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Undergraduate Courses 2014
This is a 2014 entry programme. Would you like to view Cultural Studies and Social Anthropology for 2016 entry?

Cultural Studies and Social Anthropology - BA (Hons)

Overview

It is often said that the world is changing more rapidly than at any other time in history, and the study of cultural transformation is key to achieving the ‘joined-up thinking’ society needs in the 21st century. Cultural Studies at Kent is a lively, innovative subject with distinctive perspectives on all forms of present day culture. We explore significant connections between popular culture, the arts and everyday life by crossing traditional social sciences/humanities boundaries.

Social Anthropology is a distinctive degree programme allowing for the holistic study of people's ideas, beliefs, practices and activities in a wide range of local, global, diasporic and transnational settings. Social anthropologists study how and why we do the things we do, for example, how we work, use technologies, and negotiate conflicts, relationships and change

Independent rankings

Cultural Studies programmes offer the best opportunity to combine modules right across the social science and humanities faculties.

Anthropology at Kent was ranked 1st in the UK for student satisfaction in the 2012 National Student Survey.

Course structure

The course structure below gives a flavour of the modules that will be available to you and provides details of the content of this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules, you may also have the option to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes offered by the University in order that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas of interest to you or that may further enhance your employability.

Stage 1

Possible modules may include:

SE301 - Social Anthropology

Social Anthropology is a discipline which has traditionally specialised in the study of non-Western, pre-industrial societies. With increasing frequency, however, social and cultural anthropologists have turned towards the study of ‘home’, using insights gained from studying other cultures to illuminate aspects of their own society. This course draws on both these areas of social anthropology, looking at people from places as different as the rainforests of West Africa and the industrial heartlands of Britain and America, and introduces students to social anthropology through a selection of topics which have been chosen to illustrate the kind of issues that social anthropologists study and the kinds of arguments and theories they have developed.Module Topics Include: CULTURE, SYMBOLISM AND CLASSIFICATION (including language, myth, taboo). THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF INTIMATE LIFE (including marriage, divorce and exchange). RELIGION, RITUAL AND BELIEF (including initiation, and witchcraft). POWER, POLITICS AND IDENTITY (including ethnicity, nationalism, multiculturalism, globalisation).

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SE302 - Foundations of Biological Anthropology

This module is an introduction Biological Anthropology and human prehistory.It provides an exciting introduction to humans as the product of evolutionary processes. We will explore primates and primate behaviour, human growth and development, elementary genetics, the evolution of our species, origins of agriculture and cities, perceptions of race, and current research into human reproduction and sexuality.This module is required for all BSc in Anthropology and BA in Social Anthropology students. The module is also suitable for students in other disciplines who want to understand human evolution, and the history and biology of our species. A background in science is not assumed or required, neither are there any preferred A-levels or other qualifications.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SO334 - Modern Culture

This module introduces students to discussions and debates surrounding modern culture. It looks at why culture has always been such a contested sphere and has a decisive impact on society at large. Students will look at culture in the widest sense, ranging from ‘the arts’ to the banalities of everyday life in our consumer society; at how culture has expressed and organised the way people think and live from the days of 'protestantism' to those of post-punk. Books, magazines, radio, TV, movies, cartoons, fashion, graffiti, the cult of celebrity, youth subcultures and pop music will be used to understand class, history, sexuality, colonialism, revolution, conflict and globalisation.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO335 - Contemporary Culture

Contemporary culture is 'now-time' culture, but when did 'now’ begin - and, will it be over before the course starts? This module focuses on analysing contemporary culture and contemporary cultural forms and aims to demonstrate the range of possible interpretations that culture can be open to. It raises questions about how culture can be viewed from aesthetic, political, ethical and economic perspectives. What is culture really for? Is it product or a process? Who owns it? Is it for fun or is it deadly serious? In order to think through contemporary issues such as multiculturalism and otherness, and what they might imply about our changing perceptions of space, place, and belonging, we'll be taking a case study approach to a range of cultural products and objects, media and institutions, and post-modern practices of communication: including such things as maps and satnavs; internet pirates; social networking technologies like Facebook and Twitter; gossip magazines; conspiracy theories; plastic surgery and tattooing; 3D movie experiences; and interactive video games such as Wii. This module aims to understand the transformation of culture and everyday life we are living through and the way it changes who we are.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage


Stage 2

Possible modules may include:

SO506 - Popular Culture, Media and Society

This is a core module for Cultural Studies programmes, but is also open to and suitable for students on other programmes in the Social Sciences and Humanities. It may also be taken as a ‘wild’ option. In each term, the module examines theories and analyses central to the development of the study of culture within two distinct trajectories.

