Universität Wien
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170530 UE Digital Intimacies in Media Culture (2022S)

Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung


Hinweis: Ihr Anmeldezeitpunkt innerhalb der Frist hat keine Auswirkungen auf die Platzvergabe (kein "first come, first served").


max. 30 Teilnehmer*innen
Sprache: Englisch


Termine (iCal) - nächster Termin ist mit N markiert

Montag 07.03. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum 2 2H415 UZA II Rotunde
Montag 14.03. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum 2 2H415 UZA II Rotunde
Montag 21.03. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum 2 2H415 UZA II Rotunde
Montag 28.03. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum 2 2H415 UZA II Rotunde
Montag 04.04. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum 2 2H415 UZA II Rotunde
Montag 25.04. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum 2 2H415 UZA II Rotunde
Montag 02.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum 2 2H415 UZA II Rotunde
Montag 09.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum 2 2H415 UZA II Rotunde
Montag 16.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum 2 2H415 UZA II Rotunde
Montag 23.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum 2 2H415 UZA II Rotunde
Montag 30.05. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum 2 2H415 UZA II Rotunde
Montag 13.06. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum 2 2H415 UZA II Rotunde
Montag 20.06. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum 2 2H415 UZA II Rotunde


Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung

Course description:

What is “intimacy”? What are “intimate practices”? What are the different types of intimacy (physical, emotional)? What was intimacy associated with in the past, and what do we associate it with today?
Traditionally, intimacy has been related to physical proximity, familiarity, emotional attachment, trust, and closeness. In today’s world, however, mediated intimacy is nothing but traditional. Different actors establishing intimate relationships may be far away from each other, may not interact with each other at the same time, may not know each other at all, or may even be of different species. These types of relationships are built in countless ways and their nature is complex.
It is certain that intimacy has many names – and each of them shimmers with different shades. It may indicate, for example, the spectrum of feelings related to closeness of a love partner or emotional attachment to a trusted friend, family member, pet, or even an inanimate object (e.g., a souvenir, mobile phone, diary or other significant item). We often define as “intimate” tabooed practices involving the body (e.g., sex, defecating), social and cultural rituals (e.g., related to death, sleep, nudity, eating), or private, or embarrassing feelings or habits performed in seclusion (e.g., watching ASMR or mukbang videos).
During the course we will explore various aspects of intimacy and their representations in traditional and digital media. We will inspect how the picture of contemporary, so-called mediated intimacy looks like. Our interests will be extensive. We will analyze some famous film scenes of the most intimate activities (like sitting on or... diving in the toilet). We will check how humans and robots in science fiction movies fall in love and how queer characters of selected TV series “do it” on the screen. The course will also address both digital sexualities (e.g., cybersex, sexting, dating apps...) and broader forms of intimacy in digital spaces (e.g., ASMR videos) to provide examples of media forms creating protocols of non-traditional intimacy.
Concepts, theories and frameworks such as posthumanism, feminism, queer theory, intimacy, cyborg identities, virtuality and affect theory will be explored alongside and through considering the concrete case studies.


Upon successful completion of this course, students will:
- Have developed skills in media analysis and interpretation, in particular regarding different representations of intimacy and intimate practices in traditional and digital media forms/texts.
- Have developed their ability to discuss various forms of intimacy and intimate practices visible in media texts in a written and oral form in a scholarly context (oral presentation, class discussions, short writing assignments).
- Get familiarized with various media forms creating protocols of traditional and non-traditional intimacy.
- Have experience in detecting various protocols and practices of traditional and digital intimacies.


The course is taught through interactive lectures, screenings of audiovisual materials, discussions, and set readings. Classes will consist of introductory lectures and a discussion part on texts to be read. Videos, films, images and other media contents will be analyzed. Set readings will be discussed. Students are expected to participate in class discussions. The course aims to build students’ critical thinking skills and to sensitize them to various aspects of intimacy in the modern world.

Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

Course evaluation will be done through:

- Participation in class discussions – 10%, and
- Assignment 1: a posthuman intimacy one-pager – 10%, and
- Assignment 2: a short critical analysis of a chosen media text (e.g., film) – 40%, and
- Presentation in the classroom (group work), max. 15 minutes – 40%.

Each element must be achieved. If one or more above-mentioned elements are not achieved or are assessed negatively, the overall grade cannot be positive.

Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

No prior subject knowledge is required to study this module. Good command of English is required.
Attendance is compulsory. A maximum of two absences is permitted in order to pass the class. A third absence will result in a fail (negative mark).

Course assessment:

Course assessment will be done through:

1) Participation in class discussions – 10% of the mark
Students are expected to participate actively in class discussions. You should come every week ready to discuss the required readings, films or other texts.

2) Assignment 1: a posthuman intimacy one-pager – 10% of the mark

- What is “posthuman intimacy” to you? Please prepare a one-pager reflection with one chosen example (e.g., film, art, media, news, other...) and be ready to talk about it in class.
- One-pager reflection is supposed to be in written form and must fit on one A4 page. These are loose notes and reflections that do not have a rigid form. They show your ability to reflect on the subject of posthuman intimacy and your ability to choose an appropriate example. The example should be different from those we talked about in class. Make clear in your one-pager why you have chosen this example.
- Due: 3 April 2022
- Your understanding of the posthuman intimacy concept, the ability to communicate your own reflections, the validity of the example will be assessed.

3) Assignment 2: a short reflective critical analysis of a chosen media text – 40% of the mark

- written or audiovisual form allowed
- written form: max. 3 pages long (1 standard page is 1,800 characters including spaces)
- audiovisual form: max. 5 minute long
- Due: 15 May 2022
- Your task is to write a short analysis on the selected media text (film, TV series or video published on YouTube). You need to analyze the intimate practices depicted in the text. Choose any text, but not the one we talked about during the course. You need to include a short description of the text in your analysis and look at the text critically using the chosen concept, theory or framework.
- Instead of writing, you can record an audiovisual presentation, max. 5-minute.
- Do not exceed the presentation time or page limit.
- Follow the guidelines outlined above and keep your argument clear.

4) Presentation in the classroom (group work), max. 15 minutes – 40% of the mark

Working in a group is an extremely important skill that every student must master.

In the penultimate or last class, students will deliver a presentation that they have worked on in groups during the semester. The presentation may not last longer than 15 minutes. The presentation can be made in a Power Point or similar program (with max. 1 slide per person), but it can also be in the form of a poster. The academic poster is a one-page graphic-text form. The poster can be made and displayed in digital form; it can also take a physical form.

The presentation must discuss the selected activity/medium in the digital space and show how it uses non-traditional intimacy. The group should choose one case study not discussed in details during the course and place it in the selected theoretical context discussed in class.

The presentation will be assessed in terms of the quality of the content (research, argumentation) and the way it is presented (adherence to the time limit, number of slides).



To be determined.

Zuordnung im Vorlesungsverzeichnis

Letzte Änderung: Fr 01.04.2022 09:08