thesis

Poetry Online

abstract: 

This thesis identifies aspects of an ideal poetry website. The way poems are defined and various poetry criticism positions poetry as an artform that takes advantage and references the medium through which it is produced. This reveals that poets tend to write with the dominant medium of the time. As a result of these findings, Poetrys relationship with different media is charted through from digital poetry, aggregate poetry websites, poetry forums, poetry blogs and finally to online poetry journals. Two online poetry journals with different submission methods All Write Then and Cordite Poetry Review are contrasted to discuss issues of gatekeeping, editing and the prominence of sharing in online creative communities. My comparison finds that there are benefits to both an edited and non-edited journal and overall I suggest that aspects of each could be combined and built upon to constitute an ideal poetry website.

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From the opening of the thesis (available below as a PDF):

Cultural Hybridism in Taiwanese Television Variety Shows

abstract: 

This thesis will explore how Taiwanese variety television show 娛樂百分百 Yú Lè Bǎi Fēn Bǎi (YLBFB) absorbs and reflects local and regional cultural forms through sustained strategic hybridism. There is extensive research surrounding global and inter-Asia cultural flows, as well as a growing body of work exploring how nations domesticate international media while strategically creating pop cultural products with broad regional appeal. Scholars have recently begun to apply this research to Taiwanese drama and reality television genres, however there remains very little site- specific research within the complex and hybridised Taiwanese variety television mediascape. This research area is significant because Taiwanese variety shows are circulated extensively through out the East Asian region and are therefore embedded with hybrid cultural values. This study will closely analyse specific YLBFB episodes in order to identify how the local variety show utilises various elements of a discursive Asian popular culture to incorporate a regional audience, without losing its cultural authenticity.

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From the thesis, which is available as a pdf below (as well as a separate and very extensive bibliography):

Analysing characteristics of social media in cultural communication: An investigation of social media use at Museum Victoria

abstract: 

Social media is increasingly transforming cultural communication frameworks in museums and is representative of the shift in museum ideology over recent years. The thesis contextualises social media use in cultural heritage through a case study on Museum Victoria, examining its social media use and illustrating the value of this form of communication for museums. Social media enables museums to connect with audiences in new ways; conversely, museums are still grappling with the challenges that this communication form presents to their traditional role as cultural gatekeepers. Situated in the emerging field of cultural communication, the thesis uses digital cultural communication methods and practices as a framework to assess and evaluate museums social media use. Cultural Communication is an evolving field which is within and/ or in response to cultural activity, is interactive, proactive and offers opportunities for active cultural participation, engagement and co-creation (Russo, “Transformations in Cultural Communication”). Cultural Communication methodologies deal with the philosophical assumptions which underlie research directed and/or in response to evolving cultural programs. It uses a variety of ‘digital cultural communication’ methods which offer the tools and literacies required to engage in cultural activity, thus creating active cultural participants.

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From the thesis, which is available below as a pdf:

Broken Bodies and Time: An examination of formal and narrative deterritorialisation in the cinema

abstract: 

Kristevan abjection and the Deleuzian conception of creation exhibited by time-image cinemas can both be seen as deterritorialisation mechanisms in that they contradict notions of stable identities. Abjection violates physical or institutional structures, presenting am ambiguity that undermines definition through a process of destabilistion.
Deleuzian movement-image cinemas foreground identity through the formal employment of a sensory-motor schema that facilitates ontological determinations of identity based on action. The time-image cinema contradicts this by acting as a perpetual becoming, which is irreconcilable with cinematographic conceptions of identity. This thesis explores the interaction of abjection as narrative deterritorialisation combined with Deluezian conceptions of cinema to examine the relationship between form and structure in the destabilisation of concepts of static identity.

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From the thesis, available below as a pdf:

Remember Madoka: Transgressing the Magical Girl

abstract: 

The purpose of this thesis is to investigate how the Japanese anime series Puella Magi Madoka Magica both confirms and transgresses the conventions of the magical girl genre. Genres shift as audiences, creators and critics develop, mature and reform. Texts that transgress established conventions within their respective genres in turn shift perceptions of the possibilities of the genre, and thus influence the development of future works. Through analysis of several contemporary magical girl series, conventions that are commonly found within the genre are established, and then used as points of reference for a deeper analysis of the series Puella Magi Madoka Magica. This series utilises many of the conventions within the genre, but also takes them further and transforms them. It is thus a profoundly important contribution to anime in Japan.