In the Autumn term, the module introduces and applies ideas in critical, cultural and communications theory to debates and issues surrounding media and popular culture, focusing on such themes as cultural elitism, power and control, the formation of identities, the politics of representation, and the cultural circuit of production and consumption. It investigates the relationship between the development of contemporary society and societal values and the changing technological basis of mediated culture.

In the Spring term, the module combines theoretical and methodological approaches to examine how our understandings of the past, present and future are mediated and remediated in social, cultural and political contexts. Over the course of the term, it will debate and critically explore the relationship between lived experience, memory and the imagination, the politics of cultural ‘heritage’ and how social myths are developed and used in the construction of cultural identity. It will question how we think about what constitutes cultural ‘history’, how we envisage the future and our role in both.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SE586 - Ethnographies 1

The focus of this module is the intensive investigation of the canonical form in which research in social anthropology has been disseminated, the ethnography. The curriculum for the module therefore consists exclusively of professional ethnographic monographs of varying length. These monographs have been selected to complement the themes of SE588 Advanced Social Anthropology I, as these are both core modules for the BA in Social Anthropology programme of study. Considerable time will be spent, particularly in the earlier seminars, on instruction about how to read and analyse an ethnography. This might include how to examine its implicit (as opposed to explicit) theoretical assumptions, how to place it within the historical development of the discipline, how to evaluate its empirical exemplification of particular theoretical problems, how to evaluate the relationship between description and analysis, how to evaluate its contribution to particular issues and topics within social anthropology, and the examination of its structure, presentation and ability to communicate an understanding of a social and cultural group through the written word. Students’ readings of the core ethnographies for the module will be complemented by their own pursuit of a brief ethnographic research project.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE587 - Ethnographies 2

The curriculum for this module will consist of professional ethnographic monographs of varying length to be read at the rate of one (or selected substantial parts of one) monograph per week. The selection of the ethnographies will be determined by thematic conjunction with the analytical topics to be taught in the Advanced Social Anthropology 2 module, thereby divided into two congruent blocs. These are labelled ‘Power and Authority’ and ‘Belief and Practice’ [see Module specification for SE 589]. Students will be expected to come to class with notes from their reading and will be encouraged to discuss that reading and to relate it to wider anthropological issues raised or implied by the authors of the ethnographies and also dealt with historically and analytically in the co-requisite module Advanced Social Anthropology 1. Considerable time will be spent, particularly in the earlier classes, on instruction about how to ‘read’ an ethnography e.g. on how to examine its implicit (as opposed to explicit) theoretical assumptions, on how to place it within the historical development of the discipline, on how to evaluate its empirical exemplification of particular theoretical problems, on how to evaluate the relationship between ‘description’ and ‘analysis’, on how to evaluate it contribution to particular issues and topics within anthropology, and on the examination of its structure, presentation and ability to communicate an understanding of a social group through the written word.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE588 - Advanced Social Anthropology I

The aim of this module is to introduce students to advanced anthropological thinking on two major fields of enquiry that are generally considered to constitute part of the core of contemporary anthropology:
a) Kinship (dealing with the topics of Marriage, Family, Gender, Descent, ‘Relatedness’, the Developmental Cycle and Embodiment)
b) Economics (dealing with the topics of Consumption, Exchange, Money, Markets, Property, Modes of Production, Agricultural systems, Urbanisation, Globalisation.)
These topics will be dealt with both thematically and historically, providing an account of the development of anthropology, and demonstrating the foundational position that these topics have held and continue to hold in the definition of the discipline.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage


Stage 3

Possible modules may include:

