Tawana Kupe

Department Founder 

I am at present the Deputy-Vice Chancellor for Finance, but still hold the rank of Associate Professor in Media Studies. I joined Wits University in 2002 from Rhodes University’s Journalism and Media Studies Department as a Senior Lecturer. Out of what was then an offering at first year level I created a department which offered an undergraduate major and three postgraduate programmes at the Honours, MA by dissertation and PhD levels. The focus of the discipline in line with the ethos of Wits and the Faculty of Humanities was to provide courses and degree programmes from a range of complementary critical analytical perspectives which speak to the emancipatory project of the humanities. I continue to supervise a small number of PhD students, as well as give guest lectures in Media Studies and Journalism from time to time.

My interests in Media Studies are broad but principally I am interested in media as social institutions which seek to mediate power relations in unequal societies and as spaces for the representation and articulation of discourses that speak to democratization as contested processes of making choices, negotiating what it means to be human and the creation of identities. I am interested also in processes of reception of media texts as representations of social realities by audiences that are differentially located in social hierarchies and spaces. These interests mean I am also interested in media and communications policy and regulatory practices.


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Wits Media Studies will help you understand how media work and how they affect us. We critically analyse the role of media in politics, culture and the economy.
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