The University of Southampton
Courses

ARTD6095 Methods of Cultural Inquiry

Module Overview

The module is designed to introduce you to various methods of cultural inquiry relevant to the study of contemporary cultural politics and curation. The content of this module provides a context for you to understand the intricacy of cultural politics and contemporary curation and their methodologies. The important topics discussed in this module are the main ways in which the concept of methodology might be understood, enabling you to grasp how the technical models, approaches, understandings, and terms debated throughout the MA’s are pertinent to philosophical investigation. The content of this module focuses on techniques of cultural inquiry, namely discipline specific methodologies and branches of epistemology. By comprehending these ideas, you will be able to appreciate the tensions that researchers face in assessing the methodological needs of particular techniques, specific disciplines, the acquisition and management of data, as well as numerous conceptions of the idea of research methods.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The MA Cultural Politics and the MA in Contemporary Curation are based on the concept that you need to develop a whole variety of methodological and epistemological key skills throughout your period of study, which will improve not only your ability to debate contemporary issues of cultural politics and curation but also your employability. This module introduces you to an array of the appropriate skills for conducting cultural inquiry today. The aim is to provide a context and comprehensive awareness of the methodological challenges faced by researchers in a multifaceted and increasingly image-based socio-cultural world. By the end of the programme, you will be able to demonstrate a diversity of learning outcomes aimed at facilitating your capacity to understand and debate, for example, questions of representationalism, realism, anti-representationalism, poststructuralism, and postmodernism.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The key methodological tendencies and questions influencing the role of contemporary cultural researchers.
  • The technical and other issues that involve methodological approaches, understandings, and terminology when conducting philosophical investigation.
  • The role of techniques in cultural inquiry.
  • The ways in which disciplines such as cultural politics and curation are shaped by their methodologies, epistemologies, and specific techniques.
  • The skills that are applicable to the acquisition and management of data inclusive of numerous conceptions of research methods.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the role of methodological and epistemological debate in contemporary cultural politics and curation.
  • Critically analyse the multiplicity of issues influencing cultural research in the present period.
  • Evaluate the role of representationalism, realism, anti-representationalism, poststructuralism, and postmodernism as theoretical and conceptual tools that enable you to become a more successful researcher.
  • Critically assess the role of argument in research concerning a variety of knowledges, objects, realities, and socio-cultural worlds.
  • Acquire profounder insights into the skills and tools needed by you to become methodologically rigorous yet self-reflexive.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Work with and developing supportive relations within an eclectic diversity of fellow researchers.
  • Solve theoretical, conceptual, and practical problems.
  • Engage in written and oral communication for researchers
Disciplinary Specific Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • For Contemporary Curation Students Demonstrate a position in writing exploring a particular methodology, derived from engagement with critical theory, which you hope to examine further in your final project’s individual written assignment.

Syllabus

The syllabus is designed to provide you with an overview of and a context for methods of cultural inquiry in today’s technologically complex and multifaceted research environment. • The concept of methodology • Cultural inquiry • Philosophical investigation: techniques of inquiry in contemporary cultural politics and curation • Branches of epistemology • The acquisition and management of data • Research methods • Key methodological/epistemological debates within contemporary cultural politics and curation • Representationalism (realism) vs. Anti-representationalism (poststructuralism, postmodernism) • Knowledge, objectivity, rigour, and reflexivity • Social constructionism, interpretation, and truth • Quantitative/qualitative methods of cultural inquiry • Statistics, surveys, meanings, participant observation, interviews, focus groups, and textural analysis • Qualitative methods and meaning in contemporary cultural politics and curation: ethnography, textual approaches, and audience reception studies

Special Features

This module includes a number of special features that will enable you to achieve the learning outcomes. As part of the module, Professors/Readers from Winchester School of Art and Politics and International Relations will join the regular teaching faculty to share their knowledge and experiences of the complexities and ambiguities of today’s methodological environment. This unique view from art, politics, and international relations will form an integral part of your cultural and intellectual development. In addition, the module will prepare you for your future studies and your transition to the world of cultural politics through the provision of extra study workshops that will supply you with essay writing and other related study skills essential for success at MA level.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include The module is taught through a series of lectures and seminars. Teaching methods will place emphasis on conceptual and methodological understanding, and will include group work, guided reflection, and individual study of module and programme materials and discussion of cultural theories, philosophical ideas, and conceptions of investigation. Internationalisation This module puts great emphasis on developing an appreciation of the complexities that are inherent in techniques of inquiry in an era of globalisation. The content of the module will explicitly refer to the contemporary cultural and political diversity that is exhibited both in the student cohort and in the wider contemporary cultural, political, and curatorial research community. Learning activities include Seminar discussion Peer group learning Reflective writing Presentations A range of academic support workshops will be delivered as part of this module, so as to enable you to effectively engage with the expectations relating to academic study skills and the conventions of academic language and writing. Indicative themes and topics will include: essay writing, thinking critically, research, referencing, and academic integrity. You will be able to participate in English language support workshops available in the School.

TypeHours
Teaching170
Teaching30
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Bryman, A. (2012) (2012). Social Research Methods. ,0 , pp. 0.

Marsh, D and Stoker, G (2010) (2010). Theory and Methods in Political Science. ,0 , pp. 0.

Rose, G (2011) (2011). Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to Researching with Visual Materials.. ,0 , pp. 0.

White, M and Schwoch, J (eds) (2006) (2006). Questions of Method in Cultural Studies.. ,0 , pp. 0.

Walliman, N (2010) Research Methods: The Basics. ,0 , pp. 0.

Brett Davis, M (2007) Doing a Successful Research Project: Using Qualitative or Quantitative Methods.. ,0 , pp. 0.

Burnham, P (et al) (2008) (2008). Research Methods in Politics.. ,0 , pp. 0.

D’Alleva, A (2005) (2005). Methods and Theories of Art History.. ,0 , pp. 0.

Pickering, M (ed) (2008) (2008). Research Methods for Cultural Studies.. ,0 , pp. 0.

Hatt, M and Klonk, C (2005) (2005). Art History: A Critical Introduction to its Methods.. ,0 , pp. 0.

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment  ( words) 40%
Assignment  ( words) 60%

Repeat

MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment  ( words) 100%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment  ( words) 100%
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