Title MA Cultural and Critical Theory (Cultural Theory) Code Level HCM63 M Credit rating 20 Those joining the unit as an elective from the Faculty’s Postgraduate Framework, or from elsewhere in the University can complete the unit as a 20-credit elective. Pre-requisites None Type of module Delivered over one semester in lectures and seminars, and one-to-one pre and post-essay tutorials. Aims To allow students to develop a sound grasp of the key intellectual moments of cultural theory through the last half of the c.20th to the present day, and thus to address the key theoretical developments in Cultural Studies. To enable students to engage with current academic literature at an advanced level. To facilitate students’ development of their analytical capacities to a refined level, and to express themselves effectively to publishable standard. Learning outcomes/objectiv es The development of a sophisticated understanding of the key elements of cultural theory in the c.20th and c.21st; the development of the capacity to apply theoretical material to modern and contemporary social and cultural phenomena, and to recognise the theoretical ground and presumptions of current commentary and analysis; the development of an appreciation of the variety of methods of cultural analysis, and their philosophical roots; the development of an effective writing style commensurate with the requisite level of analysis, and to a publishable level. Content Designed to provoke critical reflection on the relationships between theoretical practice and cultural commentary, this second unit on the Aesthetics and Cultural Theory pathway provides a grounding in the history of cultural theory for the less familiar, and a sophisticated, close and critical reading of pivotal texts from that history. The Cultural Theory unit offers an advanced introduction to the field of Cultural Theory. Based around close readings of key texts, the course critically interrogates central cultural concepts and thematics in the work of key cultural theorists working in the last half of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. More generally, the course aims to examine and assess the nature and purpose of cultural theory in the contemporary world, and does so by tracing theoretical shifts and reconceptualisations of ‘culture’ in relation to social, political, and geographical contexts. It traces a route from the Marx-inspired Frankfurt School through the profound conceptual shifts wrought by Structuralism, Post-structuralism and the theorisation of identity politics. In this context, the course considers the ways in which the issues of gender, sexuality and ‘race’ have contributed to the development of cultural politics. The unit will conclude by inviting an assessment of the importance of cultural theory for conceptualising the Postmodern moment and movement, and their supercession. Culture, Hegemony and Power; the Frankfurt School and the Culture Industry; Structuralism and Semiotic Theory; Foucault’s Theory of Discourse; ‘Race’, Identity and Politics; Queer Theory and the Politics of Sexuality; Postmodern Feminisms; Boltansky and Chiapello’s Cultural Economy Teaching and learning strategies This is a seminar-based unit, with 2-hour student presentations and discussions weekly, supplemented by a core of 1.5-hour contextualising lectures. Student assignments are preceeded by preparatory tutorials, and succeeded by post-mortems. Further tutorial support is available for seminar preparation. Weekly lectures and seminars account for a minimum of 3.5 hours contact, plus tutorials, out of a total student commitment of approximately 18 – 20 hours weekly. Learning support The unit is fully resourced by the University library, by the Faculty’s IT facilities, and by contracted tutors. Indicative bibliography Adorno, T. W. The Stars Down to Earth and other essays on the irrational in culture Routledge, 1994 Ahmad, A. In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures Verso, 1993 Balibar, E. and I Wallerstein, Race, Nation Class: Ambiguous Identities,Verso, 1991 Barker, C. Cultural Studies and Discourse Analysis: a dialogue on language and identity, 2001 Barry, P. Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory (Manchester University Press, 1995) Barthes, R. A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments (Penguin, 1990) Barthes, R. Image, Music, Text (Fontana, 1977) Barthes, R. Mythologies (Vintage, 1993) Butler, J. Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex", (Routledge, 1993) Butler, J. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (Routledge, 1990) Césaire, A. Discourse on Colonialism (Monthly Review Press, 1977) Clément, C. and Hélène Cixous, The Newly Born Woman, trans. Betsy Wing (University of Minnesota Press, 1986) Clément, C. The Weary Sons of Freud, trans. Nicole Ball (Verso, 1987) Davis, M. City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles (Pimlico, 1998) Dirlik, A. ‘The Postcolonial Aura: Third World Criticism in the Age of Global Capitalism’ Critical Inquiry 20 (1994) Eagleton, T. The Idea of Culture (Wiley-Blackwell, 2000) Fiske, J. Reading the Popular (Unwin-Hyman, 1989) Fornas, J. Cultural Theory and Late Modernity (Sage, 1995) Foucault, M. The History of Sexuality, trans. by Robert Hurley, vol.1 (Vintage, 1990) Gilroy, P. The Black Atlantic (London: Verso, 1993) Hodge, B. and V. Mishra, ‘What is post-colonialism?’ Textual Practice 5:3 (1991) Jameson, F. Late Marxism, Adorno, or, the persistence of the dialectic (Verso, 1990) Marable, M. ‘Beyond Racial Identity Politics’ in Race and Class 35:1 (1993) Mbembe, A. On the Postcolony (University of California Press, 2001) Mulhern, F. Culture/Metaculture (Routledge, 2000) Norris, C. The Truth About Postmodernism (Blackwell, 1993) Ranjana Khanna, ‘Ethical Ambiguities and Spectres of Colonialism: Futures of Transnational Feminism’, in Elizabeth Bronfen and Misha Kavka (eds.), Feminist Consequences: Theory for the New Century (Columbia U. P., 2001) Richter, G. (ed.) Benjamin’s Ghosts: interventions in contemporary literary and cultural theory (Stanford University press, 2002) Schwartz, B. ‘Where Is Cultural Studies?’, Cultural Studies 8.3 (1994) Smith, S. Subjectivity, Identity and the Body: Women’s Autobiographical Practices in the c.20th (Indiana U. P., 1993) Turner, B., M. Featherstone, and M. Hepworth, The body, social process and cultural theory (Sage, 1991) Zizek, S. ‘Multi-Culturalism or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism’ New Left Review, 225 (1997) Assessment tasks Students produce a term paper at the end of the unit. Weighted at 15% for those registered for the MA in Cultural and Critical Theory (and by the appropriate weighting for elective/option units for those from other MA programmes), and gaining 30 credits for a 5,000-word submission and tutorials. The paper may be submitted at 3,000 words as the assignment for the 20-credit elective/optional unit for those registered on other programmes, and weighted according to their ‘home’ programme. Brief description of module content and/or aims (maximum 80 words) The Cultural Theory unit offers an advanced introduction to the field of Cultural Theory. Based around close readings of key texts, the course critically interrogates central cultural concepts and thematics in the work of key cultural theorists working in the last half of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Area examination board to which module relates Module team/authors/coor dinator Semester offered, where appropriate Site where delivered Date of first approval Date of last revision SHaCS; MA in Cultural and Critical Theory Dr. Anta Rupprecht (coordinator), Dr. Cathy Bergin, Dr. V. Margree. Semester 2 Pavilion Parade 2005 N/A Date of approval of this version Version number 2005 Replacement for previous module Field for which module is acceptable and status in that field Course(s) for which module is acceptable and status in that course N/A School home School of Historical and Critical Studies External examiner 1 Compulsory Module MA in Cultural and Critical Theory: compulsory core course on Aesthetics and Cultural Theory pathway. Elective course for those on other pathways, or on other MA programmes in the School, Faculty or University, and an optional unit for courses within the Faculty (Arts and Architecture) Postgraduate Scheme.