SE554 - Visual Anthropology Theory

The aims of this module are to investigate how anthropology can contribute to - and gain insight from - the analysis of visual forms of representation; to examine anthropological representations with reference to contemporary media of expression employing photography, film, video, television and other electronic means of communication; to develop an anthropological understanding of contemporary audio-visual forms of cultural communication; and to consider theoretical debates from other social sciences and humanities (including literary criticism, film theory and cultural studies) pertinent to visual anthropology.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE555 - Project in Visual Anthropology

Building on conceptual issues introduced in Visual Anthropology Theory (SE554), students are given basic instruction in video or photographic methods which is linked through seminars and lectures to debates around and practical examples of video or still camera usage in ethnographic research and presentation.

Photographic Project
Students doing the photographic project should provide their own 35mm manual, semi-automatic or dedicated digital (not mobile phone) camera but will have access to black and white film stock as well as computer manipulation equipment and programmes (scanners and Adobe Photo Elements). They will as well have access to the department’s black and white photographic darkroom. Students, using this knowledge and equipment, will design and carry out an ethnographic project using photographs. This, together with a field diary, a short photographic essay, and accompanying dissertation, will make up the materials assessed for the module.

Video Project
Students doing the video project will have access to video cameras and video editing software. Students are assessed on the basis of a ten minute film, a reflexive essay, a blog, a field diary and participation.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO676 - Cultures of Embodiment

Images of ‘trim, taut and terrific’ bodies surround us in contemporary consumer culture. They look down on us from billboards, are increasingly central to advertisers’ attempts to sell us clothes, cosmetics, cars, and other products, and pervade reality television programmes based on diet, exercise and ‘extreme’ makeovers. These trends have occurred at the same time that science, technology, genetic engineering and medicine have achieved unprecedented levels of control over the body: there are now few parts of the body which cannot be remoulded, supplemented or transplanted in one way or another. In this course we explore how culture represents and shapes bodies, and also examine how embodied subjects are themselves able to act on and influence the culture in which they live. We will seek to understand the relationship between the body and self-identity, embodiment and inequalities, and will explore various theories of the body. In doing this we range far and wide by looking at such issues as cyberbodies, religion, food, film, transgenderism, sport, music, work and sleep. Embodiment is the enduring theme of this course, though, and we will explore its many dimensions via a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, and by asking and addressing a range of questions such as ‘How and why has the body become increasingly commodified?’, ‘Why has the body become increasingly central to so many people’s sense of self-identity?’, ‘If we live in a culture that has been able to intervene in the sizes, shapes and contents of the body like never before, have people have become less sure about what is ‘natural’ about the body, and about how we should care for and treat our bodily selves?’.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SO657 - Digital Culture

This module will examine the impact of digital technology on our social and cultural lives. It will concentrate on how the Internet in particular has challenged some of our more traditional notions of identity and self, the body, relationships, community, privacy, politics, friendship, war and crime, economics, among others. Lectures will show how some of the basic components of culture such as notions of identity, space, the body, community, and even the very notion of what it is to be human, have been complicated by the rise of virtuality and cyberspace. We will also examine these issues through case study phenomena unique to digital culture, currently including gaming, music, cybersex and social networking.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE556 - Social Sciences in the Classroom

This module is a one-term placement opportunity that allows students to teach aspects of their degree subject in a local school. Launched to coincide with Kent’s 50th anniversary, this module highlights the longstanding excellence of social science research and teaching at the University, and the important role the institution has in contributing to the local community

The module will begin with (formative) training sessions (2x3hours) in the Autumn term. These will include sessions on the sections of the national curriculum that are degree specific, the relationship with the teacher, how to behave with pupils, as well as how to organise an engaging and informative session on an aspect of the specific degree subject.

