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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF3003 Deconstruction Reading Politics

20 creditsClass Size: 18

Module manager: Dr Eric Prenowitz
Email: e.prenowitz@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

At least 20 credits from any ARTF-coded module or appropriate equivalent in a relevant discipline. In the latter case, students are advised to get in touch with the module leader to discuss eligibility prior to enrolment

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module proposes an introduction to deconstruction through a close analysis of a series of texts by Derrida. A double interpretative focus is maintained: on the meticulous analysis of these texts and on deconstruction as a way of reading (culture, politics). The module opens with a general discussion of the origins of deconstruction, both in Derrida's biography and in the history of Western thought. A number of key deconstructive insights or moves are described, with examples taken from some (relatively) simple texts by Derrida. The module then offers a survey of Derrida's work, moving between his more explicitly political or meta-political work, his more abstract, speculative or poetic work, his extended textual analyses and his interviews. At the same time, the module is attentive to the way in which deconstruction also submits these divisions to a radical interrogation. The readings are taken from a range of Derrida's publications in English translation with occasional reference to the French originals. These are contextualised philosophically, historically and politically. A number of the texts to which Derrida refers are discussed or read.

Objectives

On completion of this module students will be able to:
- employ deconstructive perspectives and approaches in the analysis of culture;
- situate Jacques Derrida's work historically and critically with regard to the Western philosophical tradition as well as to the structuralist and poststructuralist movements that emerged in the 20th century;
- read and discuss the corpus of Jacques Derrida, with specific reference to its political and literary/artistic dimensions, origins and consequences;
- engage with deconstruction in order to develop their own patterns of critical thinking;
- offer deconstructive analyses of cultural texts, such as film, television, architecture and literature;
- provide a detailed analysis of specific texts by Derrida;
- relate Derrida's work to the field of deconstruction in general and to Cultural Analysis as a whole.

Learning outcomes
Students will gain an in-depth understanding of deconstruction. They will be familiar with deconstructive approaches, gestures and figures, and the deconstructive critique of traditional philosophy, including critical and political theory. They will develop strong interpretative and close-reading skills, both in the analysis of texts by Derrida and in the deconstructive analysis of cultural forms, institutions and artefacts. This module will encourage students to think critically about what they know, and about knowledge itself, as a cultural (philosophical, political) construct.

Skills outcomes
Verbal and written fluency in constructing a logical and coherent argument.
Using bibliographies and databases


Syllabus

The module proposes an introduction to deconstruction through a close analysis of a series of texts by Derrida. A double interpretative focus is maintained: on the meticulous analysis of these texts and on deconstruction as a way of reading (culture, politics). The module opens with a general discussion of the origins of deconstruction, both in Derrida's biography and in the history of Western thought. A number of key deconstructive insights or moves are described, with examples taken from some (relatively) simple texts by Derrida. The module then offers a survey of Derrida's work, moving between his more explicitly political or meta-political work, his more abstract, speculative or poetic work, his extended textual analyses and his interviews. At the same time, the module is attentive to the way in which deconstruction also submits these divisions to a radical interrogation. The readings are taken from a range of Derrida's publications in English translation with occasional reference to the French originals. These are contextualised philosophically, historically and politically. A number of the texts to which Derrida refers are discussed or read.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Seminar102.0020.00
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Private study time dedicated primarily to module readings and preparation of class presentations, as well as research for and writing of one essay and exam preparation.
- 140 hours reading and seminar preparation
- 40 hours essay preparation

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Attendance at lectures, participation in class discussion, based on worksheets.

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2000-3000 word essay60.00
Essay1000-1500 words40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2019

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