Module Information

Module Identifier
TFM4420
Module Title
Film and Representation
Academic Year
2018/2019
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
Reading List
External Examiners
  • Dr Helen Wheatley (Associate Professor - University of Warwick)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 3000-word essay  60%
Semester Exam 7 Hours   Class presentation/write-up  (10 minutes, with accompanying critical reflection of 1000 words)  40%
Supplementary Assessment Resit of essay to a different topic  60%
Supplementary Assessment Resit of presentation/write-up to a different topic  40%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. demonstrate an advanced ability to critically engage with and employ a range of theories of representation;
2. demonstrate an ability to identify, analyse and critique representations of cultural identity on film from historical and theoretical perspectives in a systematic manner;
3. demonstrate an advanced ability to relate these specific representations to other key aspects of the films;
4. demonstrate a systematic and comprehensive understanding of the complexities of the relationship between representations in film texts and their wider contexts.

Aims

  • To introduce students to theories of representation, and to consider the ways in which films engage in representation;
  • To encourage students to further their abilities as critical readers and analysts of a wide range of film texts

Brief description

Film and Representation is designed to interrogate the broad ways in which films represent a variety of different processes, peoples, objects and other social phenomena. In doing so, it will focus on film as a form that mediates reality and re-presents aspects of this reality in new contexts. It will consider themes that have long concerned academic researchers, such as how class, race and gender are constructed within a filmic culture, and look into a number of related issues: the ideological mechanisms of different modes of representation (film as reflecting and also constructing, social reality); and the aesthetic and historical mechanisms of representation (fitting types of people into an aesthetic, for example, as well as how films draw on established conventions that precede them). The module will also go beyond these examples to look into a number of other representational issues: how are space and place, for example, represented within film? How are historical moments represented on film? In this respect, the course will look into the importance of costume, design, geography and a number of other important elements which help to construct specific representations. The module will draw on a range of methodological approaches including semiotic theory (Saussure; Levi-Strauss; Barthes) and theories of discourse (Foucault; Stuart Hall). It will also consider key concepts such as denotation, connotation, and will engage with ideology and hegemony (Althusser and Gramsci). While the course is not strictly historical, it will follow a broadly historical trajectory which will therefore allow students to think about how changing ideological norms may (or many not) impact upon film representation, as well as broad epochal shifts and their significance: for example, how does an increasingly globalized postmodern society impact upon the representation of localities? How are marginalisation, exclusion and difference worked through in contemporary films? How can 'virtual spaces' be represented within an increasingly digitized society?

Content

Course delivery:
10x2-hour seminars (which may occasionally incorporate lectures)
Screening slot of 2-3 hours per week

Seminars and related screenings on:

  • Representation
  • Class and film
  • Race and film
  • Gender and film
  • Children and film
  • Film sound
  • Film music
  • Representing historical events
  • Representing national identities
  • Representing cities
  • Landscape

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will be expected to contribute to in-class discussions and relate their own research progress orally, and to deliver a class presentation.
Improving own Learning and Performance In the course of the module, there will be points where students will be asked to think reflexively about their reading and viewing, as well as how their research is progressing.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to use the vast information resources within the library (such as e-journals and LexisNexis) within their research.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will be encouraged to develop research skills, presentation skills, engage in group work, and develop their writing skills. These attributes will feed into their development as individual researchers, which will be particularly suited for an academic career or a career within the field of media arts.
Problem solving Students will need to think about a number of theoretical issues in relation to how film represents various persons, groups, spaces, phenomena, etc.
Research skills This element is developed through students' own investigations into written and audiovisual material that they can bring to bear upon the module and their essays.
Subject Specific Skills
Team work Although there is no official group work on the course, it is hoped that students will work together in seminars for small tasks and small-group discussions.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 7