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2008/09 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CULT2009 The State of Utopia

20 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Diane Morgan

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2008/09


ARTF1014Elements of Visual Culture I
ARTF1015Elements of Visual Culture II
ARTF1045A Story of Art I
ARTF1046A Story of Art 2
ARTF2000Stories of Art:An Introduction
CULT1000Introduction to Cultural Analysis 1
CULT1001Introduction to Cultural Analysis II
CULT1002Cultural History
CULT1003Film and History: Cultural Readings and Historical Fictions

Module replaces

This module was previously offered at level 3 as CULT3014. it will now be offered as a level 2 module.

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary



On completion of this module students should:
- have a general sense of the various definitions available for understanding utopianism;
- be able to give an historicised account of the various ideal cities and communities explored by utopian thinkers since the sixteenth century;
- be in a position to argue critically for/against the desirability and viability of utopianism in our contemporary world of global capitalism.

Learning outcomes
Students will develop their verbal and written fluency in constructing a logical and coherent argument. They will participate in group discussions. Their intellectual agility and flexibility will be developed as they will be asked to consider texts that not only range from the C16th to the present day, but which also originate from the fields of political and social theory, literature, architectural history, philosophy.

Consequently their training on this module will be both historicising and interdisciplinary. They will further develop their skills in writing bibliographies and using databases (especially as this module is also concerned with current utopian projects which are only researchable through the www).

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.


This module offers students the opportunity to explore a multitude of different ideal cities and model communities from the sixteenth century to the present day.

The tracing of the various forms utopianism has adopted since Thomas More will take us into the fields of architecture, art, literature, politics, philosophy, sociology, women's studies and religion.

In parallel to this historical approach to utopian thinking, students will be encouraged to think critically and imaginatively about our contemporary society and to propose a theoretically informed utopia for the future. The study of dystopias (failed social experiments) will be an unavoidable component of this module.

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
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Class preparation/reading 80 hours
- Essay preparation 40 hours
- Essay preparation 60 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Attendance record kept
- Seminar contribution and oral feedback
- Oral presentation (depending on class size)
- One item of assessment half way through the semester will provide a helpful indicator of student progress.

Methods of assessment

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

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,000- 2,500 words56.00
Group Project/Project/Dissertation.24.00
In-course AssessmentExplication (1,500-2,000 words)20.00
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: 21/05/2010


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