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From the thesis (available below as a pdf):

Korean Pop Culture and New Masculinity in Singapore

abstract: 

Whereas once scholars of gender argued for an understanding of hegemonic masculinity, more recently Connell’s theory on hegemonic masculinity is nowadays not seen amongst young Chinese males in the twenty-first century in Singapore. There has been a clear and notable difference in the way males have been portrayed in the media in the past as compared to the present context, thus there has been a change in the images of masculinity. This matters because there has been an increasing trend seen in young males to be more metro-sexual. I will be focusing on the increasing popularity of the Korean Wave that has and is currently swiping the globe and examining the ‘Rain’ phenomenon and his influences to young males across Southeast Asia countries. The phenomenon in Korea and the changing images of masculinity in Korea and the impact it has created amongst the young Chinese males has created a new perception and alternative form of masculinity in Singapore.

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From the thesis (available below as a PDF):

Film Festivals in the Emerging Emirates

abstract: 

The emerging Emirates, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, have established two international film festivals in the last seven years, attracting global attention to the development of “high profile events with budgets in the $10 million range”. The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) and the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF) have contributed to not only the proliferation of the film festival circuit, but to their own region by showcasing Middle Eastern Cinema on a large scale.

A key discussion point in my argument of the “high profile” status that the festivals attract, relates to the wider film festival scholarship that has begun to track the burgeoning circuit. Film festival scholars have begun to categorise festivals into networks, and the establishment of DIFF in 2004, and ADFF 2007 has seen these particular festivals strive to become key network points on the international film festival circuit.

By incubating a film culture through the establishment of DIFF and ADFF, the UAE hopes that its residents can develop an appreciative culture from film festival cinema. The UAE’s nascent national cinema, produced its first feature film after the establishment of DIFF, highlighting the need for a funding body in Dubai in the absence of a national film commission. With Abu Dhabi establishing the Abu Dhabi Film Commission, the ADFF, and the UAE will also look to further develop film as a “significant cultural product”.

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Making Public Service Broadcasting Attractive in Brunei

abstract: 

This thesis examines Radio Television Brunei Media Carnival, a promotional strategy developed to help promote Radio Television Brunei (RTB) to audiences in Brunei Darussalam. It summarises a short history of RTB, from its origins as sole broadcaster in Brunei to the loss of audiences caused by competition with a satellite television station broadcasting from Malaysia, and attempts by RTB to counter through the creation of new channels with programming similar to externally produced content. It then examines the strategies of RTB Carnival, which is a further attempt to win back its audience by re-branding its tarnished reputation. This thesis argues that this strategy has failed. The main purpose of the research is to propose what should be done next, via a comparison of Carnival with other forms of promotion used by broadcast networks in the West. The outcome of the thesis is a comparison of different strategies that could be adopted by RTB, which will adhere to Brunei’s philosophy of Malay Islamic Monarchy.

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Al-Qaeda: From 'The Base' to Global Database

abstract: 

Al-Qaeda‘s retreat into the virtual world of networks has resulted in the mystification of its organisational structure. Studying the history of this organisation through the perspective of its communication practices can, however, clarify its structure. To understand Al-Qaeda now, this thesis asks: If there are links between Al-Qaeda‘s usage of Converged Communication Technologies (CCTs) and changes within its organisational structure, then how may a history of Al-Qaeda help explain the significance of those links? The research discovers that Al- Qaeda‘s decentralisation was made possible even before its timely harnessing of CCTs during the 1990s. Thereafter, Al-Qaeda‘s usage of these communication technologies only assisted in pushing its already decentralised network into the virtual world. By charting Al-Qaeda‘s history of expanding decentralisation, this thesis identifies a clear and present danger: 'the Al-Qaeda effect‘ – wherein individuals encounter terrorism in virtual reality, before attempting to do some in bloody actuality.

