ATS3917 - Representing war: Censorship, propaganda and art - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Kevin Foster


Associate Professor Kevin Foster

Not offered in 2018


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.




From semaphore to the silicon chip, advances in communication technology have re-shaped the public's access to and understanding of conflict. This access and understanding has been correspondingly shaped by developments in censorship and propaganda that have resulted in an array of responsive artistic reactions in literature, film, photography and the visual arts. This unit will examine how the advent of new communications technology - the mass circulation newspaper, the telegraph, photography, the newsreel, radio, television, cable television, the internet and the mobile telephone - has re-framed the public's perceptions war and how this has been reflected in an array of literary, cinematic, photographic and other artistic responses. Through an analysis of wars from the Crimea to Afghanistan the unit will examine how communications technology, censorship, literary and other artistic responses have influenced and fed off one another to shape the representation and perception of conflict.


Upon successful completion of the unit students will be able to:

  1. identify and appraise the key communications innovations, forms of censorship and forms of propaganda in the major wars from the nineteenth to the early twenty- first century;
  2. situate, explain and appraise the literary, cinematic, photographic and other artistic responses to these conflicts;
  3. explain the principal effects of these technologies and the responses to them on public perceptions of each of these conflicts;
  4. explain and analyse how new communications technologies shape media practice on the battlefield;
  5. utilise well-developed oral and written communication skills;
  6. undertake unsupervised research in libraries, special collections and among peers.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 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

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