Module Identifier ENM4320  
Academic Year 2004/2005  
Co-ordinator Professor Timothy S Woods  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   Seminar. 2 hours per week  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 5,000 word essay 

Learning outcomes

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

1. demonstrate knowledge of a complex set of concepts and ideas associated with postmodern theory;

2. employ this specialist knowledge in an extended critical and analytical essay;

3. demonstrate an understanding of the different implications of this specialist knowledge through a comparison of different disciplines.


This module will offer students a chance to study a variety of influences upon the concept of postmodernism outside the realm of strictly literary. It will concentrate issues such as the function of history and the representation of the past in contemporary culture; the nature of the everyday in contemporary existence; the political role of aesthetic adornment or ornament; the representation of the body and the emergence of new concepts of the human or self; the insistence on metaphors of space in contemporary social experience; and the "textualism" of modern knowledge and life.

1. Alterities   

This session wil consider the current fascination and obsession with the 'other' in contemporary theory.

2. Bodies

What is a body? What is a 'human' body? What is a cyborg? This session will focus on the 'posthuman body' in contemporary discussions and representations of men's and women's bodies in the work of performance artists like Stelarc, Orlan and Carolee Schneeman, as well as cyberpunk fiction.

3. Buildings

What constitutes a building? How does the metaphor of architecture work in philosophy and conceptual thought? What defines an 'inside' from an 'outside'? Looking at such issues, this session will examine how tradition and transgression emerge in contemporary ideas of building and dwelling.

4. Space

Space has become a new 'buzzword' in debates about contemporary culture. This session wil consider how it influences discussions of the city, bodies and their relation to space, monuments, habitation and the structure of inside/outside and how space itself is conceptualised.

5. Histories

If space has become the new 'buzzword', what has happened to history? This session will discuss notions of history and temporarlity in contemporary debate.


This module is at CQFW Level 7