Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Aesthetics, Image and Narrative in Global Politics
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 11 x 3 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Seminar participation  10%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  40%
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 500 word short paper in lieu of seminar participation  10%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  40%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. critically reflect on the impact and significance of aesthetics, image or narrative in global politics
2. discuss a range of interdisciplinary scholarship on aesthetics, image or narrative
3. demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the theoretical or philosophical thinking on which such scholarship draws
4. describe and discuss in depth particular instances of aesthetics, image or narrative in global politics

Brief description

The recent aesthetic turn in international politics scholarship has focused attention on the role of images and narratives in global politics. There is enormous interest in the political role of the visual, whether it be photographs, films, performance, or other media, installation art, demonstrations or protests, and increasingly scholars are also exploring the way narrative, fiction, poetry and story-telling can lead to new insights and creative methods of research and writing. Much of this work draws on scholarship from other disciplines, and links closely with work on the emotions in politics.
The module provides an introduction to this fascinating field, and a chance to explore specific examples of images, photographs, films, novels, poetry and other aesthetic practices. It asks what they might tell us about politics and personhood in and beyond the contemporary western-inflected world.


The module content will draw from the following broad areas:
1. Visual global politics, images and photography: examines how people have thought about the process of image-making and photography in particular, how images circulate, and how we might think about their aesthetic/political impact
2. Narrative, storytelling and subjectivity: explores the narrative turn in international politics and examines examples of novels, stories and poetry as ways of writing and research; asks how story-telling relates to subjectivity and politics
3. Aesthetics and politics: examines what we mean by aesthetics and how politics might be seen as an aesthetic practice; explores the aesthetic turn in international politics, its limits and potential
The module focuses on a range of topics including colonialism, conflict, famine, war, refugees and migration. Exploration of these topics may involve consideration of still images, films, site-specific and installation art, or other media, and practices like demonstrations or protests, memorials and commemoration. Students will have the chance to explore examples that are of particular interest to them, and will be asked to bring their own images, stories etc. to class for discussion. Seminars may include film showings, exhibition visits, Skype conversations, group work and story telling.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to present their arguments most effectively. They will understand the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to best advantage. They will learn to be clear in their writing and speaking and to be direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. Seminar may involve splitting students into groups where oral discussion will form the main medium of teaching and the emphasis throughout the module will be on student participation and communication. The presentation of work should reflect effective expression of ideas and good use of language skills in order to ensure clarity, coherence and effective communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context in which support and assistance is available from both the convener and fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources, compiling reading lists, and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their essay and presentation topics. Seminars provide opportunities for students to reflect individually and collectively on their performance. The need to contribute to the seminars and to meet deadlines for written work will focus students' attention on the need to manage their time and opportunity resources well.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information, images and narratives on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources. Students will also be expected to make use of the resources that will be available on Blackboard and through Aspire.
Personal Development and Career planning The discussions in particular will help to develop students' verbal and presentation and team-working skills. Learning about the process of planning an essay and a case study, framing the parameters of the projects, honing and developing the projects and seeing through to completion will contribute towards students' portfolio of transferable skills
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one central goal of the module; the submission of an essay will require that students develop independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The need to research and prepare for seminars will also enable students to develop independent project skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; consider extreme cases; reason logically; construct theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills The submission of the essays will reflect the independent research skills of students. The need to locate appropriate research resources and write up the results will also facilitate research skills. Research preparation for seminars will also enable students to develop independent project skills.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: • Collect and understand a wide range of material relating to the module • Ability to evaluate competing perspectives • Demonstrate subject specific research techniques • Apply a range of methodologies to complex historical and political questions
Team work In seminars students will be obliged to prepare, present and discuss as a group the core issues related to seminar topics and particular case studies. Such classroom debates and discussions are a vital component of the module learning experience.


This module is at CQFW Level 6