[Air-L] programs in social media

Matthew Allen M.Allen at exchange.curtin.edu.au
Wed Dec 22 15:39:39 PST 2010

The BA (Internet Communications) at Curtin University, now entering its 11th year of operation, has a strong social media concentration (with more to come in future years, we suspect). Similarly, the Master of Internet Communications which is a professional upgrade qualification (not a postgraduate Masters) emphasises social media. Obviously we have PhD students conducting research in similar fields. We retuned our course in 2008-2009 to increase the social media focus: it's both applied and conceptual.
A curiousity: we are one of only a very small handful of genuine Internet Studies departments around the world. One reason is that Curtin University already had departments of Film, Journalism, Library Studies and Design. These four departments had a strong professional focus in the mid- late 1990s and did not really think about the Internet or were (in several cases) antagonistic or hostile to my efforts to make it a focus.  As a result, I was able to establish a program in Internet Studies in 1999, which had to be 'distinct' rather than integrated into other media / information areas because there was no cooperation from those departments. This actually became a useful opportunity since internet studies was then able to determine its own path.
In a sign, perhaps, of the future: the Department of Internet Studies is now (in terms of students enrolled) larger than film, or journalism, or information studies. To be fair, that is partly a result of our online program of study through Open Universities Australia, but it does rather make me smirk: the insurgency (as we liked to call ourselves in the e 2000s) is now a nation state ;).
Professor Matthew Allen
Head of Department, Internet Studies
School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts
Curtin University of Technology, CRICOS 00301J Australia
m.allen at curtin.edu.au
http://netcrit.net <http://netcrit.net/>  @netcrit
+61 8 92663511 (v) +61 8 9266 3166 (f)
Australian Learning and Teaching Council Fellow
Life Member, Association of Internet Researchers

More information about the Air-L mailing list