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2008/09 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CULT2008 Layers of 'Foucault'

20 creditsClass Size: 8

Module manager: Dr Marcel Swiboda
Email: M.A.Swiboda@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2008/09

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

Sex (The History of Sexuality), Drugs (The Birth of the Clinic) and Jailhouse Rock (Discipline and Punish); from the 1960s through until his untimely death in 1984 Michel Foucault wrote a number of highly important and varied works that continue to resonate with the concerns of contemporary cultural theory. His ideas have enduring relevance for those of us who want to think through the ethical and political problems and concerns of everyday life.'Layers of Foucault' will examine the thinker's major ideas from his early work on madness (Madness and Civilization), his 'archaeological' method which he developed in the 1960s, through to his 'historical' works of the 1970s and 80s. Using examples from art, cinema and literature the course will consider Foucault's thinking in fields as diverse as aesthetics, ethics, history and politics, reflecting on themes including power, knowledge, visibilities, language, the body, and resistance. Assessment: 1 x 2,000-3,000 word essay (50%) and 1 x 1 hr exam (50%)

Objectives

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

1. Understand some key concepts and issues of Foucauldian analysis: archaeology / genealogy, episteme, discursive formation, statement, historical a priori, panopticon, heterotopia etc. They will have been introduced to Foucault's work on madness, sexuality, power and knowledge.
2. Begin to apply these to analysis of (visual) cultural studies of history and philosophy.
3. Address some of the criticisms and interpretations of this thought, as a way of assessing the usefulness of the Foucauldian approache(s) to Cultural Studies.

Skills outcomes
Verbal and written fluency in constructing a logical and coherent argument.
Use of audio visual aids
Participation in group discussions
Co-ordination and dissemination of a range of historical, contextual visual information
Using bibliographies and databases


Syllabus

'Forget Foucault' , (Baudrillard), - I think not!! It is time to reassess this multifaceted thinker and his contribution to cultural history and theory. His history has been called ahistorical; his scientific process unscientific. Yet his way of approaching knowledge, his way of 'seeing' structures of discourse, encourages a paradigm shift that is amazingly apt for (post) modern analysis. Calling 'history' 'Archaeology', discovering the genealogy of ideas, analysing ideology in terms of power / knowledge, and observing the construction of our sexuality, and our subjectivity are some of the areas we can discover in this module. Were the critics right, then, to call him a chartaton - or is this a way to think culture differently?

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Seminar112.0022.00
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

140 hours - class preparation including researching textual and visual material and presentation preparation.
38 hours - essay

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Attendance.
Contribution to weekly seminars/group presentations.
The student will compile an archive of material relating to the weekly lectures and the presentations that will be reviewed intermittently.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 2,000-3,000 word essay50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

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


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)1 hr 50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

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: 06/05/2009

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