Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 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.

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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.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitCommunications and Media Studies
OfferedCaulfield Second semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Jinna Tay


The unit has a fieldtrip component - see the [http://artsonline.monash.edu.au/currentstudents/[field-tripshttp://artsonline.monash.edu.au/currentstudents/[field-trips (http://artsonline.monash.edu.au/currentstudents/[field-trips)/]] page for further information


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.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 288 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study