Spring 2024 - CMNS 830 G200

Media & Cultural Studies (5)

Class Number: 7974

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Tue, 1:00–4:50 p.m.



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



This seminar is focused on affect theory in media and cultural studies. Affect theory considers the ways non-linguistic forces such as moods, atmospheres, feelings, emotions, and sensations shape culture, experience, and becoming. We will consider how affect factors in mediated cultures and develop a theoretical vocabulary for working with affect theory in our own projects. The first half of the course will focus on the affective turn in cultural studies, which began in the late 1990s, taking a history-of-ideas approach to ask why and how affect emerged as a rupture in this field. The second half of the course will consider contemporary epistemologies that have drawn on affect theory, covering topics including negativity and maladjustment, care and affective labour, sentiment analysis, and anger/rage. We will focus this part of our inquiry on what affect theory offers to the justice-oriented study of minoritized experience. The purpose of the course is to ask and answer, what does affect theory allow us to understand about culture, power, and resistance.  


  • Short Paper 20%
  • Term Paper 40%
  • Seminar Facilitation 20%
  • Regular Contributions to Seminar Meetings ("Participation") 20%


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.] 



All readings will be made available as PDFs 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.

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 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


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.