• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Gender Studies
  • Areas of interest Cultural Studies, Gender Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Rosanne Kennedy
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2022
    See Future Offerings
Reading Popular Culture: An Introduction to Cultural Studies (GEND1002)

An introduction to the field of cultural studies, this unit progresses through a “circuit of culture”. Using this model, it introduces the key concepts and practices of representation, identity, production, consumption and regulation. Two areas of contemporary culture will be of particular interest to this unit:

(1) issues surrounding advertising, corporate power and globalisation, and
(2) debates about the representation of gender and sexuality in the media and popular culture.

In the first half of the course, students will learn to use semiotics, a method that is widely used by cultural and feminist critics to study how meanings are produced in images and texts. Coupling semiotics with theories of identity, subjectivity, ideology and discourse students will analyse power relationships in popular culture. Students will also become familiar with debates relating to production and consumption. Upon completing the course requirements, students will have experience in applying core methods and theories analytically, and will be able to demonstrate critical reflection on key concepts shared by cultural and gender studies.

Learning Outcomes

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

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

  1. understand the central model for this course: the 'circuit of culture';
  2. master a variety of tools for cultural studies and be able to use them in a concrete study of cultural practices, commodities, images,  and social media campaigns in contemporary culture;
  3. become familiar with developments and current debates within the field of cultural studies in a digital era, particularly issues surrounding; advertising, identity and gender;
  4. improve skills in independent research and in written and oral communication.

Indicative Assessment

Short Paper – Representation, 400 words (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 4]
Semiotic Analysis, 1200 words (25%) [Learning Outcomes 2, 3, 4]
Final Essay, 1750 words plus Abstract of 250 words (45%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4]
Tutorial presentation, 5 Min duration (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 4]
Tutorial preparation including reading and responses to questions, and participation, 4-5 hours/week (10%) [Learning Outcome 4]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of workshop and workshop-like activities, and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing

Preliminary Reading

* Stuart Hall (ed), Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices, the Open University/ Sage 1997 

* Roland Barthes, Mythologies, London, 1972
* Paul du Gay and Stuart Hall, Doing Cultural Studies: The Story of the Sony Walkman, Sage, 1997

The Journal of Popular Culture


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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
5096 25 Jul 2022 01 Aug 2022 31 Aug 2022 28 Oct 2022 In Person N/A

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