Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitCommunications and Media Studies
OfferedMalaysia First semester 2014 (Day)
Caulfield Second semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Jinna Tay


The unit introduces students to theories and fields of practice organised around 'getting attention' in and through the media. It focuses particularly on celebrity and fashion as two paradigmatic fields in which this is central. It provides students with a theoretical and historical understanding of publicity as a general field, from the emergence of the movie star and the development of magazine journalism to celebrity Twitter feeds and contemporary public relations. It will consider arguments about the 'noise' or 'clutter' of contemporary media and the increasing importance of an 'attention economy'. It will also introduce some of the major fields of professional practice which have developed around publicity.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate a theoretical understanding of the way in which attention is gained in communication and the media.
  2. show a knowledge of the historical development of celebrity and fashion.
  3. identify a range of professional practices organised around publicity.
  4. recognise arguments about increasing 'noise' and 'clutter' in contemporary media and the relevance of the concept of an 'attention economy'.
  5. develop practical responses to problems of gaining attention in the media, including its ethical dimension.


Analytical essay (3500 words): 30%
Fashion/celebrity case study (3500 words): 30%
Visual map/exhibition: 20%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

2 hours (one 2 hour seminar) per week plus 10-15 hours of independent study (reading, preparing assignments, research).