Assessment Two

Assessment Two

Learning outcomes 1-7
Weight 50%
Task Write an essay on one of the topics provided below.
Length 3000 words (any people wanting to respond in a different format — e.g. video, audio, artworks, etc. — must discuss this with their tutor, who will give specific guidelines, including for submission).
Submission You need to submit via Turnitin on the Course Moodle site (link below). Make sure that you have your tutor’s name (and your own name and student number), as well as the time and day of your tutorial listed at the top of your assignment.
Referencing You need to reference your work in the usual way, according to the SAM guidelines, and the UNSW Harvard style.

Feedback: Feedback will be via a rubric in Turnitin. We release this feedback only when we are permitted to by the university. This sometimes takes more time than the usual two weeks.

Essay Topics

Note 1: All essays should draw substantially on the events, examples, ideas, readings and other materials discussed on/in ARTS3091.

Note 2: We prefer on this course not to read essays that are primarily/generally on describing/understanding “social media” (e.g. Facebook etc.) or “mobile phone cultures”. Although we do discuss these in class, this course has other emphases.

That said, if you have something brilliant to say/add, please do.

Please choose one topic only on which to write your essay:

  1. Write your own topic. You must discuss this with your tutor, at least three weeks before the essay is due.They will need to agree to it before you can begin. Choosing your own topic allows you to engage with the task critically and creatively and on your own terms.


  1. How are important changes within media and communications coming together, combining, with other major changes in the world?You could, for example, consider climate change, political change, social organisation, social issues such as equity, diversity and social justice, or any other major event of change in the world. Put another way: how does developing technology/knowledge inform/affect people’s lives in practice/practical terms?
  2. What is the “third media revolution” focusing on in 2021 and how does it demonstrably differ from, expand upon, or shift the experience/focus of the twoprevious media “revolutions” (writing/representation or replication > print/duplication or multiplication)? Choose one or two examples from your engagement with the course that are important, with regard to changes within the broader world. You could, for example, choose from the changes involving: work and money, politics, relationships, social organisation, health, science or education, perception, interaction, more intensely/intensively distributed media and communicational forms; etc. Put another way: to what extent are all world events becoming increasingly media and communicational events?
  3. Consider media in an “expanded field” — media and communications experienced/understood far, far more broadly than even a single generation ago. How much is the entire world one of mediums for the ‘transmission of influences’ (as Alfred Whitehead put it)?Discussing one or two examples of some advanced (/unusual) understandings of where we might find new media and communication practices, or what it is they might do. Put another way: what can “expanded field” examples teach us about media and communications, the world we live in, the lives of others, or perhaps ourselves?
  4. How do different conceptsconcerning what media and communications and, for that matter, people and the world, enable or limit what we can do? Compare at least two different concepts of media and/or communications, drawn from your engagement with the course. How do these reflect different understandings of how the world (and we) can work? How well do they map to different examples of media and communications technics and/or use? Put another way: discuss the question of whether or not some older/prior concepts of media and communications are now outdated and whether or not this is creating problems in the wider world.
  5. What is affect? What difference does it make to think media and communications in terms of affect?Discuss one or two examples of thinking media and communications in terms of affect, including at least one from the emerging “third media revolution”. Be specific in your discussion of both the ideas and the examples.


General Notes

“Advanced media issues” might well mean “contemporary or future-directed media issues” but it does not entirely/exactly have to mean that. You, for example, may be more interested in VR or AI (cool; good one), but you may just as easily be interested in advanced thinking about communication 10,000, or for that matter 10 million years ago (source material may dissipate as you move backwards through the historical record).

Please note that this is largely (guided) self-directed research. Self-directed research and learning is a key skill/attitude to develop both for the workplace and for further academic work. So the criteria are somewhat flexible, depending on your topic.

Criteria for this Assignment

  1. Your researchinto the topic, and your links between the specifics involvedand more general issues.
  2. Your critical thinkingthrough of the issues involved and careful response to them. Note here that “critical thinking” is not just (or even) saying “what’s wrong” with something. “Critical” is much misunderstood as a term. In this course, “critical thinking” means that you need to explore what actually works or what’s valuable in the ideas/events you’re engaged with, as well as what doesn’t work. You need to ask where the ideas could go further, where their limits are (the point at which such ideas cease to be useful), or how they could be modified to be more useful, etc.
  3. Your synthesis(bringing together) of the ideas, practices and issues you’re dealing with into a satisfactory form of expression.
  4. Your demonstrated engagementwith the materials/readings/explorations/ideas for the course.
  5. There is no “right” number of references. You should have done appropriate research, demonstrated your work drawing from the course as a whole, and, just as importantly, have done some careful critical thinking, as above. Nonetheless, referencing in the UNSW Harvard style is one of the criteria.