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COURSE NAME: "Global Media"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Summer Session II 2019

INSTRUCTOR: Nicholas Boston
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MTWTH 1:30-3:20 PM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: COM 220

This course is an introduction to the current debate around the relationship between globalization and the media. By linking theoretical conceptions with hands-on empirical research and analysis, students will develop a richer and multi-layered perspective around the increasingly relevant yet contested notion of globalization, and specifically on the role that the media have in advancing, challenging and representing social, political and cultural change across multiple regions of the world.

The first part of the course will provide students with an introduction to the historical context of global communication and will introduce the key theoretical debates around globalization and culture. The expansion of media and telecommunications corporations within the process of deregulation and liberalization will be studied with particular reference to the impact of such growth on audiences in different cultural contexts and from regional, national and international perspectives. During the second part of the course will of focus on selected case studies of media flows from the West to rest of the world and we will discuss how theory addresses the complexities of such globalization of western media. Afterwards we will explore the so-called “counter-flows” of global media, emanating from non-western countries, which destabilise the imperialist perspective on globalization. Through a few selected case studies, the analysis will focus on the local uses of the so-called ‘diasporic media’ that, moving in a counter-flow, offer new ways of understanding the local uses of media in terms of agency and identity formation. The last part of the semester will be focused on the internet and how its usage has changed global media communications.



The course aims to encourage students to understand the central role of the media in shaping contemporary culture and the communicative practices involved in this process. By the end of the course, students should have acquired advanced competence in the field of media and globalization theory in order to be able to critically discuss the main theoretical approaches in the field and how these key approaches relate to one another. Students will also be able to analyse newly emerging forms of culture and identity based on the experience of cosmopolitanism, hybridity and diaspora in relation to media forms such as networked media and films.



In-class quizzes 20
Midterm Exam 25
Final Exam  25
Participation  10
Attendance 5
Presentation 15

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.


Please consider that frequent unexcused absences will affect your grade. Students who will miss more than three classes without an adequate justification will have the final grade for the course dropped by one letter grade. Students who arrive in class more than 15 minutes late will be marked as absent. Lateness will of course affect the final grade. Every student is expected to do the readings when required and actively participate in class discussion. All the reading materials and course assignments will be posted on the class website. Students are expected to regularly check the class website for updates.

The use of laptop computers and other electronic devices during class is NOT permitted.

Please note that participation counts for 10% of your grade in this course. It means that you will be graded on your actual participation in class activities and discussions.

Here are the behaviors that count:

  • Asking questions;
  • Answering questions;
  • Making comments (extra points for comments that relate to material in the text, and for sharing relevant experiences).


Here are the value-added behaviors -the ones the put your contributions over the top:

  • Responding to something another student says (including answering a question asked by a student);
  • Constructively disagreeing with something in the text or said in class by me or another student.


And there are behaviors to avoid:

  • Not listening;
  • Pretending to be listening while texting or cruising online;
  • Making fun or otherwise berating something said by another person.



As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.


 This is a preliminary schedule. Some screenings and readings listed here might be subjected to change 

  • Week 1 Course Overview and introduction.


The historical context of media globalization

Introduction to media theory

Questions of globalization, media and identity politics

Readings: Thussu, ch.1 & 2

  • Week 2


The global communication infrastructure

Readings: Thussu, ch.3 & 4; Edward Said, from Orientalism; Frantz Fanon from A Dying Colonialism; other readings TBD


  • Week 3


Review and Midterm Exam – The Local and the Global in Media Culture

Readings: Thussu, ch. 5 + Thussu, ‘From MacBride to Murdoch’; Amir Hetsroni, Globalization and knowledge hierarchy through the eyes of a quiz show; Kraidy, Reality TV in the Arab World

  • Week 4 Introduction: Media Counter-flows


Readings: Thussu, ch. 6; Mohamed Zayani: ‘Introduction –Al Jazeera and the Vicissitudes of the New Arab

Mediascape’; Jigna Desai and Rajinder Dudrah: “Introduction: The Essential Bollywood”; Brian Larkin, Itineraries of Indian cinema: African Videos, Bollywood and Global Media; Zina Saro-Wiva, No Going Back; Lobato, ‘Lessons from Nollywood’


  • Week 5 Counter-flows II


Readings: Youna Kim, The Rising East Asian ‘Wave’: Korean Media Go Global’; Naomi Sakr, Diversity and Diaspora in Europe; Thussu, ch. 7.

Review and Final Exam