HFMA03159U  FM/CEMES, The public sphere: national, transnational, European

Volume 2014/2015
Modern European Studies (CEMES):
Modern European Studies 1 (Subject element HHIK03701E) [2013-Curriculum]
Modern European Studies 2 (Subject element HHIK03711E) [2013-Curriculum]

Film and Media Studies:
Module 2, Culture, genres and aesthetics (Subject element HFMK03021E) [2013-Curriculum]
Module 4, Audience and user studies (Subject element HFMK03071E) [2013-Curriculum]
Optional Subject 1, (Subject element HFMK03131E) [2013-Curriculum]
Optional Subject 3, (Subject element HFMK03151E) [2013-Curriculum]

Media Studies:
Module 2: Audience and user studies (Subject element HMEK03121E)[2088-Curriculum]
Module 8: Optional subject 1: Written home assignment, optional subject [internal] (Subject element HMEK03201E)[2008-Curriculum]
Module 8: Optional subject 1: Written home assignment, optional subject [external] (Subject element HMEK03191E) [2008-Curriculum]

Film Studies:
Module 6: Optional subject 1 [internal] (Subject element HFVA04181E) [2008-Curriculum]
Module 6: Optional subject 1 [external] (Subject element HFVA04171E) [2008-Curriculum]

The public sphere has emerged as a key concept in current debates on the transformation of the media, the state and democracy. This course is designed to conceptualize the mediating infrastructure and processes that have led to the constitution of ‘the public’ and the forces of ‘publicity’ linked to it. At the same time, the political, cultural and normative presuppositions of public sphere theory need to be critically scrutinized. In particularly mass media with its traditional print and broadcasting outlets engage a nationally demarcated public and operate on the basis of a shared language and institutional arena of public communication. Against this background, the course will discuss how and to what extent processes of ransnationalization, diversity and digitization affect structures and processes of the public sphere and its dynamic transformatiom. The seminar schedule provides for a critical reading of the main texts of traditional public sphere theorizing and will approach the ‘rethinking of the public sphere’ in terms of new processes of community and audience formation and their democratic empowerment.


The academic objectives of the course are:

  • provide the students with a solid understanding of public sphere theorizing and the emergence of the modern public sphere and mass media in core European countries
  • Critically scrutinize notions of ‘the public’, ‘public opinion’ and discuss methods of analysis,
  • Discuss the applicability of public sphere theory in ‘audience and user studies
  • Understand the ‘fate of the public’ in facing challenges of transnationalisation, diversity and digitization
Group instruction / Seminar
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 367,5
  • Total
  • 409,5