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The Internet as a Potential Democratic Power: The Case of China

abstract: 

The Chinese government has tried to control the Internet in the same way as how the traditional media is being controlled in China. Despite the many regulations issued by the Chinese government in its attempt to control the Internet, the decentralised nature of the Internet makes it an impossible task. Chinas pressure to develop its economy stops the Chinese government from enforcing a watertight control of the Internet. So the Chinese government turned to instilling fear into users and businesses to practice self-censorship. While it did result in some users and businesses practicing self-censorship, not everyone exercises self-censorship as there are users and social groups who use the Internet to exercise democracy through alternate outlets of expression. Chinas growing economy contributes to an increase in the populations income which would result in an emerging middle class that would potentially be highly educated, be active Internet users, have a stronger democratic consciousness and be independent as a person with the ability to resist authoritarian one-sided state-sanctioned ideologies and content. This is why there is potential for the Internet to be a democratic power in China.

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Provided below are links to copies of the research presentations made during this research project.

Home Movies: Reel Time

abstract: 

Home movies have escaped the domestic confines of family gatherings, lounge-room walls and dark cupboards, to enjoy a renaissance within contemporary, image-saturated society. Why this relatively recent shift in attitude and representation of historical home movie footage within media production and archival practice? I'm interested in exploring how home movie footage and aesthetics have been incorporated into Australian screen practice, particularly documentary film and screen-based art, since 1998. By focusing on several case studies and examples of work, I want to see who is telling stories; how they are inserting home movies back into public history and what are the social implications.

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Many old home movies have escaped the domestic confines of family gatherings, lounge-room walls and dark cupboards, to find a new life within contemporary, image-saturated society. In this thesis, I am interested in exploring how home movie footage has been incorporated into Australian screen practice, particularly screen-based art and documentary, since the late 1990s.

The Videogame as Prosthetic Imagination

abstract: 

We’re used to thinking of a narrative as a pathway: it moves from beginning to end in a predetermined route, chosen by the author, that gives the story a shape and a meaning for the audience. The popular understanding of a story, whether it’s told in film, books or television, is defined by this journey along a single pathway. So how do we think about a narrative that allows its audience to choose their own pathways? This question is becoming ever more pressing with the rise of digital interactives, such as games and online media. This project will investigate how the junctions of an interactive narrative affect the way the audience interprets its story, by experimenting with prototypes of multilinear narratives. This will provide models for our understanding of interactive narratives across a variety of media.

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While studies on the behavioural effects of videogame play are plentiful, many researchers have pointed to a lack of research on the first-person experience of playing a game. This thesis studies immersion, the powerful sensation of total engagement with a virtual world.

When Media Is Used as a Weapon: Identifying and Combating Cyberbulling in Australian Schools

abstract: 

Cyber bullying amongst school students has become an increasing issue in how it impacts on young people’s development and education. The problem is important because many educators, students and parents are finding it difficult to identify and prevent cyber bullying. Cyber bullying has become an increasing problem in Australian schools due to the advancement in communication technology and its application in the school environment. The implication of my starting sentence is that it leads to the identification of cyber bullying as an issue and places it within the school context, which sets up the main setting for the thesis.

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Sepet

abstract: 

In 2004, Yasmin Ahmad launched her 2nd film Sepet, which drew much international attention and also eased a previous dearth of authentic Malaysian cinema. Known for her use of evocative storylines and sentimentalist themes, Sepet similarly portrays pristine interracial relationships. Yasmin’s rosy depiction of Malaysia’s diverse and inclusive cultures present Malaysia as an Utopic multicultural society. This thesis seeks to evaluate Malaysia’s New Wave cinema to in turn trace Malaysia’s film history. By analysing Sepet, it will also examine the model of multiculturalism that is employed (or not) in Malaysia as well as the director’s challenge of Malaysia’s national identity. Lastly, this thesis will investigate the use of sentimentalism and adolescence as an overlay to ease the social tensions of interracial relationships.

