Welcome to the Audiences and Spectatorship Project!
I look forward to getting to know you over the coming weeks and to hearing about your experiences both as audience members yourselves, and as audience and spectatorship researchers. We all participate as audience members all the time – sometimes perhaps without consciously thinking of ourselves as part of ‘an audience’ – this module encourages you to think critically and reflectively about the many processes that contribute to our experiences as
audiences, the ways in which screen media speak to us to construct us as audiences and how film scholarship has distinguished between ‘spectators’ and ‘audiences’.
We will explore how the concept of spectatorship has been such a key critical concern for Film Studies, and how long standing interest in ‘the spectator’ since the 1970s has been increasingly met in more recent years by scholarship on fandom and audiences. Looking at a variety of case studies (which reflect on topics including ‘effects’ theory; audiences and memory; fan behaviours; the reception of cult media; exhibition spaces; historical audiences and cinema-going) this module interrogates some of the major paradigms and models which have been central to understanding screen spectators and audiences. At the end you will have the opportunity to write either a critical essay or to conduct your own original audience research project in the final assessment.
The module builds on some of the critical approaches you will have encountered at HE1. But at the same time, it provides invaluable experience in planning and conducting independent research, in preparation for HE3 and the workplace.
By the end of this module you will:
Brooker, Will and Jermyn, Deborah (2002) (eds) The Audience Studies Reader (London: Routledge) offers a concise overview of a number of issues covered on this module, including some of the canonical texts in audience studies.
An invaluable resource for new audience work published in the last decade, that you are encouraged to browse and read at length, is Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies. You will find this features many interesting and diverse accounts of contemporary audience research projects in the broad field of film and media, available at
A note on the module’s films and TV texts Please note that watching the module’s screening material is not optional. You are expected to attend the whole of the session. Screenings may not always be scheduled at the start of the session – therefore you need to be in attendance from the start to ensure you don’t miss any taught material.
A note on the module schedule and module updates You will see that the kinds of meetings/activities we cover on the
module vary week by week – please be attentive to the requirements and activities we’ll be undertaking on a week by week basis, so you know where you need to be, what you need to prepare and who you’ll be meeting with.
As part of this attentiveness, please look at the Moodle site in advance of class on a weekly basis as any updates will be posted there on the ‘News Forum’ – while group emails to students via Moodle will also be used, these have not always proven 100% reliable.Order Now