Module Identifier EN37720  
Academic Year 2004/2005  
Co-ordinator Dr Christoph P Lindner  
Semester Semester 2  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment 2 x 2,500 word essays100%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements 

Learning outcomes

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

1. demonstrate knowledge of major social, political, and cultural issues that concern and inform the James Bond series;

2. explain and engage with relevant aspects of recent critical debates about the material studied;

3. demonstrate an ability to write competently about the material studied with reference to its cultural and historical contexts;

4. produce organized, coherently argued, and critically informed written work.

5. Engage in a coherent oral discussion of the material studied.


This module aims:

1. to provide an overview of the James Bond Series of novels and films and the critical debates surrounding them.

2. to guide and encourage the practical application of critical/cultural theory to the interpretation of text, film, and related forms of cultural production.

3. to familiarize students with major social, political, and cultural issues implicated in the James Bond phenomenon from the period of the Cold War to the present day.

Brief description

The name is Bond, James Bond. He is a popular hero, an icon of adventure, a guru of male style, the last word in gadgetry, and a loaded symbol of sex and violence. He is the central character in one of the best-selling series of popular novels in literary history, and the hero of the most successful and enduring cycle of films every produced. His critics accuse him of racism, sexism, and snobbery. His fans see him as cultured, seductive, and discerning. But is there more to James Bond than guns, girls, and globe-trotting? Where does fantasy end and ideology begin in the sensational world of 007?
   Engaging with such questions, this module focuses on the Bond novels and their film adaptations in order to examine the mass-mediated spectacle we now call "The James Bond phenomenon". The module also locates the 007 series in its historical, political, and social contexts from the Cold War period onwards. And it explores the Bond phenomenon's tangled relationship with popular culture and its media of representation. Theoretical ideas by a range of thinkers including Marx, Said, Irigaray, Baudrillard, and Bakhtin will be used to frame and inform our analysis of the texts and films.


Seminar Programme

1 Introduction
James Bond & Cultural Studies

2 The Creation of Bond
Ian Fleming, Casino Royale (1953)

3 Bond and Cultural Politics
Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955)

4 Bond and Empire
Ian Fleming, Dr. No (1958)

5 Bond and Sexual Politics
Ian Fleming, The Spy Who Loved Me (1962)

6 Bond and Tourism
Goldfinger (Film, 1964)

7 Bond and Pastiche
The Spy Who Loved Me (Film, 1977)

8 Bond and the Information Age
Tomorrow Never Dies (Film, 1997)

9 The 007 Music Industry
The Best of James Bond (EMI, Audio CD)

10 Bond Spoofs
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (Film, 1997)

Reading Lists

** Should Be Purchased
Ian Fleming Casino Royale Penguin 0141002476
Ian Fleming Moonraker Penguin 0141002980
Ian Fleming Dr. No Penguin 0141002875
Ian Fleming The Spy Who Loved Me Penguin 0141003006
Christoph Lindner (ed), (2003) The James Bond Phenomenon: A Critical Reader, Manchester: Manchester University Press 0719065410
** Essential Reading
Wesley Wark (ed) (1991) Spy Fiction, Spy Foms and Real Intelligence Frank Cass
James Chapman (1999) Licence to Thrill: A Cultural History of the James Bond Films I B Taurus
Barry Keith Grant (ed) (1995) Film Genre Reader Texas University Press
Michael Denning (1987) Narrative and Ideology in the British Spy Thriller Routledge
Scott McCracken (1998) Pulp: Reading Popular Fiction Manchester University Press
Umberto Eco (1987) Narrative Structures in Fleming, the Role of the Reader Hutchinson
Jeremy Black (2001) The Politics of James Bond Praeger
Tony Bennet and Janet Woollacott (1987) Bond and Beyond Open University Press
** Recommended Background
Kenneth Morgan (1990) The People's Peace: British History 1945 - 1990 Oxford University Press
Lars Ole Sauerberg (1984) Secret Agents in Fiction Macmillan 1984
Richard Crockett and Steve Smith (1987) The Cold War Past and Present Allen and Unwin
John Sutherland (1978) Fiction and the Fiction Industry Athalone


This module is at CQFW Level 6