Course Description

Course Name

Communication and the City

Session: VDNS3122

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

18 200-level MFCO or COMS points

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


The consequences of evolving communication and media technologies for cities, how they are represented, and for urban economies and ways of life.
Bars, petitioners, pollution, racism, skateboards, buses, crime and pigeons are all likely to confront you as you commute to work, home or a place of leisure in your city of residence. City-spaces are sites of negotiation, contestation, vacation and entrapment for city inhabitants as they communicate and share city-space with other residents, businesses, animals and governmental authorities. In MFCO 312, we examine how our experience of cities, their formation and governance, are influenced by communication technologies and practices.

Learning Outcomes
-Articulate how cities have been transformed historically and technologically
-Critically reflect on your own and others' experiences of cities as spaces of governance, commerce and leisure
-Develop skills to respond creatively to the urban and demographic changes in cities bought about by communication technologies and practices

Course Structure
In MFCO 312 you will study cities in relation to four themes:
-Cities and representation: how a city looks, its aesthetics, what it symbolises and whether it is considered beautiful or seedy are invested with political meanings and power relations
-Digital cities: how the economic and cultural reach of cities has been extended beyond the material limits of geography through the rapid development of advanced communication technologies
-Governance and the city: how do communication technologies, policing and surveillance create inclusions and exclusions of different types of citizens and animals within urban spaces?
-Branding the city: how are cities branded, and which aspects of their history, design, culture or population are deemed of value?

-Reading summaries: 10%
-Presentation: 15%
-Walking the city exercise: 30%
-Essay: 40%
-In-class test: 5%

Course reader

*Course content subject to change