SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATION
                                  CMNS 220-3 (J100)
Instructor:    Jody Baker                                                    Spring Semester 2012
Email:                                                        Surrey Evening

                             UNDERSTANDING TELEVISION

Prequisities: CMNS 110 and CMNS 130


Considered by many to be one of the defining social, political and cultural features of post-war
mass consumer culture, it is crucial to establish a basis for the academic study of television.
Taking television seriously means acquiring critical, analytic tools with which to approach it as
institution, as text, and as viewer practice. This course will provide a set of critical concepts to
come to a sophisticated understanding of its communication processes, and its larger cultural and
social functions. We will consider both how social forces shape television, and how TV
represents the social world. Students should be able to apply these concepts in their assigned
work. In this course we will explore a variety of forms such as HBO, reality TV, animated
sitcoms, youtube etc. We will think critically about social representation. We will consider
audiences and the convergence of television and other media. By the end of the course, students
will be familiar with some of the basic debates and critical frameworks of television studies.
Students are expected to do the readings each week in advance of the class, and come prepared to

Required Text:

The instructor will provide links to pdf articles through the SFU library.


Short Paper #1                              10%
Short Paper 32                              15%
Final Essay                                 30%
Final Exam (TBA)                            25%
Participation/presentation                  20%

Assignments handed in late may be penalized.

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).

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