Spring 2023

Course Syllabus

New Media and Changing Communities B

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Semester & Location:

Spring 2023 - DIS Copenhagen

Type & Credits:

Core Course - 3 credits

Core Course Study Tours:


Major Disciplines:

Communication, Media Studies, Social Entrepreneurship



Faculty Members:

Mie Oehlenschlæger and Nya Oxfeldt Jensen. 

Current Students: please contact your faculty using the canvas inbox function

Time & Place:

Monday and Thursdays, 11:40-13:00

Location: V10-D11

The canvas calendar is updated throughout the semester and course changes will be reflected in the calendar with as much notice as possible.

Denmark is the most digital country in the EU, and every day Danish citizens use new media technologies designed in Silicon Valley, US. Thus, it is relevant to ask how these online products and services correlate with democracy and communities on both sides of the Atlantic?

The ambition of this course is to understand the historical and contemporary importance of media in relation to culture and politics both in the US and the EU. We hone your critical media literacy and examine how both new and existing communities are imagined, constructed and represented in online media technologies.

The internet facilitates the opportunity to search for information, engage in political activism, connect with friends and distant family, engage in new communities, stay curious and much more. However, the digital technologies behind new digital media forms are also new means of power in the hands of Big Tech that aim to shape and direct our attention.

We will critically examine the business models and technologies behind new forms of media and investigate how politicians and the global society try to keep Big Tech in check. All of this with a view to the implications on your lived really. 

Learning Objectives   

By the end of this  course, you will be able to:

  1. Understand the media then and now. What do we mean by  'media', 'new media',  'digital media', media platforms', 'digital technologies' etc. Who get to decide this - and why does that even matter?
  2. Critically reflect on the intersection between contemporary online business models and power. 
  3. Discern between affordances of 'digital' versus 'analogue'. 
  4. Demonstrate mastery of course material and reflect on how it applies to your lived reality and future career.

Teaching Methods 

This course will be taught using a combination of methods. There is a strong emphasis on participation and class discussions and while I am responsible for the overall structure of the class, all of us will contribute to the production of knowledge. Although there are some lectures and guest lectures, the class will mainly be student driven through (small and large) group work and debates. 

Overall, the aim is to create a classroom space characterized by respect and willingness to listen/consider others’ perspectives, where it is safe to explore ideas together and individually, even when they are not fully conceptualized or thought through. This requires a great amount of trust in each other and a willingness and curiosity to consider each other’s arguments.

Required Readings 

Course readings are found on Canvas. Before each class, you are expected to read the texts and watch the films/videos assigned for the class.

Expectations of the Students

I put a very strong emphasis on participation and active listening both in class - but especially when we are on study tours, fields visits etc. This is reflected in the grading scheme below.


**To be eligible for a passing grade in this class you must complete all of the assigned work**

Media production 40%
Participation and engagement 30%
Final paper 30%
Total 100%

A word about grades 

I realize that grades are important to you, but try not to let your anxiety about grades deter you from taking intellectual risks and learning just for the joy of learning. I do not grade to punish or reward you just as my grade is not an indication of my evaluation of you as a person. I grade you to give you my honest assessment of your academic performance. 


Below are a few examples of the readings from this course. You will find all the readings in the calendar. Please notice they are alle subject to change. 

  • McLuhan (1964) excerpt from "Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man"

  • Shoshana Zuboff (2015), Big other: surveillance capitalism and the prospects of an information civilization.

Academic Regulations  

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on:


DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia -

Course Summary:

Date Details Due