In the Spring term the student will spend one session per week for six weeks in a local school. Generally, they will begin by observing lessons taught by their designated teacher. Later they will act somewhat in the role of a teaching assistant by working with individual pupils or with a small group. Finally the student will progress to the role of “teacher” and will be expected to lead an entire lesson. The student will be required to keep a weekly log of their activities. Each student will also create resources to aid in the delivery of their subject area within the curriculum. Finally, the student will devise a special project ( in consultation with the teacher and with the local module convener.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE565 - Sex Evolution and Human Nature

Understand the theoretical concerns, methods, and findings of current empirical research in evolutionary anthropology.
Understand aspects of human behaviour in terms of our evolutionary past.
Recognize the implications of Darwin’s theories of natural and sexual selection for human behaviour.
Have an in depth knowledge of human sexual and reproductive behaviour.
Have the ability to critically evaluate new anthropological/evolutionary psychology approaches to the study of human behaviour.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE573 - Ethnicity and Nationalism

‘Ethnicity’ and ‘nationalism’ are matters of contemporary urgency (as we are daily reminded by the media), but while the meanings of these terms are taken for granted, what actually constitutes ethnicity and nationalism, and how they have been historically constituted, is neither clear nor self-evident. This module begins with a consideration of the major theories of nationalism and ethnicity, and then moves on to a series of case studies taken from various societies around the world. It then moves on to examine a number of other important concepts—indigeneity, ‘race’, hybridity, authenticity, ‘invention of tradition’, multiculturalism, globalization—that can help us appreciate the complexity and dynamics of ethnic identities. The general aim of the module is to enable and encourage students to think critically beyond established, homogenous and static ethnic categories.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE575 - Medicinal Plants: Home Remedy, Pharmaceutical, Illicit Drug

This module is an introduction to ethnopharmacology, a multidisciplinary field of study that employs chemistry, ecology, biology, pharmacology and anthropology to evaluate and understand the use of plants (and other substances) in non-western medical systems. While students will be introduced to all of the disciplines involved in ethnopharmacological research, this module will have a heavy anthropological focus. Lecture and reading materials will address questions related to the actions of natural products in the human body, the ecological and evolutionary basis of medicinal plants use, the epistemology of non-western medical systems, the efficacy of medicinal plants and the ethics of developing pharmaceuticals based on traditional medicines.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE584 - The Anthropology of Business

This module addresses the important role that anthropology plays in the examination of our own organizational lives as embedded in various forms of capitalism. The module will allow students to gain anthropological perspectives on business formation, structures, practices and ideologies. Businesses - be they individuals, families, corporations, nation-states or multi-lateral corporations - have identities that are invariably distinct from one another and which are forged upon and promote particular social relationships. Ethnographic case-studies, with a strong emphasis on the stock market in the last third of the course will provide the basis for discussing how these social relationships that enact power, are embedded in broader cultural processes extending from the local to the global. the module is designed to be accessible to both anthropology and business students.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE585 - From the Raw to the Cooked: The Anthropology of Eating

Students will learn about the evolution and significance of food production, especially in relation to globalisation, identity and health. The module will cover different modes of food production, the domestication of animals and the cultivation of staple crops in the course of social development. it will look at different theories about the importance of food production for the rise of urban cultures and organised religion, and the relationship of food production systems to trade, colonial expansion and the process of globalisation. Moving from production and distribution to eating itself, the module will cover notions of food identity at collective and individual levels, by looking at the process of food preparation and consumption and abstinence in different cultural settings. We will also look at various forms of disordered eating, the dynamic relationship between cultures and eating and contemporarary debates over fast food, genetic engineering, and personal identity against the background of rising food prices, regional food shortage and the management of famine in different countries.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE593 - Evolution of Human Diversity

This module deals specifically with the evolution of biological diversity within the human species. The nature and extent of the biological diversity observed amongst human populations has been at the heart of anthropological enquiry for centuries. This module will provide an in-depth introduction into human phenotypic and genetic diversity across the globe.

Biological anthropologists today use a variety of analytical models and techniques drawn from population genetics,quantitative genetics, and evolutionary ecology to analyse human biological diversity. Students will be introduced to these so that the complexities of evolutionary and ecological theories are readily understood.

Students will learn the extent to which humans have adapted to various environmental conditions, as well as understanding the effects of recent demographic changes and population expansions.

