Exploring New Perspectives on Digital Media

The Digital Cultures and Industries Track of the MA in Global Communications program at AUP takes a hybrid approach to examining something students are often already immersed in: digital media.

Global Digital Cultures is a core course of the track that lays a theoretical foundation for critically exploring the greater context of digital technology and leads students to expand their knowledge of digital media through the lens of different cultures, industry examples and impact on identity.

“Digital media is a little like the oxygen we breathe right now. For many of us, we’re inseparable from it. It’s important to interrogate that fact,” says Professor Robert Payne, chair of AUP’s department of communication, media and culture.  

The course provides a framework for students to reflect on their own habits regarding digital technology and evaluate – from a global perspective – the devices and applications that are embedded in modern day-to-day life.

Students dive in “behind the scenes'' of digital industries through course material and an individual research project. This might mean investigating the infrastructure of digital platforms, or another crucial element of technology products: labor conditions. Students analyze various components of digital applications – from user experience and functionality to business and financial models to marketing and ethics.

"The course challenges students to consider new perspectives on identity, asking how the formation of identity, and even how we identify in our bodies, has changed with our immersion in digital media."

– Robert Payne

“Digital media devices are no longer separated from our bodies  – they’re literally attached to our bodies or almost attached to our bodies. This forces us to rethink what digital media means for humanity and what it means to be human,” says Professor Payne.

The Global Digital Cultures class is pertinent for students pursuing careers in the digital sphere and provides an opportunity to prepare for digital career paths.

The digital cultures and industries track examines digital media through both critical theory and practical application. The Global Digital Cultures core course focuses on theory, analysis and research, while courses like Digital Tools in Context combine practical use (learning or even making digital tools) with relevant theory.