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Critical issues of media, culture and creative cities

Offer semester
1st semester

Lecture time
Thursday 7pm – 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 related disciplines.

Topics include cultural identity and representation, soft power, narrative, globalization, media industries, creativity, fandom, and surveillance. We also use a comparative approach, in part to clarify local and regional dynamics. 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.


Group Presentation10%
Class Exercises10%
Final Paper60%

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. 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.

Yoshiko, Nakano. Shared Memories: Japanese Pop Culture in China. Soft Power Superpowers: Cultural and National Assets of Japan and the United States.

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

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

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

Course co-ordinator and teachers