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I am interested in doing this because:
A challenge to write academically
To learn to be a disciplined writer
I have an interest in Asian cinema
I live in Malaysia’s neighbouring country and I am intrigued by the differences in the cultures of Singapore and Malaysia and want to understand these differences.
It contributes to academic understanding of multiculturalism in Malaysia

Publicising the news: publicity and Australian commercial television news

abstract: 

The pursuit of profit is contributing to a decline in the quality of commercial television news. Existing research attests that this compromises the ability of members of Western liberal democracies, like Australia, to gather the information necessary to make informed and balanced decisions about the way they are governed. This research explores the extent to which Australian commercial television news is comprised of publicity material generated to enhance marketing efforts, and the motivations behind commercial television news in Australia. This is of consequence as it will help reveal how, if at all, these motivations vary from expectations of what the function of news should be.

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Striving for Joint Goals: The ABC and Emergency Services in Victoria

abstract: 

The Australian landscape has long been subject to extreme weather conditions. The harsh climate of the outback along with dense vegetation and remote rural regions create the ideal setting for bushfires and other such emergencies. One method of minimising the impact of bushfires is the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Radio and the Victorian Emergency Services. Signed in 2003, the MoU is a statutory agreement that appoints ABC Local Radio in Victoria the official emergency broadcaster. The period between 2003 and 2008 has been a time of immense change through the development of policies and procedures to apply the Memorandum of Understanding within ABC Radio Victoria. This project will seek to answer the question; how effective is the MoU as an emergency broadcasting model, and has ABC Local Radio fulfilled its requirements as prescribed in the MoU. The research will also focus on the effectiveness and appropriateness of the MoU in strengthening community vulnerability towards the adverse effects of bushfires.

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[This research is available as a PDF below]

Actors for Human Rights Awareness Campaign

abstract: 

The process of “extraordinary rendition”, which is practiced by the CIA, is being sanctioned and accepted by other Western nations around the world, despite the fact that it flies in the face of the Geneva Convention and the Declaration of Human Rights. However, the issue is not widely publicised and many Britons are unaware of the problem. Actors for Human Rights UK aims to tell the stories of men who have been victims of extraordinary rendition, to humanise them in the eyes of the general population, who may not know the human cost of this practice. How can AFHRUK use a viral marketing campaign to further spread its message about the wrongs being done in the name of the War on Terror and, in turn, promote their own programs?

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This project is a perfect opportunity for me to combine my two passions: filmmaking and politics.

Actors For Human Rights is an example of a way in which art can make a difference to the world, and I hope to contribute to that through this campaign.

Passport to the World

abstract: 

In an era of increasing global competition it is imperative that organisations have well researched communication strategies. To promote a product or service abroad, an organisation should clearly understand the political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental factors that may affect the success of the campaign. This report will focus on the PESTLE situational analyses of India and England, further outlining problems, opportunities, critical success factors and appropriate objectives for the launch of the Langley Group’s professional development product, Passport to the World. Through conducting such research and providing appropriate communication advice, an organisation will be able to implement an efficient and effective communications campaign, expanding business opportunities and generating increased brand awareness and revenue in targeted nations.

author/s: 

I am developing this communications strategy for Passport to the World with the hope of gaining employment with the Langley Group in 2009. The Langley Group has requested that I explore travel markets in India and England as these nations are next in line for the launch of this new professional development product.

“Enjoy LA”: The Cinematic Representation of Los Angeles in Michael Mann’s Collateral

Ash Perry thesis
abstract: 

Michael Mann’s films have taken their place alongside the most dynamic and singular representations of modern urban environments within the cinema.

This thesis analyses Michael Mann’s representation of Los Angeles (LA) within his 2004 film, Collateral.

As a contemporary of post-classical American filmmakers including John Carpenter, Francis Ford Coppola, William Friedkin, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, his films, although the source of considered review and discussion have yet to be the subject of sustained academic investigation.

Centred on Collateral, this thesis argues that although the film is directly related thematically, stylistically, intertextuality and self-referentially to Mann’s previous film set in LA, Heat, he has more than simply reiterated old preoccupations and imagery, rather he has effectively extended his representation and vision of the city.

Collateral represents an important work from one of America’s most highly regarded auteurs, highlighting the city’s exceptionalism and ‘global city’ status in new and interesting ways.

This thesis arrives at the conclusion that Collateral establishes not only an accurate and relevant reflection of contemporary urban LA but that it represents the city in a revelatory way seldom explored within mainstream Hollywood cinema.

