ARTS 2004 - Arts Masterclass: Visiting International Academics

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2020

Persona Studies: the performance of identity through media Taught by world-leading persona studies researcher Prof. P. David Marshall, this course will give students an advanced understanding of the history, theory, practice, and impact of strategic identity performance and digital identity produced by celebrities, brands, politicians, and the broader public. Whereas many approaches to media and communication have tended to focus on the production of highly mediated and high quality forms of production that are generated by large entertainment industries ? television, film, news, or public relations, for example ? this course will be a study of the particular change in the structure of our forms of media and communication, in which the individual is privileged as one of the key centres of meaning contemporary online culture. Drawing on examples as diverse as arts, digital games, influencer culture, and law, the course will trace the ways that the performance of self has shifted in form and function in response to the decentralisation of media technology and production. Students will use research, methods and theory developed in the emerging field of Persona Studies to investigate this media communication transformation. The course is divided into 3 main parts. Part one, `Mapping the historical constitution of self and collective in past and current forms of media and communication?, will work from the historical to the contemporary in considering the mediated constitution of the self and the collective. Part two, `The Mediatization and its Curation: Persona Online?, explores the ways that we reproduce ourselves in online spaces, and the implications of those reproductions. Part three, `Analysing persona?, will introduce students to a variety of methods of analysis through case studies on gamers, artists, scientists, doctors/surgeons, lawyers, and emerging professions.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ARTS 2004
    Course Arts Masterclass: Visiting International Academics
    Coordinating Unit Arts Faculty Office
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week for 6 weeks
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of Level I undergraduate study
    Assessment Minor assessment: in-class presentation (30%), Major assessment: essay (60%), Participation (10%)
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Kim Barbour

    This course will be taught by Professor P. David Marshall. Prof Marshall holds a Professorship and Personal Chair in New Media, Communication and Cultural Studies at Deakin University in Melbourne Australia. He is the world-leading scholar in the study of celebrity and public personality systems. Along with many articles and book chapters, Professor Marshall’s books include Persona Studies: An Introduction (2019), Advertising and Promotional Cultures: Case Histories (Palgrave, 2018), Celebrity and Power (Minnesota, 2nd edition 2014), Celebrity Persona Pandemic (Minnesota, 2016), New Media Cultures (Oxford Arnold, 2004), Web Theory (2003) and Fame Games (Cambridge, 2000). His edited or co-edited books include A Companion to Celebrity (Blackwell-Wiley, 2016), Contemporary Publics (Palgrave, 2016), and The Celebrity Culture Reader (Routledge, 2006). His current research has focussed on the concept of persona and the now associated sub-field of Persona Studies which investigates the strategic construction of the public display of the self, both in its online forms and in other transforming contexts. His forthcoming research and publications include: the General Editor of the 6-volume Cultural History of Fame (for Bloomsbury Academic), and the future book Emoji Culture and Gestural Communication (McGill Queens University Press, 2020). His expertise has led to interviews published in many newspapers including the New York Times, Globe and Mail and the Sydney Morning Herald as well as appearances on other legacy media including the BBC, CNN, Fox News, the ABC and many other media outlets around the world. Professor Marshall has also appeared in the recent documentary film about celebrity called Big in Japan (2017). Along with occasionally publishing more journalistic articles and other media, he maintains a very intermittent personal blog at 
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Demonstrate an understanding of inter-disciplinary scholarship
    2 Identify, analyse and communicate the international perspectives of knowledge
    3 Critically analyse a variety of written and/or visual texts
    4 Apply creative approaches to learning and knowledge acquisition
    5 Independently research and present a large project
    University Graduate Attributes

    No information currently available.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Required course textbook is
    Marshall, PD, Moore, C, and Barbour, K (2020) Persona Studies: an Introduction. Wiley Blackwell.
    This is available for purchase through online bookstores in both hardcopy (hardback or paperback) and as an e-book - ensure you have access to a copy by the first class.

    Additional readings and other learning material will be available through MyUni.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Arts Masterclasses are taught in an intensive mode, with up to 6 hours of class time a week for the first six weeks of semester taught by the visiting academic, and guided independent study for the remaining time.

    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Seminar Topic
    1 Introduction: What is Persona Studies and how does it relate to Media and Communication?
    2-4 Part One: Mapping the historical constitution of self and collective in past and current forms of media and communication
    5-7 Part Two: The Mediatization and its Curation: Persona Online
    8-11 Analysing Persona
    12 Conclusion & Presentations
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting
    Minor assessment - in-class presentation Formative/summative 35%
    Major assessment - research essay Summative 55%
    Active participation 10%
    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

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    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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  • Policies & Guidelines
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