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2011/12 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL3204 Contemporary Fictions of Sport: Gender, Diaspora, Multiculturalism

20 creditsClass Size: 20

English

Module manager: Professor John McLeod
Email: j.m.mcleod@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2011/12

This module is not approved as an Elective

Objectives

Whether it be migrant Trinidadian calypsonians singing and dancing around the wicket at the Lord's to celebrate the West Indian cricket team's first victory on English soil, or the Conservative MP Norman Tebbit's infamous 'cricket test' for 'ethnic minority' Britons, sport has played a central and often under-explored role in indexing the social, political and cultural transformations of national life in recent years.

In this module (taking place in the year of London's 2012 Olympics) we explore the ways in which recent writers and filmmakers in Britain have focused upon sport to articulate, explore and often critique the wider shifting social and cultural milieu of the contemporary. It considers in depth how sporting endeavours and their representation often play a central role in the negotiation of a number of key contemporary concerns.

These concerns include: Britain's new multiculturalisms; transforming gender through 'play'; sport vs class; sport and/as art; subcultural sporting communities; sporting fans and their fantasies; the cult of sporting celebrity; diasporic sporting identities; and the new models of 'sporting' ethics in a culturally plural nation.

One issue which will particularly preoccupy us is the decision by many writers and filmmakers to place women at the heart of hitherto perceived male-dominated sports (as in the films Playing Away and Bend it Like Beckham); while we will also dwell upon the new, post-macho models of masculinity which representations of sport make possible (as in Fever Pitch and Billy Elliot).

We study four books and four films, using recent exciting scholarship in literary and cultural studies.

Learning outcomes
These include:
- an advanced knowledge of the representation of sport in contemporary culture;
- the ways in which cultural texts figure and intervene in wider matters of social, political and multicultural debate;
- the links between diaspora, issues of cultural and national belonging, and the pursuit of sporting representations;
- the cultural politics of sport in a multicultural frame;
- the ability to compose critical views regarding the confluence of sport, culture, politics, race and identity.

Skills outcomes
These would include the ability to:
- read critically a range of divergent yet related cultural texts across different genres;
- synthesise and take up a position within current conceptual debates surrounding sport, multiculturalism and its representation;
- generate independent critical perspectives that engage exploratively and creatively with scholarly ideas;
- present a structured and coherent argument in written work, which evidences detailed knowledge of critical terminology and cultural texts;
- articulate a critical understanding of cultural texts and critical issues verbally as well as on the page;
- proceed as sensitive reader of textual detail.


Syllabus

The module will proceed through the study of eight literary and cinematic texts from the late 1980s until the present, and engage with three particular sports.

An indicate list of set texts includes the following:
- Caryl Phillips, Playing Away (dir. Horace Ové), 1987
- Nick Hornby, Fever Pitch, 1992
- John King, England Away, 1998
- Stephen Daldry (dir.), Billy Elliot, 2000
- Gurinder Chadha (dir.), Bend it Like Beckham, 2002
- David Peace, The Damned United, 2006
- Romesh Gunesekera, The Match, 2006
- Ken Loach (dir.), Looking for Eric, 2009.

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
Meetings51.005.00
Seminar101.0010.00
Private study hours185.00
Total Contact hours15.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Teaching will be through weekly seminars (10 x 1 hour) plus up to 5 additional hours (content to be determined by the module tutor).
- The 5 additional hours may include lectures, plenary sessions, film showings, or the return of unassessed/assessed essays.

Students will be required to spend approximately 17 hours per week in addition to lectures and seminars involved in a number of private, independent activities.

These include:
a) reading and viewing the primary texts;
b) studying specific secondary materials and pursuing/researching materials in the library under their own initiative;
c) planning and drafting a short essay and a major piece of assessed work;
d) engaging with resources made available via the VLE.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Seminar attendance, oral seminar performance, 'unassessed' and assessed essays.

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
Essay4,000 words100.00
EssayOne unassessed essay of 1,750 words. This does not form part of the assessment for this module, but is a requirement and MUST be submitted. Students who fail to submit the unassessed essay will be awarded a maximum mark of 40 for the module (a bare Pass).0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

One unassessed essay of 1700 words is required. This does not form part of the assessment for this module, but is a requirement and MUST be submitted. Students who fail to submit the unassessed essay will be awarded a maximum mark of 40 for the module (a bare Pass).

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 07/03/2012

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