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supervisor: Adrian Danks

Seeing Stars: The Relationship Between Celebrities and Advertising

Annalise Mastrangelo thesis
abstract: 

Today’s media landscape is heavily infiltrated by advertising with the pressure of branding being virtually inescapable within society. It seems as though everywhere we look we are bombarded with thousands of advertising images and messages per day, all of which provide insight into culture and society. In the past decade celebrity endorsement has been the most prevalent and successful form of advertising. Reason for this is that celebrities are considered to demonstrate a number of dynamic qualities including; credibility, expertise and physical attractiveness, which can be transferred through marketing.

This thesis consists of a textual analysis examining the relationship between celebrities and advertising and its desired effects on consumer behaviour and cultural studies. This issue is worth attention, given the fact that there is limited academic material specifically addressing the proven effectiveness of the use of celebrities in advertising. Hence, the value of celebrity endorsement is recognised but poorly understood in terms of advertising. The purpose of my thesis will be to identify why celebrity endorsement is regarded the most effective form of advertising for certain products. The concept of scandal, social theory, queer theory and transgression in the media and its effects on advertising will also be discussed with reference to two case studies British supermodel Kate Moss and Bollywood film star Shahrukh Khan. The outcome of this thesis will be to identify why consumers are so heavily influenced by the use of celebrity endorsement and what impact this has on cultural studies. This thesis will serve as a collection of academic material specifically addressing the relationship between celebrities and advertising, and is intended for an advertising and cultural studies audience.

This thesis is available as a PDF at the bottom of this screen.

Lost Memories: Wong Kar-Wai's "In the Mood For Love" and "2046"

Scott Markworth thesis
abstract: 

Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai describes his two most recent films “In The Mood For Love” (2000) and “2046” (2004) as “two films with two different approaches that act like a mirror for each other”1. This thesis attempts to ascertain in what capacity “2046” can be interpreted as a ‘companion piece’ to “In The Mood For Love”. This thesis intends to examine the nature of the composition of Wong Kar-Wai’s ‘cinematic style’, and to distinguish and explore particular ‘stylistic’ ‘aesthetics’ that are distinct to “In The Mood For Love” and “2046”. The intent of this exploration is to establish the existence of an inherent aesthetic ‘correlation’ (or ‘cross-film sensibility’) between “In The Mood For Love” and “2046” via a comparison and juxtaposition of the elements which comprise Wong Kar-Wai’s ‘cinematic style’.

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supervisor: Allan Thomas

A PDF of this thesis is available below.

A Friend in Need

Claire Fiddian thesis
abstract: 

In Australia’s contemporary media climate, lobbying for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) by support group Friends of the ABC in the face of a senate-controlling and culturally hostile federal government, would perhaps appear futile.

Although committed to maintaining an independent public broadcaster which is free from government influence, Friends of the ABC seem to have a limited public profile. The group consists mainly of members over fifty years of age, with limited awareness of their aims, or even existence, by Australian youth.

This project will examine key developments in the thirty-year history of Friends of the ABC, and look at whether the group has been effective in raising awareness of, and lobbying support for, the ABC.

A critical analysis of Friends of the ABC will be formulated, one that identifies the group’s achievements and challenges over its lifetime, as well as the issues it will face in future years.

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A PDF of this project is available below.

Moving pictures: The translation of culture from Hong Kong Cinema to Hollywood

Kris Kam Thesis
abstract: 

The cultures portrayed in films are lost in translation when the big Hollywood studios buy the rights and remake these movies.

Incorrect representation of cultures would result in inaccurate understanding of these cultures by the global audience whose main source of knowledge comes from these Western remakes of films. This might have been, amongst others, the cause of stereotypes amongst most of the large audience which has been accepting the inaccurate portrayals as accurate depictions

In this proposed thesis, I hope to take a deeper look into the stories and scripts that have since moved across the Pacific - remodeled/compromised, to allow a greater general understanding.There is a growing trend of Hollywood studios bringing in scripts and stories from Asia (*looking to go into focus – proposed area: Hong Kong cinema) and how the translation of culture is taking place as these studios look to remake the films while losing bits and pieces of the aforementioned culture.

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supervisor: Catherine Gomes

The thesis is available as a pdf below.

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