You will complete the following core modules:
Contemporary Literary Cultures: Politics
Focusing on texts written since about 1990, this module explores the production and dissemination of literary texts, as well as recent developments of style and content. You will consider contemporary literary cultures from a variety of perspectives, and to employ a range of methodological, theoretical and critical approaches that enable the appraisal of the literary work within diverse social and artistic contexts.
Contemporary Literary Cultures: Performance
This module investigates key problems in performance history and historiography. You will consider a range of conceptual and methodological issues raised by the historical analysis of theatre and performance. You will focus particularly on the strategies and politics of historical representation in drama and theatre studies, looking at how performance practices have been narrated within theatre studies and how these narratives represent theatre's relationship with other social practices.
Film, Theory, Politics
This module examines the interaction between film, film theory and politics. It will provide you with a solid grounding in some of the critical debates of the discipline, and in related cultural issues central to its development and our focus on North American film. As such, it will enable you to assess the impact of politics on various levels of film analysis and production: from the ideology of the classical apparatus and text to the race or sexual politics of Hollywood cinema, from the censoring of the Production Code era to the attempted radicalism of post-modern film practices.
Research Skills and Methods
This module aims to develop your skills in research practices, including preparation and presentation of dissertations and theses. It supports your research planning for your dissertation.
You will take two optional modules (one must be in Film) from a range which includes:
Aesthetics of Television
This module offers you the opportunity to engage critically and theoretically with a range of aesthetic styles in contemporary television. Working through examples from both US and UK programming, and across various genres, the module provides a detailed and comprehensive investigation of the methods and strategies employed by television practitioners as they seek to convey thematic and narrative content.
This module examines the development of the Caribbean novel in the twentieth-century. Working with texts from Anglophone, Francophone, and Hispanophone territories the course explores the engagement of the Caribbean novel with key issues such as slavery colonialism, postcolonial politics and the construction of nationhood. It examines the progression of these issues through mapping the work of earlier canonised figures against that of a younger generation of writers emerging in the 80s and 90s. Writers to be studied include George Lamming, V.S. Naipaul, Jean Rhys, Alejo Carpentier, Juan Bosch, Antonio Benítez Rojo, Maryse Conde and Reinaldo Arenas.
Cold War Film
This module focuses on films of the Cold War era c.1946-1965. The module will explore the political and economic context of the production of film, looking at issues such as political control via McCarthyism and the HUAC, and the economic demands that directed and constrained film production. You will then examine a series of films, in order to assess the extent to which film reflected or engaged with social, cultural and political debates of the time.
Contemporary American and European Cinema: Dialogues and Discourses
Twenty-first century cinema is as subject to global transformations as it is to regional tensions and is characterised by the relationship between the two. Few films, if any, are made in isolation for specific and exclusive audiences, but enter into discourses and dialogues with films and audiences from a great many elsewheres thanks to global distribution strategies, the Internet, and a voracious exchange of influences and legacies at many levels of production, distribution and reception. Beginning with Dogme ’95, the last great film movement of the twentieth century, which also marked the 100th birthday of cinema, this module explores the range and impact of filmmaking in America and Europe in the last twenty years.
Ranging from mainstream movies (e.g. the original Bourne trilogy, Inception, The Lives of Others, The Red Squirrel, Gravity) to art-house cinema (e.g. 4 Months 3 years 2 days, Hidden, Before Sunset, Frances Ha), from experimental films (e.g. The Idiots, En la ciudad de Sylvia, Quiet City, 5x2, Waking Life) to the white noise of the Internet (Lonely Girl, Manic Pixie Dream Girl and many short films and ‘anonymous’ examples), while erasing the boundaries between each, this module seeks to contextualise, structure and examine the dialogues and discourses that make up contemporary cinema. It concludes with an appraisal of contemporary American and European cinema from many angles and incorporates investigation into numerous new ways of understanding, producing and watching films.
This module will enhance your knowledge of a range of key issues within the study of literature in the 1910s, 20s and 30s, introducing some of the more challenging texts written during these years, as well as recent scholarly thinking on the literature of the period more generally. You will be encouraged to rethink mainstream definitions of the literary history of the early twentieth-century, and examine the complexity of the literary and cultural moment of modernism. Major topics to be covered include: literary nostalgia and innovation; narrative and traumatic-memory; the concept of Modernism; High Modernism and its aftermath; and the social and aesthetic politics of the 1930s.
Narrative Analysis in Fiction and Film
This module explores how linguistic analysis can help to identify and interpret the properties of fictional narratives. Drawing on theoretical work from narratology and linguistics, we consider how time, point of view, the presentation of character, and fictional voices, for example, are utilised in the construction and transmission of literary and filmic narratives, and how within these narratives language intersects with other modes, such as sound and image.
This module offers students the opportunity to study postcolonial film from different historical and national contexts and via a range of geopolitical and technological shifts. It will explore the changing relationship between colonialism/imperialism and film through the course of the twentieth century and beyond. The module begins by interrogating cinemas of and as Empire with an emphasis upon Anglo-American history, its ‘imperial gaze’ and neo-colonial Hollywood. It moves on to explore various case studies of colonial, de-colonial or anti-colonial film (for example, Indian cinema, Third Cinema and Palestinian film) and to consider key related themes such as questions of diaspora (via Accented cinema) and of ‘human rights’ (via specialist film festivals and online activist video).