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2009/10 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CULT3015 Movies, Migrants and Diasporas

20 creditsClass Size: 21

Module manager: Dr Claudia Sternberg

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2009/10

Pre-requisite qualifications

Students are expected to come equipped with research and essay writing skills appropriate to Level Three of undergraduate study. They should have experience in the analysis of cinematic texts or other cultural artefacts/practices. They should have worked with theoretical texts on culture, film, literature or art and should have had some encounters with cultural diversity in their studies or elsewhere.

Module replaces

CULT3009 Black and Asian British Film

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary



This module is dedicated to migration and diaspora in Europe as reflected in the cinema. It introduces students to the work of filmmakers with, for example, German Turkish, Black or Asian British, Maghrebi French, Roma or Jewish backgrounds, productions made by transnational Eastern European practitioners and films about migration and diaspora created by non-migrant/diasporic writers and directors.

The module situates cultural (film) analysis - as introduced and practised at Levels One and Two - within the wider field of postcolonial studies and diaspora criticism. The guided engagement with a selection of theoretical texts and relevant films enables students to recognise and discuss analytically the relationship between the (popular) representation of migrant and diasporic experiences and the socio-political discourses of ethnicity, 'race', immigration, national identity and cultural diversity. The module encourages reflection on the students' own position in and vis-à-vis Europe.

The module is informed by the module leader's research in this field (see Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe).

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of this module, students will be able to:
- identify narrative films about migration and diaspora in Europe and distinguish between different approaches to the representation of multicultural and multilingual Europe by migrant and non-migrant, diasporic and non-diasporic filmmakers.
- find and process information about social and historical contexts and analyse a film of their choice with recourse to the theoretical texts discussed in this and previously attended modules (eg CULT2004 Postcolonial Critique).
- discuss and write about the audiovisual representation of migrants and diasporic subjects in a culturally sensitive, analytically acute and theoretically informed manner.

Students will have influenced the syllabus and direction of the module by drawing on their own background, special interests and/or knowledge.

Skills outcomes
- Introduction to digital storytelling
- Writing about film using different text types.


While the module is primarily concerned with filmic representations, it nevertheless refers to the social realities of migrant and diasporic communities in contemporary Europe. These have become so diverse and manifold that a comprehensive coverage is not possible.

The module is therefore designed to draw on the interests, backgrounds, language skills and specific cultural knowledge of participating students. Participants will be asked to present a digital self-portrait before the beginning of the teaching period and the syllabus will be customised (choice of films and central themes) in response to these portraits.

Among the general areas to be covered in this module are:
- Migration, Diaspora and the Cinema
- Old and New Diasporas
- From National to Transnational Cinema
- The Multicultural City
- Gender and Generation
- 'Race', Ethnicity and Identity
- Music and Youth Films
- Interethnic Romance and other Crosscultural Encounters
- Undocumented Migrants and Labour in 'Fortress Europe'
- Queering the Diaspora
- The 'Mythical Return' and other Journeys
- Europe's Internal 'Others'.

The module will consist of lectures, film screenings and seminars.

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
Film Screenings62.0012.00
Private study hours164.00
Total Contact hours36.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students prepare a digital self-portrait before teaching begins to introduce themselves and their specific backgrounds or interests.

Private study time is also dedicated to module readings, additional screenings and writing the assessed essay.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Seminars enable the module tutor to monitor attendance as well as reading, research and viewing activities.
- The second of the two tutorials will ensure that essay plans and preparations are appropriate and realistic.
- Presentations in Weeks 10 and 11 give an opportunity to receive feedback on essay projects before the final submission.

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
Essay5,000-6,000 words100.00
PresentationLength depends on class size0.00
ReportDigital self-portrait0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 31/03/2011


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