Taking Courses in London

Semester Courses

In partnership with Goldsmiths University of London, the Temple London program incorporates 13 weeks of study on Goldsmiths campus in southeast London.

Each student must enroll in

  • 2 Temple faculty-led courses, and
  • A minimum of 2 courses with local faculty from Goldsmiths University of London

Temple Faculty-Led Course

Each Temple student will enroll in two courses with a Temple faculty member to help them contextualize their experiences in London in a broad, academic manner. The Temple faculty member will teach one special topics course that relates to their area of expertise while the second course would focus on representation in British mass media. Course descriptions are included below.

Goldsmiths Courses

All courses listed below are offered during the fall semester, and students must select their top 10 choices of the following courses offered at Goldsmiths University of London. All students must register for a minimum of 12 credits to be eligible for financial aid and be in compliance with U.K. laws.

Archaeology of the Moving Image: In order to be able to make sense of what is happening now in our culture of moving images, we need to understand its past. This course situates itself within the emerging field of inquiry called “media archaeology,” which searches through the archives in order to account for the forces that make up the contemporary world. The course will look at the deep history of audiovisual mediations through specific “turning points” so as to understand the recurrent forces, motives and forms of experience that have animated the movement of images for the past 400 years.

Culture, Society and the Individual: Investigate some of the key changes in society, from family, love and intimacy to education and welfare. You’ll also receive sessions from other Goldsmiths academics including Chris Brauer (Institute of Management Studies) and Angela Phillips (Media and Communications). Throughout the module students are encouraged to reflect on their own work experience in creative worlds.

Embodiment and Experience: Students will draw from an exciting interdisciplinary field of body studies, which crosses the arts, sciences and cultural theory. The theories and concepts we consider will allow us to consider all the ways in which media touch our lives in registers that exceed rational, conscious experience. As part of the module the student is invited to consider an aspect of their own embodied experience as a topic and resource in order to reflect on the theoretical issues at stake.

Film and the Audiovisual: This module serves as an introduction into the theorising and analysis of film and other audiovisual media. You’ll study an overview of the development of cinematic modes of expression and experience and their key conceptualisations. Topics will range from the realism of cinema to the powers of montage, from cinema's quality as bodily attraction to narrative film forms, as well as from the nature of film spectatorship to novel forms of engagement emerging today. Each lecture will be accompanied by a film screening.

Key Debates in Media Studies: Students will focus on important debates concerning media, power and mediated identity. Students will also examine the different traditions and disciplines that have contributed to media analysis in this area. Students will explore the roles played by ideology, politics and audiences in the making of meaning and requires students to use a critical perspective in the analysis of specific media texts and media events.

Music as Communication and Creative Practice: Why does music matter so much in our lives? This module will concentrate on answering this simple yet complex question through focusing on music and sound as forms of communication. Students are not expected to have technical knowledge or a background in music theory, but they must have an interest in analysing songs and finding their deeper meanings, that go beyond lyrics. An open-mind is a must as students will be listening to a wide variety of music from dubstep to disco to death metal. Students are encouraged to share their own musical examples too, either in class or on the module’s collaborative Spotify playlist.

In this module students will learn to:

  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the key methods which enable us to analyse musical communication and the signifying practices through which sounds, words and images acquire social meaning.
  • Identify the main ways that music has been theorised, and be able to relate these different approaches to various social and historical conditions and processes.
  • Understand how to analyse a wide range of musical forms and styles as sound events and social practices.
  • Critically evaluate the usefulness of specific theoretical ideas and be able to apply these to music that you are familiar with and to music with which you are not so well acquainted.

Media, Modernity and Social Thought: The purpose of this course is to give students the opportunity to gain a basic knowledge of the thought of some of the most prominent social theorists (Marx, Weber, Durkheim and Simmel) and to explore how these works have influenced our understandings of the media, modernity and power. This course provides students with a theoretical map on which to locate some of the key issues confronted in media, communication and cultural studies. 

Media, Memory and Conflict: Media representations of both historic and recent conflicts, social movements and popular struggles play a significant part in the way these events are subsequently remembered and commemorated. Media portrayals are also significant in terms of psychological affect and emotional responses to violence upheaval and social change. Students will be equipped with the skills to understand the relationship between symbolic, mediated aspects of violence and conflict and the underlying social, political and economic processes which may be lost in the process of remembering. Studentsl gain the skills to analyse visual and textual representations of war and social conflict in a variety of media material including newspapers, feature and documentary film, archive newsreels and photographs and digital sources.

