Week 1: Introduction
This week we'll canvass the various issues and debates that we'll be studying this semester; we'll discuss the assessments for ICOM 811; and we'll organize the groups and schedule for the presentation assignment.
Week 2: Global Communication: paradigms & perspectives
This week we consider how communications figures within the logic and language of development. There are numerous ways that development is understood and/or endorsed, and this has important implications for the role and value of communications. As an introductory overview of this complex field, this week's reading provides the foundation for many of the debates and discussions that we'll consider this semester.
Week 3: Cultural Imperialism: a relevant discourse?
This week, we consider one of the most significant areas in the literature of international communication: the discourse of cultural imperialism. As an influential argument against the political economy of 20th and 21st century communications, this discourse renders the relationship between global media and cultural sovereignty problematic, if not untenable. We'll therefore survey its relevance, validity and influence.
Week 4: Glocalization: when the global meets the local
In the past two decades, numerous researchers and theorists have discussed how globalizing forces intersect with local/national forces with unexpected and/or interesting consequences. This week we consider this phenomenon, and examine its implications in light of competing versions or perceptions of globalization.
Week 5: The Digital Turn: inequities & opportunities
Much of the literature and research on contemporary global communications centres on the role and effects of digital technologies. This week, we'll see how key components of this discourse – including cyber cultures, online identities, interactive and convergent media, and media mobility – have affected how local/national agents navigate 21st century conditions, and have manipulated these technologies to pursue particular types of development.
Week 6: The Commercial Realm: Global Consumer Culture
One of the most compelling and dominant forces in international communications is commercial media – specifically, advertising. This week, we'll see how advertising, branding, public relations and marketing generally affect citizens' loyalties, aspirations and motivations.
Week 7: Cultural Identities
This week, we'll explore and unpack how global communications imbue national citizens with new senses of identity, and the effects this has on empowerment – individual, national and regional. We'll integrate the various strands and examples we've considered so far in the course, to see how the communications media of the 21st century creates notions of a global citizenry, and extrapolate the consequences for different kinds of identity expression.
Week 8: Creative Industries: a post-industrial world?
As more nations engage with industries and endeavours commonly associated with the Information Age, the premium on creativity and innovation grows. This week, we'll see how this imperative – to exploit the economic benefits of the creative industries – has political, social and cultural consequences, and we'll identify how this process has broadened (and complicated) definitions of development.
Week 9: Nation Branding: selling a competitive identity
Nation branding points to the various ways which nations 'speak' and 'behave' – or the range of contact points that link consumers with a place, and how these encounters affect perceptions of it, or its 'strategic equity'. This week, we consider how the notion of branding is being used by certain nations in their quest for a competitive identity in an increasingly globalised world.
Week 10: Neo-Orientalism
For many of us, knowledge of global affairs and international politics comes from news media, especially about places we've never been or people with whom we've had little direct contact. This week we consider the role news and current affairs media plays in shaping perceptions of the 'Other', particularly in a post 9/11 (or September 11) world.
Week 11: Social Media & emerging political practices
Many of us now use social media as part of everyday communication – things like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are how many of us consume, produce and share media. However this week's discussion considers how social media has affected political activity and expression, with case studies based on the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street. We consider whether social media offers new opportunities for political debate and expression, or if it largely mirrors existing distributions of media and/or political power.
Week 12: Global Cultural Convergence
This week we revisit many of the issues and debates we've considered all semester and test them against the logic and language of global cultural convergence.
Week 13: Essay Consultations