Fall 2019 - CMNS 310 E100

Media and Modernity (4)

Class Number: 10570

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 7:30 PM – 10:20 PM
    HCC 1800, Vancouver

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 12, 2019
    11:59 PM – 11:59 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    Two of CMNS 210, 221, 240.



An examination of the social and cultural influences of media on western social thought with particular reference to the emergence of the concept of modernity. This includes a review of nineteenth and early twentieth century criticisms of modernity associated with romanticism, Marxism, cultural conservatism, fascism, and non-Western social thought.



This course examines the emergence of modernity and some of the critical responses to it in western social thought from the eighteenth century to the twentieth century. The course begins with a general discussion of the concept of modernity and modern western societies. We will then examine the importance of modernity with respect to a number of important debates in the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Examples include: liberalism, the public sphere, socialism, media, capitalism and ideology. The course also introduces students to Marxism, some non-Marxist critiques of modernity, and early twentieth century critiques of modernity which draw on both the Marxist and non-Marxist traditions.


  • Tutorial Presentation and Participation 20%%
  • Writing Assessment and Goals 0%%
  • Writing Assignment #1 25%%
  • Writing Assignment #2 (Optional) 25% or 0%%
  • Writing Assignment #3 (Option for Longer Assignment) 30% or 55%%


The school expects that the grades awarded in this course will bear some reasonable relation to established university-wide practices with respect to both levels and distribution of grades. In addition, the School will follow Policy S10.01 with respect to Academic Integrity, and Policies S10.02, S10.03 and S10.04 as regards Student Discipline. [Note: as of May 1, 2009 the previous T10 series of policies covering Intellectual Honesty (T10.02) and Academic Discipline (T10.03) have been replaced with the new S10 series of policies.]


A minimum 2.25 CMNS CGPA and 2.00 overall CGPA, and approval as a communication student is required for entry into most communication upper division courses.



There is no single required text for the course. We will read selections from a variety of books available from electronic sources or placed on reserve in the library.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html