MC416      Half Unit
Representation in the Age of Globalisation

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Shani Orgad TW3.7.01G


This course is available on the MSc in Media and Communications and MSc in Media and Communications (Research). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

In order to accommodate academic staff research leave and sabbaticals, and in order to maintain smaller seminar group sizes, this course is capped, meaning that there is a limit to the number of students who can be accepted. Whist we do our best to accommodate all requests, we cannot guarantee you a place on this course.

Course content

Images and stories circulated in the media play a central role in informing how we imagine the world, others and ourselves. We become increasingly dependent, often exclusively, on what we see, read and hear in the news, on our favourite television drama series, in advertisements, on the radio, and over the Internet. This course focuses on the way media representations are implicated in the exercise of power over how we think and feel through the construction of meaning. It explores the opportunities that media representations present for the creation of a global and interconnected space, which enables the people living in it to conduct their social, cultural, political and economic lives in positive, just and inclusive ways. At the same time, the course discusses some of the critical challenges, limits and threats those visual and textual representations present. The discussion focuses on the representation of the Other and the production of difference, the representation of gender, suffering and migration timely issues whose centrality is ever more vivid. It examines how transformations in the contemporary media landscape, such as the expansion of social media platforms, the increasing commodification and global scope of communication, shape the ways in which public issues are framed, imaged, and constructed, the consequences this may have for the moral judgements people make and the possibilities for disrupting dominant narratives and imaginaries.


12 hours of lectures, 10 hours of seminars and 2 hours of workshops in the LT.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to complete advance reading, prepare seminar presentations, and submit one essay of 1,500 words.

Indicative reading

Boltanski, L. (1999) Distant Suffering: Morality, Media and Politics, Cambridge University Press;

Chouliaraki, L. (2006) The Spectatorship of Suffering, Sage; OUP.

Hall, S. (1997) Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practice, Sage; Macdonald, M. (2003) Exploring Media Discourse, Arnold; 

Orgad, S. (2012) Media Representation and the Global Imagination, Cambridge: Polity; 

Pickering, M. (2001). Stereotyping: The Politics of Representation, Palgrave;

Said, E. (1985) Orientalism, Penguin;

Silverstone, R. (2007) Media and Morality: On the Rise of the Mediapolis, Polity. 



Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the ST.

All students have to produce a short film-team in the LT, on the basis of which they submit a 3,000 word essay in the ST. 

Teachers' comment

The images and stories circulating in today's global media matter. This course will explain why, and how representations shape the ways we think about others, the world and ourselves.

Students' comments

"This course has really helped me to view media representations critically. It presents the theories in a way that we can apply them in practical ways to our lives outside and inside of class."

Key facts

Department: Media & Communications

Total students 2016/17: 54

Average class size 2016/17: 18

Controlled access 2016/17: Yes

Lecture capture used 2016/17: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills