Spring 2022 - CMNS 830 G100

Media & Cultural Studies (5)

Class Number: 3201

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    SSCK 8652, Burnaby



Examines current debates in media and cultural studies, including hegemony, biopower, affect, subjectivity, cultures of capitalism and cultures of resistance.


Simply put, the field of cultural studies offers strategies of critique that name and understand power. Historically, the field has often worked to make "transparent" real conditions, positioning knowing researchers in privileged positions of naming, describing, and making meaning out of systems. But, as Katherine McKittrick writes in Dear Science (Duke, 2021), "Description is not liberation" (39). We need fundamentally interdisciplinary, relational, curious, rebellious theories of media and culture. And so, this course is built around work that begins from another premise: that cultural studies helps us to imagine alternative ways of knowing, in the margins, interstices, and opaque locations and modalities through which culture is lived and made. Towards this goal, we will spend time with contemporary work that is organized around disruptive and imaginative modes for understanding and responding to media and culture, and the assumptions and routines that often ground knowledge production. The course is organized around key concepts that organize our inquiry: affect, archive, living and dying, refusal, transparency and opacity, and care. The central question animating the course, which we will return to each week is: “What does theory do for cultural studies?”




  • Short Paper 25%
  • Term Paper 50%
  • Presentation 15%
  • Contributions to Seminar 10%



Course readings will be made available as PDFs through the course CANVAS site.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

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


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.