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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF5110M Cultural History

30 creditsClass Size: 20

Module manager: Dr Barbara Engh

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

A good BA degree or equivalent


ARTF5020MCultural Theory

This module is not approved as an Elective


On completion of this module, students should be able to grasp the concept of historicity as culturally constructed through the common analysis of theoretical texts, historical texts, films and other cultural products, and to analyse how the critique of the writing of history reveals the problem of history itself to be one of representation.

The course will engage students in the analysis of a range of theoretical texts and cultural artefacts that grapple with problems of how history can be told.

Skills outcomes
- Skills necessary to undertake higher research degree and/or for employment in a higher capacity in an area of professional practice.
- Evaluating own achievement and that of others.
- Self-direction and effective decision-making.
- Independent learning.
- Use of methodologies and theoretical resources.


The module develops chronologically from Jean-Jacques Rousseau's considerations of the origins of society and of inequality and the nature of the human, and proceeds to the post-colonialist and post-psychoanalytic discussion of history as a particular representation of a Western episteme, passing through Kant, Nietzsche, Freud, and the Frankfurt School to Spivak, Bhabha,

The course invokes filmic and fictional texts which will be set against theoretical considerations of historical origins and historical consciousness in order to understand the urgency of historical narrative in western culture and that narrative's dependence upon a non-western other. These include J-F Truffaut, "The Wild Child"; W Herzog, "Enigma of Kaspar Hauser"; Gillo Pontecorvo, "Battle of Algiers"; Didier Daenninckx, Murder in Memorium; and Assia Djebar, Fantasia - an Algerian Cavalcade.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Film Screenings102.0020.00
Private study hours250.00
Total Contact hours50.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

- Seminar preparation: 58 hours
- Reading: 130 hours
- Writing: 82 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Contribution to class discussion
- Seminar presentation.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 7,000 word essay (inc footnotes and bibliography)100.00
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: 30/06/2021 16:04:50


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