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Critical issues of media, culture and creative cities

Offer semester
2nd semester

Lecture time
Tuesday 6.30pm – 10pm

Lecture venue

Course description

This course will provide an overview of some of the critical issues of media, culture, and creative cities. The purpose is to shed light on specific expressions of far-reaching concerns in our media-driven world. We do so by drawing on key concepts and empirical findings from the social sciences and other disciplines.

Topics include globalization, narrative, participatory culture, branding, fandom, soft power, urban innovation, creativity and creative labor.

We also use a comparative approach, in part to better clarify local and regional dynamics. Questions we will ask include: how do cities use media and culture to tell a story? What are challenges and resources available to media and creative professionals in different locations? Through various case studies and guest speakers, we will evaluate issues that inspire yet may also impede professionals in urban media and creative industries. Class discussion is an important part of this course.

Course learning outcomes

  • Acquire the capability to comprehend meaningfully current public discourses on media, arts and culture.
  • Evaluate current public debates with relevant concepts, putting them into knowledgeable perspectives.
  • Engage with arts and culture practitioners in productive dialogues.
  • Connect field observations with academic topics.
  • Increase awareness of sociological imagination.


Group Presentation10%
Class Exercises10%
Individual Paper and Presentation70%

Required reading

Nye, Joseph. 2011. Soft Power. The Future of Power. Selections.

Jonathan Xavier Inda and Renato Rosaldo. 2007. Tracking Global Flows. The Anthropology of Globalization: A Reader. (pp. 3-35)

Hyde, Lewis. 2010. Trickster Makes This World: Mischief, Myth and Art. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Selections.

Szeto, Mirana and Yun-chung Chen. 2013. “To Work or Not to Work: The Dilemma of Hong Kong Film Labor in the Age of Mainlandization,” Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media 55 Fall.

Chan, Joseph, Anthony Y. H. Fung and CH Ng. 2010. Sustainable Development of the Hong Kong Film Industry. Chinese University of Hong Kong Press.

Miller et al. 2010. Global Hollywood 2.

Mandel, Ruth. 2002. A Marshall Plan of the Mind: The Political Economy of a Kazakh Soap Opera. Media Worlds.

Ortner, Sherry. Access: Reflections on Studying Up in Hollywood. Ethnography.

Miller, Vincent. 2011. Understanding Digital Culture. London: Sage Publications. Selected Chapters.

Pang, Laikwan. 2009. The Transgression of Sharing and Copying: Pirating Japanese Animation in China. In Cultural Studies and Cultural Industries in Northeast Asia.

Florida, Richard. The Rise of the Creative Class, Revised. 2014. Basic Books. Selected chapters.

Hesmondhagh, David and Sarah Baker. 2013. Creative Labor: Media Work in Three Cultural Industries. Selections.

Course co-ordinator and teachers