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The University of Southampton

ARTD6153 Digital Cultures

Module Overview

Digital Cultures is an elective module covering a broad range of topics relating to the encounter with digital environments, audiovisual content and the aesthetics and politics of media technologies in historical and contemporary contexts. This module introduces you to key concepts, themes and debates within digital cultures. The aim is to develop your critical and independent understandings of digital media environments, their political-economic and cultural contexts and their relationship to art, design and management practices.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • a selected range of critical concepts with applications to the analysis of digital cultures;
  • contexts, issues and debates relating to the cultures of digital technologies, their use, practices, historical and contemporary discourses;
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate a depth of critical and analytical thinking in relation to digital cultures, their theories and philosophies;
  • analyse, evaluate and make informed judgements regarding theoretical perspectives on topics such as networks and the internet, mobile media, screen culture and the relation between the analog and the digital.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • articulate complex ideas at an advanced level through a variety of oral, written and digital formats;
  • effectively manage your own workload, meet deadlines and work independently.


This module offers grounding for a critical analysis of digital cultures by engaging with debates, concepts, historical and contemporary examples. As such, it offers a cultural approach to networks, digital environments and technologies, arguing that digital cultures are underpinned but cannot be reduced to these dimensions. Possible concepts and themes of the module include technologies of the self, debates around knowledge and power in networked media, resistance and digital activism, cyber-feminism(s) and techno-feminism, digital screen cultures, digital sonic environments, games and gaming cultures, the post-digital, virtual reality, interactive documentaries. You will be encouraged to independently access and select material from online sources to assist you in determining an appropriate perspective from within an art and design context.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

You will learn through a range of learning activities such as: Teaching Methods • Lectures • Seminars • Tutorials • Practice-research workshops Learning Activities • Lectures • Tutorials • Contributions to group discussions • Online research and reading • Peer group learning Relationship between the teaching, learning and assessment methods and the planned learning outcomes This module’s learning and teaching methods are designed to challenge you and help you broaden your critical understanding of a range of key issues associated with digital cultures in order to enable you to explore them further as part of your subject-specific practice. The formal assessment will be a digital illustrated essay on the university digital resource- efolio. In addition, you will keep a digital learning log (also on efolio) in which you reflect on your learning and practice in relation to the themes discussed, as part of your formative development. Formative feedback will be given on the logs to help you prepare for the final assessment. The Digital illustrated essay will be an academic piece of writing (using Harvard referencing) responding to one of the twelve essay questions linked to different topics of the module. The blog format will enhance the kind of visual materials students can use when responding to the question. You will be encouraged to embed videos, hyperlink to sources, add illustrations, infographics and any other illustrative material you find useful. Workshops and tutorials will be provided during the module to help you develop the skills to complete the illustrated essay assignment.

Independent Study174
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Bolter, J. D and Grusin, R. (1999). Remediation: Understanding New Media. 

E. Huhtamo and J. Parikka (2011). Media Archaeology. 

E-Flux Journal.

Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology.


Lister, M. et al. (2009). New Media: A Critical Introduction. 

Kember, S. and Zylinska, J. (2012). Life After New Media: Mediation as a Vital Process. 


Scan: Journal of Media, Arts, Culture.

Wired-magazine (UK).

Haraway, D. (1991). Simians, Cyborgs and Women. 

Photomediations Machine.

Institute of Network Cultures.

Refugia: A Subrosa Project.




Peer Group Feedback


MethodPercentage contribution
Digital Illustrated Essay  (3000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Digital Illustrated Essay  (3000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Digital Illustrated Essay  (3000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional reading text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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