourse, popular media and individual identity formation, and to trace the workings of these relations through selected cultural sites that may include advertisements, television programs, and Internet sites, and everyday practices like shopping.

  • This subject is a study of many manifestations of the love story represented in Australian, Italian, French, British and North American art cinema traditions. Through detailed close-analysis of a range of films, the subject explores topics such as romantic love, Surrealism and mad love, the marital gothic, adultery, gay and lesbian love, inter-racial romance, perversion, loss and melancholia. Concentrating on art cinema treatments of romantic comedy, melodrama, the backstage musical, horror and gothic romance, the subject highlights the various formal strategies employed to create the love story in art cinema. The subject looks at the way in which film theory has explained the idea of love and desire in the cinema by drawing on Freudian psychoanalysis, mythology and gender studies. In addition to the close reading of the love story through prescribed films, the subject also explores the way film intersects with theatre, television, literature, art and popular music on the subject.

  • This subject focuses on contemporary Asian cinema and media with a special emphasis on their transnational aspects. Students will encounter examples mainly from cinema (both popular and 'art' film), but the subject also engages with other forms of media culture like television, computer games, music video and Internet cultures. These texts will be approached through analysis of the contexts of their production, distribution, and consumption as well as through textual analysis. Students will learn about new approaches to contemporary Asian cinema and media that understand these cultures as formed through transnational flows rather than as the product of discrete and bounded 'civilisations' as in traditional area studies approaches. On completion of this subject students should have an understanding of the transnationalism of Asian cinema and media today, knowledge of some of the key recent movements in Asian film and media, an appreciation of the historical contexts that underlie these patterns, and a sound grasp of the major scholarly approaches used to analyse these phenomena. Students completing the subject will be familiar with case studies including those from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Thailand and India.

  • This subject provides an introduction to a variety of ways in which city cultures have defined and articulated popular culture and critical social theory. Students will be introduced to contemporary urban narratives of places and spaces through a focus on city cultures, from Melbourne, New York, Hong Kong and Dubai. Students will explore and analyse issues around immigration and mobility, social identities and urban spaces, environmental sustainability, post-industrial economies and creative industries, in order to consider how cities have become central to our theoretical understanding of contemporary cultures.

  • This subject introduces students to some of the major theoretical traditions in the field. Emphasis on historical, textual, ethnographic, institutional and other theories will be grounded in a focus on the Australian film industry and its culture. These theoretical traditions will provide resources used by students to produce detailed and specific studies of contemporary cinema and cultural practices. By apprehending diverse theoretical accounts of cinema and cultural studies in relation to Australian screen and cultural practices, students will engage with some of the significant problems of the cultures we inhabit. Students will also explore research and professional pathways.

  • This subject offers a close study of film noir texts from Friz Lang’s M to David Lynch’s new noir with a focus on the history and evolution of film noir, and its changing representations of sexuality and society. The subject will consider the way in which social, political and moral factors influence cinematic style and subject matter. Topics studied will include the silent period; noir and German expressionism; noir horror; classic Hollywood noir of the 40s; postmodern noir and the evolving image of the femme fatale. Students should complete the subject with an understanding of the relationship between film and history; the stylistic development of the film noir body of texts from the silent period to the present; of new approaches to historiography; of the symbolic relevance of the changing image of the femme fatale in the film noir; and of postmodern cinematic practice in relation to contemporary film noir.

  • This subject explores the impact that digital technologies have had in the world of screen media and in mediating the world around us. Film and television has, over the last century, become an integral part of our reality but, since the advent of the digital era, screen media have become even more integrated into the social sphere. This subject will focus on: applying diverse and interdisciplinary interpretative tools to analyse the impact of digital special effects on the cinema; the forms of player engagement made possible by the digital nature of video games; the advent of digital technology and the rise of the theme park; the phenomenon of the second screen and television viewing; the impact of screen media on the urbanscape.

  • How do we come to experience ourselves as having a gender and a sexual orientation? How do social constructions of gender relate to understandings of sexuality? How have categories like masculinity and femininity; heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality transformed over time? This subject approaches gender and sexuality as historically and culturally contingent rather than as natural expressions of a private self. It provides the historical and theoretical frameworks for understanding the rise of specific genders and sexualities in relation to available medical, psychoanalytic, philosophical, political and popular discourses. Drawing from recent formations in both feminism and queer studies, this subject engages with a diverse range of cultural texts from the proceedings of court cases to personal advertisements, from celebrity gossip columns to popular film. On completion of this subject students should be able to explicate the complex imbrications of gender and sexuality and to analyse the representation of gendered and sexual identities and desires in selected cultural texts, which may include television, film, Internet and print media.

Entry requirements & Prerequisites

This major is available through more than one course, both of which have their own separate entry requirements.

You can read more on the the

Bachelor of Arts&Bachelor of Arts Extended