This facilitates a direct comparison with other non-evolutionary ecological patterns, while placing human diversity in broad comparative perspective. This also serves as a platform for critically evaluating claims of human ecological or evolutionary uniqueness.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE594 - Anthropology and Development

This module is primarily intended to offer a critical analysis of the concept of development, particularly as it is used to talk about economic and social change in the developing world, the module shows how anthropological knowledge and understanding can illuminate 'development issues' such as rural poverty, environmental degradation, international aid and humanitarian assistance, climate change and the globalization of trade. Topics discussed include the role of anthropology in development practice, by examining some of the methods being used to either study or participate in current development projects, whether at local, national or international levels of intervention.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE595 - Social Computing

In this module you will learn how people are using social computing resources, how anthropologists and others understand these activities, how to access and deploy these resources yourself, and how to leverage your participation to better understand social and cultural processes that are underway in social computing contexts.

In Social Computing we describe and analyse how people use and adapt new technologies to form and navigate cultural and social contexts, create and spread knowledge and undertake action emerging from computer-enhanced capabilities. Capabilities include the internet (including so call Web 2.0), clouds, augmented reality, robotics and virtual devices, wearable computers and sensors and artificial intelligence.

We begin by looking at the major theoretical paradigms and methods that have guided research on these in anthropology and related disciplines. In the remainder of the module we examine case studies of social computing based on different capabilities, using a took-kit that supports the creation and analysis of social computing capabilities and developing group and individual contributions to an on-going collective module project that will contribute to the Social Computing context.

Topics considered include the creative commons of open source, Web 2.0 and resource clouds, social networks, organisational change, reputation, social, lgel and ethical issues, mobile and ubiquitous computing and argmented reality. Topics discussed in class will provide ideas and models for student research projects.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE601 - European Societies

‘European Societies’ surveys the social anthropology of contemporary Europe, with a focus on Western European urban and rural societies. The module explores changes in European societies since the end of the Cold War, including conflict related to the reorganisation and ‘fortification’ of Europe’s southern and eastern borders. We read ethnographies exemplifying contemporary approaches to studying industrial and post-industrial societies. We critically review key debates in the study of community and identity politics; nationalism and ethnic conflict; borders, migration and transnationalism; tradition, modernity, and heritage; tourism; industrial and post-industrial work; new religious movements; and biosocialities. A further focus is interrogation of the concept of ‘Europe’ itself, through analyzing the process of ‘Europeanization’ within the EU, and issues raised by the financial crisis; and through presenting ethnographic vantage points from which students can rethink the idea of ‘Europe’ for themselves. The module includes a critical history of anthropological study of Europe and the Northern Mediterranean, with special attention to the role of the University of Kent in the development of the regional literature. It is designed to be accessible to anthropology students, and those interested in European studies more generally.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE752 - Anthropology of Creativity

This module critically surveys anthropological approaches to creativity and creative expression—selected from research on creativity itself, and on the anthropology of art and literature (both oral and written). We explore three fields of creative practice as they relate to contemporary anthropology. 1) We review classic approaches to the anthropology of art, in both non-Western and Western contexts. We assess recent breakthroughs which challenge the borders between artistic and ethnographic discourse, exploring how the ethnographic encounter can be rethought via dialogue with contemporary artists. 2) We review the anthropology of literature, and assess both pioneering forms of literary expression in the work of anthropologists, and the output of anthropological practitioners of literary fiction and poetry. 3) We examine how anthropology itself can be conceptualised as the creative expression of an encounter with others, lived experience, and the unknown, and explore the implications for anthropological modes of representation (including public anthropology). Students have the option to develop a creative project during the module that builds on this training, and can submit both academic and practice-led creative anthropological research as their assessment.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE534 - Special Project in Social Anthropology

This module offers students the opportunity to design, execute and write up an extended piece of research of their own devising. Students may pursue a module of reading under supervision on a particular topic or undertake a limited fieldwork project. Students registering for the special project will normally be expected to be achieving 2.1 grades or above and to have shown strong evidence of the sort of self-discipline necessary for successfully carrying out extended independent work.
All projects must be supervised by a member of staff. Students who wish to do a project should collect the information sheet from the School Undergraduate Office (room 13a Marlowe Building) and return to the office – signed by the proposed supervisor – both the slip at the bottom and a one page typed sheet outlining the proposed project and including a preliminary reading list of at least five books. This must be done during Stage 2 not later than one week before Registration Day; students who do not provide a signed slip and proposal by this date may not be allowed to register for the project.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SE542 - Human Ecology

