• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject Anthropology
  • Areas of interest Anthropology
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Co-taught Course

Since the invention of the printing press in the 15th century an array of communications technologies have become increasingly integral to the lives of people in diverse societies across the globe. The past century has seen an acceleration of this process. As communications technologies have expanded their reach; what kinds of transformations have occurred in the way in which people relate to one another? In what ways are media implicated in the constitution of sub-cultures, communities, and nations? Does the introduction of media necessarily lead to the transformation of existing cultural processes, or, can communities of people make media serve their particular imperatives and aspirations?

The course surveys key theoretical approaches to understanding the relationship between media and changing forms of society and personhood, as well as a wider range of ethnographic literature and media 'products'. Weekly themes to be explored include colonialism’s use of photography; the role of media in forging national and trans-national identities; indigenous media; the social relations of cyberspace; and the place of communications technology in the rise of global terrorism. Tutorial discussions will examine ethnographic accounts of the diverse ways in which persons utilise and make meaning via a range of media across different societies. At the core of the course is a focus on comprehending media, not simply as cultural products but social processes.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On completion of this course (ANTH2128/6514 Media and Modernity) students will have acquired the skills to understand and critically reflect upon:

1. the place of media in contemporary Australian society

2. mediated social processes as distinctive dimensions of contemporary social life

3. the similarities and differences in the ways media technologies are utilised cross-culturally

4. diverse theoretical perspectives and conceptual approaches to understanding media

Indicative Assessment

By negotiation: 6,000 words

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Two hours of lectures and one hour of tutorial per week. 

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ANTH2128.

Preliminary Reading

*Askew, K. and Wilk, R. (eds). The Anthropology of Media: A Reader, Oxford: Blackwell, 2002.
*Ginsburg, F., Abu-Lughod, L. and Larkin, B. (eds). Media Worlds: Anthropology on New Terrain, California: University of California Press, 2002.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $3216
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4590
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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