The University of Southampton
Courses

PAIR3044 Cinema and Political Theory

Module Overview

This module explores the relationship between cinema and political theory. More specifically it addresses cinema as a distinct medium of political theorizing or political education. The module explores this topic through critical engagement of SOME of the following ‘genres’ of cinema: Westerns, Film Noir, Comedies of Re-Marriage, Science Fiction, War, Gothic, Horror in conjunction with selected topics in political theory, drawing on work in both film studies and political theory. (Examples of the kind of films we address would include: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, My Darling Clementine, The Maltese Falcon, Blade Runner, The Philadelphia Story, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Apocalypse Now, Ghost Dog, Days of Glory.)

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Draw on, and critically engage, debates in film studies and political theory with respect to cinema as a medium of political thought and to demonstrate this through evaluations of different accounts of cinema as political theory and of different readings of particular films
  • Evaluate particular films as contributions to political thinking

Syllabus

Introduction: Cinema as a medium of political thought (wk1) 1. Genre 1 (e.g., The Western: Foundings and Social Contracts) (wks2-4) 2. Genre 2 (e.g., Film Noir: Alienation, Corruption and Ethics) (wks 5-7) 3. Genre 3 (e.g., Comedies of Re-Marriage: Publicity, Education and Democracy) (wks8-10) 4. Debating Cinema as Political Theory (wks11-12)

Special Features

Weekly film showing and use of scene sequences for assessment.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

One lecture, one seminar and one film showing each week.

TypeHours
Wider reading or practice22
Preparation for scheduled sessions24
Lecture12
Seminar12
Completion of assessment task50
Supervised time in studio/workshop30
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Joshua Foa Dienstag (2016). Cinema, Democracy, Perfectionism. 

Stanley Cavell (2005). Cities of Words. 

Robert Pippin (2012). Fatalism in Film Noir. 

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Critical Analysis  ( words) 45%
Essay  ( words) 55%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Google+ Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×