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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF2127 Keywords

20 creditsClass Size: 150

Module manager: Professor John Mowitt

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

100 credits at level 1 in any of the above programmes.

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Representation, Form, Context, Interpretation and Power are words one hears often in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies (FAHACS). They are heard frequently because they are actually concepts used by teachers and scholars in these fields to analyse works of art and cultural practices whether realised as paintings, texts, buildings, actions or otherwise. What do these concepts mean; how are they used; when and why were they produced; what debates have they stirred? These are the questions that students in this module will engage. Considering various answers to them will enable students not only to be more articulate about the work of cultural analysis and critical practice, but also to understand the conceptual coherence across different programmes in FAHACS. Through reading, writing and speaking students will become active and self-aware participants in the cultural history of the present.


This core module prepares students for engaged, critical research at a consolidated level in art history, cultural theory and cultural and media studies. Students learn how to think conceptually about their objects of intellectual curiosity and to reflect historically on the disciplines with which they are affiliated.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module, you will have
- consciously made the transition from the introductory first year of study to the more specialised and demanding second year.
- critically analysed, considered and reflected on the keywords 'representation,' 'form,' 'context,' 'interpretation' and 'power,' both in general terms and with reference to your programme of study.
- carefully worked through a series of theoretical texts.
- made connections between concepts, readings and lectures in the module.
- written two essays to put to the test your personal understanding of the concepts behind the module keywords and their importance.
- built up your foundation and confidence for developing viable essay and dissertation projects at Levels Two and Three.


The module is organised around five 'keyword' themed lectures for all students, to be delivered bi-weekly, and five related lectures to take place in the following weeks. The follow-up lectures are broken down by programme of study (A: Cultural and Media Studies/Fine Art with Contemporary Cultural Theory/History of Art with Cultural Studies; B: History of Art/Fine Art with History of Art/History of Art with Cultural Studies) and are led by members of academic staff from the respective subject areas. Five small-group tutorials are additionally offered to facilitate the preparation of questions which the module leader will respond to in his themed lectures.
Week 1: Introduction to Module and 'Representation' (lecture)
Week 2: 'Representation' (two parallel lectures)
Week 2: Student-led and Seminar Assistant-led tutorials in preparation of Week 3
Week 3: Response Representation/Form (lecture)
Week 4: 'Form' (two parallel lectures)
Week 4: Tutorials in preparation of Week 5
Week 5: 'Response,' 'Form'/'Interpretation' (lecture)
Week 6: Personal & Professional Development Week/Writing Essay 1
Week 7: 'Interpretation' (two parallel lectures)
Week 7: Tutorials in preparation of Week 8
Week 8: Response 'Context'/'Interpretation' (lecture)
Week 9: 'Interpretation' (two parallel lectures)
Week 9: Tutorials in preparation of Week 10
Week 10: Response 'Interpretation'/'Power' (lecture)
Week 11: Response 'Power'/'Power' and Conclusion (two parallel lectures)
Submission of Essay 2

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours169.75
Total Contact hours30.25
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students will be expected to prepare for each lecture or seminar. They must read, take notes, prepare questions/topics for discussion, and prepare to share with classmates their insights, their questions, and the results of their research.
Private study time will also be dedicated to writing a shorter essay during Week 6 and a longer essay after Week 11.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Attendance will be recorded in tutorials and follow-up lectures. Each student is expected to upload five ‘questions’ on the VLE in the weeks leading up to the tutorials; this upload will be monitored by the seminar assistants. A selection of questions will be addressed by the module leader in the core lectures.
A mid-term essay is due in Week 7. Written commentary will be provided before submission of the longer end-of-term essay so that students can take on board feedback on how to improve.
Seminar assistants also offer 1:1 consultations in the periods leading up to the two essay submission dates to address any individual concerns and to make the most of the feedback received.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
EssayMid-Term Essay (1500 words)40.00
EssayEnd-of-Term Essay (2000 words)60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

All coursework must be attempted in order to pass the module.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:22:37


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