Course Title: Popular Culture and the Moving Image

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Popular Culture and the Moving Image

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014


City Campus


345H Media and Communication

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 1 2006,
Sem 2 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010

Course Coordinator: Pauline Anastasiou

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 1969

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 36 level 2

Course Coordinator Availability: Email or phone, appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Popular culture codified and communicated through photography, film, television and the internet has a pervasive influence on contemporary life. Importantly, much popular culture is now shared at a global level problematising the very notion of community or local identity. The interesting factor in the study of popular culture is the rapid movement of its formations, its visual representations and narratives across time and space. Popular Culture and the Moving Image provides you with a set of methodological tools for analyzing the media we are exposed to and engaged with. The course will introduce you to many of the main theoretical ideas around this field and will provide you with a sound basis for further exploration or study.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

On completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Identify the ways in which meaning in film and television can change and develop when texts are presented in differing social and industrial contexts
  • Recognize the importance of media literacy
  • Recognise the importance of research in constructing valid cultural interpretations and have refined their research skills.

Overview of Learning Activities

The following learning experiences will be included in the course:

* interaction, debate and discussions to enable you to contribute and share your experiences and resources

* a research based assignment that will encourage critical thinking, information literacy and the evaluation of resources

* access to support material including on-line lecture notes, World Wide Web links to relevant resources and RMIT Library video recordings of key feature films and television programs

* a group project that will encourage you to solve problems together in teams and make context sensitive judgments, thus promoting cross-cultural understanding, collaboration and leadership

* opportunities for you to express and discuss topics related to the course material which are of personal interest or importance

* integrated use of on-line facilities that will assist you in becoming more proficient users of information technology, producing graduates who are knowledgeable, responsible and employable

Overview of Learning Resources


Asynchronous discussion facilities will be provided through the DLS (information on the DLS, including login help, is available at Resource material, such as current release feature films, videorecordings and television programmes, can be changed to suit what is accessible to you outside class and all key media will be available through the RMIT City Campus library.

Some material shown in the classroom or referred to by the tutor or other students may contain material that is offensive to some. This may include sex scenes, sexual references, violence, drug use, course language, nudity and adult themes. Effort will be made to warn you and You may choose not to make use of such material for these reasons and there will be no penalty.

Branston, Gill, 2000, Cinema and Cultural Modernity, Open University Press, Buckingham.
Clover, Carol J. 1992, Men, Women and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film, Princeton University Press, New Jersey.
Craven, Ian & Maltby, Richard, 1995, Hollywood Cinema, Blackwell, Oxford.
Creed, Barbara 1993, The Monstrous Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis, Routledge, New York.
Daddario, Gina 1998, Women’s Sport and Spectacle: Gendered Television Coverage and the Olympic Games, Praeger, London.
Fiske, John 1991, Television Culture, 4th edn, Routledge, London.
Green, Philip 1998, Cracks in the Pedestal: Ideology and Gender in Hollywood, University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst.
Haskell, Molly 1987, From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Heide, Margaret J. 1997, Television Culture and Women’s Lives: Thirtysomething and the Contradictions of Gender, University of Philadelphia Press, Philadelphia.
Kuhn, Annette 1992, The Power of the Image: Essays on Representation and Sexuality, Routledge, London.
Marc, David, 1997, 2nd edition, Comic Visions: Television Comedy and American Culture, Blackwell Publishers, Mass.
McKee, Alan, 2001, Australian Television: A geneaology of Great Moments, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
Mulvey, Laura 1989, Visual and Other Pleasures, Indiana University Press, Bloomington.
Selby, Keith & Cowdery, Ron 1995, How to Study Television, Macmillan Press, London.
Stacey, Jackie 1994, Star Gazing: Hollywood Cinema and Female Spectatorship, Routledge, New York.
Trinh, T. Minh-Ha 1991, When the Moon Waxes Red: Representation, Gender and Cultural Politics, Routledge, New York.
Wood, Julia T. 1994, Gendered Lives: Communication, Gender and Culture, Wadsworth Pub. California.
Young, Lola 1996, Fear of the Dark: ’Race’, Gender and Sexuality in the Cinema, Routledge, New York.

Cinema Journal -
Ctheory –
Culture and Communication Reading Room at Murdoch University - Film Philosophy -
Gender and Race in Media -
Images: A Journal of Film and Popular Culture -
Internet Movie Database -
The Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) -
Screen Network Australia -
Screensite -
Sight and Sound -
Society for Cinema Studies -
SOFIA (Study of Film as an Internet Application) -

Overview of Assessment

There are two components of the assessment for this course – a research essay and the contribution to set class activities.

You will demonstrate your understanding of the course material by applying the concepts discussed in the course to the examples specified in the activities, then communicating your findings to the class through both face-to-face and online discussion forums. You are also expected to reflect upon the issues raised in the course and relate them to circumstances that helped create your own sense of personal and cultural identity. As a minimum, you are expected to complete the group activity and to substantially contribute to four other discussions over the course of the semester to meet the requirements of assessment.