Spring 2023 - CMNS 286 E100

Selected Topics (3)

Media & Identity

Class Number: 1360

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 4:30 PM – 6:20 PM
    RCB 6101, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 21, 2023
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
    WMC 3511, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    Nine CMNS units with a minimum grade of C-.



Analysis of a particular topic in the general area of communication. This course can be repeated for credit up to a maximum of three times, if topic studied is different.


This course introduces the idea of "social position:" that all media are created and interpreted from and through specific perspectives and experiences of the world. Media and public discourse are shaped through various axes of social position that include gender, race, sexuality, ability and other markers of identity. This course explores elements that intersect to construct social position, how social position informs and shapes an individual’s perspective and relationship to larger collectives, and the role of social position in mediated representation.

When marginalized groups or identity-based groups form around political demands in specific historical moments, they adopt new representational strategies and tactics, and produce new material texts. What activates a group’s coherence? What social positions engendered these representations? Who are the thinkers and theories, and what are the methods, for understanding them? This course challenges historical and often problematic representations of minorities and marginalized populations in media, popular culture and public discourse by engaging with multiple theoretical and methodological traditions from Indigenous, Black, feminist, critical race, trans, queer, and disability studies. Through course readings, assignments, and class discussions, we will consider: 1) how we perceive, interpret, and understand representation, 2) construct self-representation, and 3) how our fluid experiences of self and contexts inform the process and outcomes of inquiry.


  • Tutorial Attendance & Participation 15%
  • Lecture Attendance & Participation 10%
  • Reading Response 30%
  • Midterm 20%
  • Final Exam 25%



Course readings will be made available online via Canvas.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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