Analysing Transnational and Intercultural Meaning: Images and Film/Language, Texts and Discourse

Module code: ML2010

Module co-ordinator: Dr Christian Morgner

Module Aims

The module aims to introduce students to the field of media and cultural research. It will identify and outline the key aspects of investigation within the field. It will provide students with an understanding of the key theoretical approaches that can be employed to examine the field. Students will be made aware of the distinct thematic and analytical concerns of each approach. The process of research design will be explained and the relationship between research questions and theoretical and methodological choices will be examined. Particular emphasis will be put on examining these issues in relation to the fields of cross-cultural and intercultural communication research.

The first part of the course is devoted to methodologies which concern images and moving images. This will include a range of different materials, for instance, the use of pictures and photography in magazines in different countries, iconic images and their representation across different media and cultures and TV footage and news reels reporting on similar issues, but in different cultural formats. The second part of the course is devoted to methodologies which concern the use of language, texts and discourses. This will include the analysis of various resources, for instance, the use of linguistic strategies when communicating across cultures (campaigns, localised websites), globalisation and language in the media (global English) and the discourses and narrative strategies used in news reporting in different countries.

Teaching and Learning Methods

  • Weekly two-hour practical classes and workshops combing methods and their application
  • Private study comprising: guided reading and preparation associated with classes; student self-directed reading


  • Presentation of a particular methodology and related empirical material (30%)
  • 1,500 word analysis for an empirical piece of intercultural or cross cultural communication material (images or texts) (70%)

Set Texts

No set texts. Readings will be prescribed in line with the requirements of the lectures/seminars.

Recommended Background Reading and Additional Resources

An Introduction to Film Analysis (Ryan & Lenos 2012)
Imagery in the 21st Century (Grau 2011)
Images: A Reader (Sunil & Piper 2006)
Handbook of Visual Communication (Smith 2005)
The Television Studies Reader (Allen & Hill 2004)
Visual Studies (Elkins 2003)
Qualitative Research Methods for Media Studies (Brennen 2012)
Training Global Players: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Field of Intercultural Business Communication (Zotzmann 2011)
Global Media Discourse (Machin & Leeuwen 2007)
News Production: Theory and Practice (Machin 2006)
Practical Research Methods for Media and Cultural Studies: Making People Count (Messenger Davies & Mosdell 2006)
Analysing Media Texts (Gillespie & Toynbee 2006)
Semiotics and Communication: Signs, Codes, Cultures (Leeds-Hurwitz 1993)