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MFCO223 Documentary and Reality Media

The politics and aesthetics of representing reality through documentary, reality television and social media.

This paper is a historical analysis of documentary film in conjunction with contemporary reality media, including television and the internet. It will trace the technical and social transformations of documentary and reality media practice from the development of hand-held cameras and synchronous sound to digital imaging, remediation and transmedia participation. The paper will also explore the ethical, ideological and philosophical implications of different approaches to documenting reality. Assessments will involve both critical and creative projects with documentary practices.

Paper title Documentary and Reality Media
Paper code MFCO223
Subject Media, Film and Communication
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $886.35
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,766.35

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Prerequisite
54 points
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science
Eligibility
A basic understanding of film and media analysis
Contact
mfco@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff
Convenor and Lecturer: Dr Kevin Fisher and Dr Rosemary Overell
Paper Structure
Topics include:
  • Definitions and modalities of documentary
  • Documentary movements
  • Televised documentary and the rise of reality media
  • Reality media and the internet
Assessment:
  • Concept test: 20%
  • Critical essay: 30%
  • Creative project: 20%
  • Final exam: 30%
Textbooks
Course readings on Blackboard
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  • Communicate effectively in written, visual and verbal form regarding documentary theory and practice.
  • Critically evaluate arguments and positions regarding the functions and effects of documentary and reality media.
  • Demonstrate a cultural understanding of the expression of identity and difference (ethnic, racial, gender, sexual orientation) through documentary and reality media, with an emphasis on the bicultural context of Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Grasp the ethical issues embedded in the various modes of documentary and reality media practice.
  • Demonstrate environmental and general information literacy regarding claims around the presentation of factual data on issues such as climate change and social justice within documentary and reality media.

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Timetable

First Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Film Screening

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
A1 Thursday 10:00-12:50 9-16, 18-22

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
A1 Monday 11:00-11:50 9-16, 18-22
Wednesday 09:00-09:50 9-16, 18-22

Tutorial

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Wednesday 13:00-13:50 10-13, 15-16, 18-19, 21-22
A2 Wednesday 15:00-15:50 10-13, 15-16, 18-19, 21-22

The politics and aesthetics of representing reality through documentary, reality television and social media.

This paper addresses notions of representation, mediatisation and authenticity in contemporary mediated communications. It looks at the cultural politics of documenting reality primarily through social media and reality television. These sites will be analysed as a nexus where questions of what constitutes reality are (re)produced and disseminated within socio-cultural and institutional contexts. The course accounts for the history of mediations of reality and addresses contemporary challenges to established definitions, categories and assumptions regarding what it means to represent reality.

Paper title Documentary and Reality Media
Paper code MFCO223
Subject Media, Film and Communication
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for 2020 have not yet been set
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

^ Top of page

Prerequisite
54 points
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science
Eligibility
A basic understanding of film and media analysis
Contact
mfco@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff

Convenor and Lecturer: Dr Rosemary Overell

Paper Structure

Topics include:

  • Social constructionism and ‘reality’
  • Realism, mediation and ideology
  • The affects and effects of reality media
  • Reflexive subjects and reality media

Assessment:

  • Assignment 1: Concept Test (25%)
  • Assignment 2: Critical Essay with Creative Option (35%)
  • Take Home Exam (40%)
Textbooks
Course readings on Blackboard
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  • Communicate effectively in written, visual and verbal form regarding reality media theory and practice.
  • Critically evaluate arguments and positions regarding the functions and effects of reality media.
  • Demonstrate a cultural understanding of the expression of identity and difference (ethnic, racial, gender, sexual orientation) through  reality media, with an emphasis on the bicultural context of Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Grasp the ethical issues embedded in the various modes of  reality media practice.
  • Demonstrate environmental and general information literacy regarding claims around the presentation of factual data on issues such as social justice within reality media.

^ Top of page

Timetable

First Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Film Screening

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
A1 Thursday 10:00-12:50 9-15, 17-22

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
A1 Monday 11:00-11:50 9-15, 17, 19-22
Wednesday 09:00-09:50 9-15, 17-22

Tutorial

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Wednesday 13:00-13:50 10-13, 15, 17-19, 21-22
A2 Wednesday 15:00-15:50 10-13, 15, 17-19, 21-22