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2008/09 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CULT3000 The Frankfurt School and Critical Theory

20 creditsClass Size: 20

Module manager: Dr Barbara Engh
Email: b.engh@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2008/09

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module examines the key critical concepts developed by the Frankfurt School, one of the major critical movements of the 20th century whose concerns continue to agitate Cultural Studies today. Drawing upon readings from Adorno, Benjamin, Bloch, Habermas, Horkheimer, and Marcuse, we will explore the issues of the structural transformation of society with the advent of commodity culture, the culture industry, the critique of rationality, the dialectic of the artwork and of technology, and the concept of critique itself.In addition to developing an understanding of the historical and philosophical sociogenesis of the Frankfurt School, we will study the deployment of their critical concepts in relation to specific cultural practices, filmic, literary, and musical.Assessment: 1 x 2 hour exam (50%) and 1 x 2,000 - 3,000 word essay (50%).

Objectives

On completion of this module students:
- will be familiar with the key critical concepts developed by the Frankfurt School;
- should have an understanding of the historical and philosophical genealogy of Critical Theory, and understand its relevance to contemporary cultural theory and analysis, with regard to both cultural critique in general and the analysis of specific cultural forms such as film and music.

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

This course will examine the key critical concepts developed by the Frankfurt School, one of the major critical movements of the 20th century whose concerns continue to agitate Cultural Studies today. Drawing upon readings from Adorno, Benjamin, Bloch, Habermas, Horkheimer, and Marcuse, we will explore the issues of the structural transformation of society with the advent of commodity culture, the culture industry, the critique of rationality, the dialectic of the art work and of technology, and the concept of critique itself.

In addition to developing an understanding of the historical and philosophical sociogenesis of the Frankfurt School, we will study the deployment of their critical concepts in relation to specific cultural practices, filmic, literary, and musical.

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
Lecture112.0022.00
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- 150 hours reading and class preparation
- 28 hours essay preparation and writing.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Attendance at seminars/lectures - record of attendance kept
- Contribution to class discussions.

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)2 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: 19/02/2010

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