Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue
ARTF5020 Cultural Theory
On completion of this module, students should be able to grasp the concept of historicity as culturally constructed through the common analysis of theoretical texts, historical texts, films and other cultural products, and to analyse how the critique of the writing of history reveals the problem of history itself to be one of representation. The course will engage students in the analysis of a range of theoretical texts and cultural artefacts that grapple with problems of how history can be told.
The course develops chronologically from Jean Jacques Rousseau's considerations of the origins of society and of inequality and the nature of the human, and proceeds to the post-colonialist and post-psychoanalytic discussion of history as a particular representation of a Western episteme, passing through Kant, Nietzche, Freud, and the Frankfurt School to Spivak, Bhabha, et.al. The course invokes filmic and fictional texts which will be set against theoretical considerations of historical origins and historical consciousness in order to understand the urgency of historical narrative in western culture and that narrative's dependence upon a non-western other. These include J-F Trauffaut, "The Wild Child"; W. Herzog, "Enigma of Kaspar Hauser"; Gillo Pontecorvo, "Battle of Algiers"; Didier Daenninckx, Murder in Memorium; and Assia Djebar, Fantasia - an Algerian Cavalcade.
Form of teaching
Seminars: 11 X 3 Hour seminars with intensive reading and presentations by students (non assessed).
Form of assessment
1 x 6000 word essay
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