2019/20 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue
PECI5216M Arts and Activism
30 creditsClass Size: 30
Module manager: Dr Alice Borchi
Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable
Year running 2019/20
This module is not approved as an Elective
Module summaryThis module explores the relationship between arts, activism and politics from the cultural practitioner’s perspective. We will explore the main theories on the relationship between arts and politics and why they are relevant for artistic and cultural work. By finding connections between global activist movements and the artistic sphere, students will have the opportunity to learn about how politics and social issues shape the cultural landscape and to reflect on their own position as future arts professionals
ObjectivesThis module is aimed at future cultural practitioners and arts professionals who want to gain a deeper understanding of the intersection between arts and activism. This module analyses how global concerns, such as climate change, civil rights and workers’ rights, are deeply connected to the arts world. This module encourages students to think about how culture and the arts are an arena for debate of political and social values, and how they provide a unique medium to communicate important messages and encourage people to action; understanding these connections is important for every cultural practitioner who aims to carry our socially engaged and politically relevant work. This module explores the political and social value of the arts by analysing issues that characterise the contemporary discourse on arts and politics.
On completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Understand key theories on the political and social value of the arts.
2. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the relationship between arts, activism and politics.
3. Make connections between global activist movements and the artistic sphere.
4. Understand different ways of positioning oneself in the current socio-political landscape as an informed and attentive cultural practitioner.
5. Identify relevant examples of artistic activism and carry out independent research on them.
6. Understand the relationship between arts, affect and politics.
The module will introduce key theoretical concepts in politics and activism, from Plato to Judith Butler, and apply them to a wide range of case studies with a strong focus on the contemporary issues that affect the work of artists and cultural practitioners. At the core of the module there will be an analysis of artists’ rights and their relationship to broader political issues, such as in the case of censorship, representation and participation of different social groups and artists’ right to work. ‘Arts and activism’ will also explore different ways in which people express their dissent, both online and in real life, and how these protests are connected with global issues, such as environmentalism and global warming. The module will also analyse the concept of commodification, applied both to street art and the evolution of Pride. Lastly, in order to apply their knowledge to a real-life case study, the students will visit a socially engaged cultural organisation.
|Delivery type||Number||Length hours||Student hours|
|Class tests, exams and assessment||1||2.00||2.00|
|Private study hours||277.75|
|Total Contact hours||22.25|
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)||300.00|
Private studyPreparation for seminars: 100 hours
Preparation for assignments: 150 hours
Preparation for field trip; this time will be used by the students in order to gather information about the organization we will visit and to prepare a list of questions to be asked on site: 20,75 hours
Opportunities for Formative FeedbackThe first assignment will be a 1500 words equivalent poster presentation that will take place in week 6. On that occasion, students will have the opportunity to receive formal feedback on their work and to identify areas to improve. Before the submission deadline of the second assignment, a 4000 words essay, the students will have individual tutorials where they will be able to receive feedback on their essay topic.
Methods of assessment
|Assessment type||Notes||% of formal assessment|
|Poster Presentation||1500-word equivalent||35.00|
|Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)||100.00|
Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated
Reading listThe reading list is available from the Library website
Last updated: 30/04/2019
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