Media Law and Ethics: Knowledge and skills to avoid the transgression of defamation and contempt and other principal media laws in the UK, the USA and Australia; An appreciation and ability to critically apply principles of ethical conduct in all fields of the media; A critical understanding of the cultural, social and political context of media law making and professional regulation; A critical appreciation of alternative methods of media law and those factors contributing to self-regulation by media practitioners.

Mobile Journalism: This is a practice based module aimed at teaching students how to create journalistic video content using a mobile phone or similar device. Students will learn the practical and editorial skills involved in recording video with sound and editing content to produce multimedia journalism.

Students will also learn how to identify stories with potential for mobile journalism and how to upload and configure their work for social media and online publication.

Race, Empire and Nation: Consider how histories of Western imperialism have shaped the landscapes of the present. Our task is to explore how contemporary racial and national formations (ideas about ‘Britishness’, ‘whiteness’, and so on) exist in a complex and intimate relationship to longer histories of empire. In addition to introducing key concepts from critical race and postcolonial studies, lectures will also draw on phenomenology to explore how race structures the present often by receding into the background, as well as theories of affect and emotion to explore how security regimes become racial regimes. Our concern is with how histories of empire ‘get under the skin,’ and set reading include works that reflect on the experience of being or becoming strangers, or ‘bodies out of place.’ Students attend to the intersection between race, gender and sexuality throughout.

Structure of Contemporary Political Communication: Examine the actors and communication processes involved in contemporary political communication, in its local, national and international contexts through this module. It combines theoretical insights and empirical information from the fields of media studies, journalism, sociology and political science. It mainly focuses on democracies, particularly in the US and UK, but literature and examples are also drawn from other types of political system and country.

Topics covered include: The crisis of politics and media in established democracies; public sphere theory; comparative political and media systems; mass media, news production and the future of news; political parties, from ideologies to political marketing; elections and referendums; government media management, mediatisation and populist politics; historical and cultural political communication; forms of public participation and public opinion; media effects and audiences; policy-making, lobbying and power; economics, austerity and the financial crisis; digital media and online politics; interest group campaigning, lobbying and environmental/welfare policy.

Understanding Advertising: This module explores the changing world of advertising and examines its growing prominence in the media and in wider society. It begins by investigating the origins of advertising in consumer capitalism and by developing an understanding of the main theoretical approaches to: advertising as a persuasive industry; as a set of socio-economic practices; and as media texts and cultural objects. The module looks at the fundamental role that advertising plays in financing media and in shaping media and cultural production. We also examine the centrality of celebrity in the growth of advertising and promotional content and the way that celebrity-centred business models, which anchor aesthetic values to marketing concerns, are now widespread throughout media and society. The second half of the module examines new developments in advertising with the rise of the internet and the growth of digital media, including: new models of online advertising based on algorithms and big data; the growth of celebrity and micro-celebrity as a promotional tools, as a way of engaging consumers emotions in our age of ad blocking; the challenges of advertising regulation online; and the blurring of lines between creative content and promotional content, news/factual content and sponsored content, and the rise of native advertising. The module also examines the recent and ongoing convergence in the advertising and promotional industries, the growth of huge multinationals that now dominate and asks you to consider the consequences of the concentration of economic power in an increasingly monopolistic industry, and its growing control over content creation. This module asks you to critically examine the impact of the growth and power of advertising for our media, culture and society.

Summer Courses

All students must enroll in the following two courses for the faculty-led summer 2019 term.

Faculty Program Leaders

Fall 2019: Ali Castellini, Media Studies and Production
Professor Castellini is a multi-media veteran with 20+ years experience in commercial and non-commercial media, including leading one of the first US digital entertainment groups (CDNow). She produced and hosted national shows for Dick Clark (Today’s Women) and for NPR (World Café).

She was a leader and change agent in the post--1996 Telecom Act deregulation, managing format changes and market growth for companies in various large markets. 

Professor Castellini earned a BS in Media Management at Miami University (OH) and an MSOD at University of Pennsylvania.   She focuses her research on creating a new model for media distribution and is passionate about education and owls!

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