This is an introduction to environmental anthropology, and a critical exploration of theories concerning the relationship between culture, social organisation and ecology. The topics covered will include problems in defining nature and environment, environmental determinism and cultural ecology, biological models and the concept of system, ethnoecology, the description of subsistence, the concept of cultural adaptation, the ecology of hunting and gathering peoples, low intensity agriculture, intensification, environment, culture and development, and the anthropology of the environmental movement.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE547 - South East Asian Societies

Over the course of twelve weeks this module provides students with a working knowledge of the ethnography of the countries of Southeast Asia and gives them the opportunity to discuss contemporary issues affecting the region. After being introduced to the places and peoples of the countries of Southeast Asia, students are directed to a study of agricultural and industrial developments, the political systems which exist at local and national levels, the importance of religious belief in everyday life, and issues of gender and power in the region.
Students should note that although this is an area course it is also an anthropological one and consequently students are urged to bring into their discussions in seminars and essays comparative material from other regions of the world to provide a dimension of cross-cultural analysis.
The emphasis of the module will be largely on Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand though the other countries of the region will receive frequent mention. Students are encouraged to introduce into discussions and essays reference to ethnographic examples from countries in the region in which they have an interest but which may not have received much attention in the lectures.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE549 - The Anthropology of Health, Illness and Medicine

The module addresses the causes, effects, treatments and meanings of health and illness. Health and illness are of major concern to most of us, irrespective of our cultural, social and biological contexts. In this module we will begin with an overview of the major theoretical paradigms and methods in medical anthropology. We will then focus on how and why different diseases have affected various human populations throughout history and the ways perceptions of what constitutes health and illness vary greatly, cross-culturally as well as within one particular cultural domain. This will be followed by an overview of ethnomedical systems as a response to illness and disease. Anthropological studies in the sphere of medicine originally tended to concentrate on other people’s perceptions of illness, but have increasingly come to focus on the difficulties encountered when trying to define what constitutes health in general. Anthropology has also turned its attention to a critical examination of biomedicine: originally thought of as providing a ‘value free, objective and true’ assessment of various diseases (epidemiology), biomedicine is now itself the subject of intense anthropological scrutiny and is seen as the expression of a culturally specific system of values. The module will finish with the consideration of practical applications of medical anthropology.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE550 - The Anthropology of Gender

This module explores the central historical and contemporary debates in the anthropology of gender, including: the search for universal principles underlying gender inequality (such as nature/culture and domestic/public), relationships between gender, sex, and sexuality, how gender articulates with other indices of difference such as race, class and nation, gendered perspectives on power, the interaction of agency and structure in the production of femininities and masculinities, gender and technology, gender and the state, and gendered modernities. A key concern of the module will be to understand, discuss and debate how the primarily qualitative methods of ethnographic research can inform and further these debates. The module will first review the historiography of theoretical developments in the anthropology of gender and feminist anthropology, then move on to consider key classic and contemporary ethnographies to explore how they contribute to our ability to analyse and understand gender.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE551 - Anthropology and Language

An introduction to linguistic anthropology and a critical exploration of the relationship between language, culture, and social organisation. Topics covered will include language and thought in the history of anthropology, the rudiments of linguistic description, language as a social phenomenon, oratory and ritual speech, the significance of the written word and literacy, speech variation, the links between language, social structure and culture, linguistic aspects of symbolism, the relationship between words and categories, colour classification and universalist versus relativist theories.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE552 - Culture and Cognition

An introduction to cognitive anthropology and a critical exploration of theories concerning the relationship between cognitive processes, culture and social organisation. The topics covered will include the forming of categories, relations between categories, the symbolic construction of nature, the classification of natural kinds, the convergence of cognitive and symbolic approaches, the evolution of hominid cognitive processes, the development of second order representations, social cognition and classification, spatial orientation, time reckoning and the cultural construction of knowledge.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO505 - Sociology of Crime and Deviance

