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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF5032M Movies, Migrants and Diasporas

30 creditsClass Size: 13

Module manager: Dr Claudia Sternberg

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

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

This module is not approved as an Elective


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 film analysis in the wider field of postcolonial/critical migration studies, 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-a-vis Europe

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of this module, students will be able to -
- identify, situate and critically analyse narrative films about migration and diaspora in Europe.
- Distinguish between different approaches to the representation of multicultural and multilingual Europe On the screen
- find and process information about social and historical contexts,
- obtain historical information and statistical data on migrants and diasporic communities in Europe and how to access and work with documentation relating to cultural institutions and policy.
- analyse a film with recourse to the theoretical texts taken from postcolonial and migration studies, diaspora criticism and film and cultural theory,
- discuss and write about the audiovisual representation of migrants and diasporic subjects in a culturally sensitive, analytically acute and theoretically informed manner.
This module invites students to influence the syllabus and direction of the module by drawing on, and presenting – through digital storytelling - their own background, special interests and/or knowledge.
At the end of the module, students will be able to express why and how the module's subject matter, films and readings constitute a critique of nation-thinking and Eurocentrism as well as a commentary on current debates about European identities and mobilities.

Skills outcomes
- Introduction to digital storytelling
- Writing about film in different genres
- Working in teams.


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 and if possible the syllabus will be customised (choice of films and central themes) in response to these portraits.
Indicative 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 short lecture parts, film screenings, and interactive seminars

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Film Screenings92.0018.00
Independent online learning hours4.00
Private study hours248.00
Total Contact hours48.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Students prepare a digital self-portrait introduce themselves and their background with special reference to migration and mobility. Private study time is also dedicated to module readings, additional screenings and preparing the assessed work.

Prior to the teaching period, students enrolled in the module will be directed to online tutorials about digital storytelling (including introduction to and case studies of the genre, use of respective image software, e.g. Photo Story 3 or Moviemaker, and the recording of sound, e.g. Audacity). All tutorials and software packages are free of charge

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

(MA only) Seminars enable the module tutor to monitor attendance as well as reading, research and viewing activities. Discussions relating to assessment ensure that (digital) essay plans and preparations are appropriate and realistic. The module leader is available in office hours and by appointment to address any individual queries.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3500-4000 words60.00
ReportDigital Self-portrait0.00
CritiqueCritical reflection in digital story/audio-visual essay format40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Critical reflection in digital story/audio-visual essay format (max. 5 mins, to be presented in class with introduction and discussion). It is possible to develop this assessed element individually or in pairs or teams. Length and scope will have to be adjusted for collaborative work.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 16/08/2021


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