Faculty of Arts


Watching Television


This course demonstrates the centrality and significance of television historically as well as in contemporary culture. It provides an introduction to the theoretical and methodological traditions of television studies, and explores the historical development and distinctive aesthetic style of television and the digital platforms on which TV shows currently appear. It examines television’s role in the production of individual, national and global identities, and interrogates television’s negotiation of social meanings in the context of everyday practices.

These questions will be addressed through particular themes, including the domestic context and temporality of television, modes of representation, audience reception, reality television, media convergence, cross-media mobility, streaming of “quality” programmes, fandom and the status of television in the digital age. Students will have the opportunity to focus on particular series, technologies and historical contexts.

In this course, you will be encouraged to connect your own everyday experiences of watching television and TV series with academic debates. By the end of the course you should have deepened your understanding of televisual platforms and their relation to contemporary culture as well as developed a scholarly understanding of some key ideas that have structured television studies since its emergence as a field of study in the mid-1970s.

Availability 2019

Not taught in 2019




Coursework only


MEDIA 309: 15.0 points


30 points at Stage II in Media, Film and Television


FTVMS 211, MEDIA 211, FTVMS 309

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