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    The consequences of evolving communication and media technologies for cities, how they are represented, and for urban economies and ways of life.

    When you walk through a city, you "make" the space around you. This is because your identity, occupation, emotions and the baggage you carry affect how you and others view the surrounding space. Is the city a relaxed place for you? One that produces anxiety? Are you interrupted or obstructed as you walk? Do you glide through the streets like a Dunedin seagull? City-spaces are sites of negotiation, contestation, vacation and entrapment for city inhabitants as they communicate and share city-space with other residents, businesses, animals and government authorities.

    In MFCO 312, we will examine how our experiences of cities, their formation and governance are influenced by communication technologies and practices.

    About this paper

    Paper title Communication and the City
    Subject Media, Film and Communication
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    18 200-level MFCO or COMS points
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music
    May not be credited together with COMS305 passed in 2006-2008.
    Teaching staff

    Convenor and Lecturer: To be advised.

    Paper Structure
    In MFCO 312 you will study cities in relation to four themes:
    • Cities and representation: how a city looks, its aesthetics, what it symbolises and whether it is considered beautiful or seedy are invested with political meanings and power relations
    • Digital cities: how the economic and cultural reach of cities has been extended beyond the material limits of geography through the rapid development of advanced communication technologies
    • Governance and the city: how do communication technologies, policing and surveillance create inclusions and exclusions of different types of citizens and animals within urban spaces?
    • Branding the city: how are cities branded, and which aspects of their history, design, culture or population are deemed of value?
    • Reading summaries: 10%
    • Presentation: 15%
    • Ethnographic exercise: 30%
    • Essay 40%
    • In-class test: 5%
    Teaching Arrangements

    One 2-hour lecture per week.
    One 1-hour tutorial per week.


    Course reader

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete the paper will:

    • Articulate how cities have been transformed historically and technologically
    • Critically reflect on their own and others' experiences of cities as spaces of governance, commerce and leisure
    • Develop skills to respond creatively to the urban and demographic changes in cities bought about by communication technologies and practices


    Semester 2

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    L1 Monday 14:00-14:50 29-35, 37-42
    Wednesday 14:00-14:50 29-35, 37-42


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    Attend one stream from
    T1 Wednesday 15:00-15:50 29-33, 35, 37-40
    T2 Wednesday 16:00-16:50 29-33, 35, 37-40
    T3 Thursday 15:00-15:50 29-33, 35, 37-40
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