Thursday, 4 November 2010

Thoughts about: Media Studies and Visual Cultures

Media Studies and Visual Cultures:
Being six weeks into the course, Im really enjoying myself at university, in and out of lectures. I took some time to adjust from Sixth form to university as traveling was quite difficult as i’m currently living at home and traveling every day to study. Traveling as i’ve mentioned below on this blog page, was particularly difficult the first week because of the golf tournament (Ryder Cup) in the Celtic Manor, (Newport), therefore traffic was bad, which meant leaving earlier to arrive in time for lectures.
The course consists of three lecturers, Ashley Morgan where we study, being academic, Cath Davies - Introduction to theory and Andrea Williams, Constructing meaning. 
I particularly enjoy Cath’s lectures as I enjoy learning about new theorists and their involvement with media studies. Studying Media Studies at school helped to understand Cath’s lectures and enjoy them a great deal. 
Ashley’s are very helpful, beginning university is a big step and to have help bridging the gap between A level or college and university. Also academic language can be difficult so ashley’s lectures help to develop skills. 
I also enjoy andy’s lectures, having just completed my first assignment I feel confident in understanding semiotics.
I personally like the idea of having assignments during the first couple of weeks, as it allows you more time to plan and structure assignments, so they are to your best ability. 
Overall i’m enjoying every aspect of my course and hope to carry on learning about Media studies. 

Text and the City:

For our first assignment of Ashley's module (being academic) we were asked to take three photo's of things that reminded us of Cardiff. I particularly enjoyed this task, as it allowed me to ‘explore’ Cardiff. However I found it hard to choose just three images to feature on my blog, as Cardiff has so many Iconic buildings. Originally I had planned to take photo’s of Cardiff Millennium Stadium and the Millennium Centre, as these both have strong connections with me. However as I ventured around cardiff I found the below pictures represented Cardiff and showed a true patriotic view of Cardiff. 

This is an iconic image for me when i think of Cardiff. There are many connotations to me when I see this image as ‘Brains’ beer sponsor’s Wales in international rugby. The emblem of the dragon helps to reinforce this idea of patriotism.  The image of a red dragon helps to reinforce the idea of  Wales, as the colour of wales is represented though the colour red. 
There is a welsh ‘myth’ about a fight between a red and white dragon, from the book ‘The Mabinogion - Lludd and Llefelys’, Their pained shrieks cause women to miscarry, animals to perish and plants to become barren. Lludd, king of Britain, goes to his wise brother Llefelys in France. Llefelys tells him to dig a pit in the centre of Britain, fill it with mead, and cover it with cloth. Lludd does this, and the dragons drink the mead and fall asleep. Lludd imprisons them, still wrapped in their cloth, in Dinas Emrys in Snowdonia. 
The dragons remain at Dinas Emrys for centuries until King Vortigern tries to build a castle there. Every night the castle walls and foundations are demolished by unseen forces. Vortigern consults his advisers, who tell him to find a boy with no natural father, and sacrifice him. Vortigern finds such a boy and on hearing that he is to be put to death to solve the demolishing of the walls, the boy tells the king of the two dragons. Vortigern excavates the hill, freeing the dragons. They continue their fight and the red dragon finally defeats the white dragon. The boy tells Vortigern that the white dragon symbolizes the Saxons and that the red dragon symbolizes the people of Vortigern. If Vortigern is accepted to have lived in the fifth century, then these people are the British whom the Saxons failed to subdue and who became the Welsh. 
This image can be found all around Cardiff on different buildings, like pubs and on various entrances of arcades.

Before coming to University, I didn’t visit cardiff a great deal, only to go shopping or to watch a rugby game in the Millennium Stadium. Im a very patriotic girl, so its important to support Wales in rugby. However when I think of cardiff now, I think of university, more specifically UWIC. I like this picture as it very iconic and the blue writing helps the text stand out from the brick background. I choose to apply to UWIC as it offered an ideal course for me, and was perfect traveling distance from home, which allows me to have the benefits of student life and studying a university degree. Also the ability to have a home cooked dinner every evening. 
In my opinion, I believe it is important to support you University and Course so here are some interesting facts about UWIC. 
  • Cardiff School Of Art opened in the old free library building in 1865
  • It then moved in 1900 to the technical building in Dumfries place
  • In 1949 it moved to the friary
  • In 1965 it moved to Howard Gardens
  • The College of Wales was changed to the University of Wales Institute Cardiff, and established in 1996
  • UWIC consists of three campuses; Howard Gardens, Cyncoed and Llandaff. (Llandaff of course being the best)
  • UWIC celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2006.
  • There are over 11,000 students from more than 125 Countries
  • Overs over 100 undergraduate courses
  • Its the leading centre for student sports in the UK
  • UWIC is part of the University of Wales alliance
  • It has the best bus service transporting students to each campus - the UWIC rider.
These are just a few facts among many of UWIC's achievements and Important history. 

Also importantly this year UWIC was ranked within the top 70 university in the UK. 

This picture is my favorite, it sum’s up my idea of Cardiff. Being from Chepstow (just before the severn bridge) there aren’t many shops, so when i think of Cardiff, shopping is quite important. The St. David’s centre is a new shopping building, the high glass makes the orange writing stand out, which helps make the building iconic to me. The building also has a strong welsh vibe, as there is a translation “Dewi Sant”. Having done welsh A level, I think its important to see welsh around Cardiff, as it is the Capital of Wales, also it connotes that Cardiff is bilingual.