The aim of this module is to provide students with a critical understanding of the nature and extent of crime and deviance in contemporary society, and the main ways in which they can be explained and controlled. Focusing upon contemporary sociological theories of crime against a background of the classical ideas within the field, this unit will provide undergraduates with an opportunity to engage with the most up-to-date debates.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SO525 - Environmental Politics

Environmental issues have become central matters of public concern and political contention. In this module we shall consider explanations for the rise and social distribution of environmental concern as well as the forms of organisation that have been adopted to address environmental questions, including the emergence of global environmental issues and the responses to them. The development of environmental protest, environmental movements and Green parties are central concerns, but we shall also consider the ‘greening’ of established political parties and political agenda. Is it realistic to expect the development of a global environmental movement adequate to the task of tackling global environmental problems. The approach is broadly comparative and examples will be taken from Europe (east and west), North America, Australasia and south-east Asia.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO533 - Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice

The aims of this module are:

1. To understand the historical development of feminist criminology and its contemporary relevance;
2. To explore the relationship between gender, offending and victimisation; and,
3. Examine the role of gender in criminal justice.

Topics covered in the module include: feminist methods and theory in criminology, prostitution, masculinities and crime, women in the criminal justice system, criminal justice responses to gendered violence, sexual offending and gender in the prison system.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO534 - Violence and Society

This module will examine the ways in which violence is receiving increasing attention within the social sciences, and will introduce the major theoretical and research themes involved in the analysis of violence. It will examine data on the prevalence, nature and effects of violent crime, and will consider issues of violence, aggression and masculinity. This will be done with particular reference to examples, such as racist crime, homophobic crime and domestic violence. The module will approach violence from interpersonal and societal perspectives and will include consideration of collective violence and genocide. It will further examine solutions to solutions to violence and conflict resolution, the effects of intervention strategies and non-juridical responses to violence.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO535 - Youth and Crime

This module provides students with a sociological and criminological understanding of contemporary issues relating to young people, crime and deviance. More specifically, the module provides a critical understanding of young people’s involvement in crime and deviance and the various responses to youth crime, especially how young people are dealt with by the youth justice system. We begin by examining current trends in youth offending and explore media responses and then go on to look at ‘the youth problem’ from an historical context. We will then go on to focus in depth on several substantive topics, including gangs and violent crime; drugs, alcohol and nightlife; young people, urban space and antisocial behaviour; and the youth justice system in England and Wales. Throughout the module, attention is given to the importance of understanding the connections of youth crime with race, class and gender and at the same time, engages with key theoretical ideas and debates that inform our understandings of youth crime. This unit provides an opportunity to engage with the most up-to-date debates in an area of great interest in contemporary society.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO536 - Criminal Justice in Modern Britain:Development, Issues and Politics

This module examines key policy issues and controversies relating to the criminal justice system. The general nature and development of the modern criminal justice system of police, courts, prisons and alternatives will be explored, together with the relation between the criminal justice system and other agencies such as welfare, the private sector and informal structures of control. Topical problems such as police organisation and efficiency, the impact of the (party) politicisation of crime and criminal justice issues, prison overcrowding, the problems facing different categories of victims in offences such as child abuse, rape etc. International justice issues will be considered such as the American prison experiment and the death penalty.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SO537 - Race and Racism

What is meant by ‘racism’? Charges of racism are seemingly everywhere – in the workplace, in the streets, in everyday interactions. But what exactly is racism? Is it beliefs about racial inferiority or superiority? Is it found in actions and consequences whether people intended to be racist or not? We will first review various theories of racism, and critically assess how changing conceptualisations of racism arise in specific, socio-political contexts. We will also consider whether a colour-blind future is desirable and/or possible.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO539 - Environmental Policy and Practice

This module aims to give you an understanding of the ways in which governments have attempted to address environmental issues such as climate change, conservation, and pollution control. It discusses the role of government and other interest groups in formulating and implementing environmental policy, the various forms of policy mechanism that are employed, and the constraints upon their effective implementation.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO594 - Terrorism and Modern Society

Following the events of September 11 2001 public concerns surrounding the related threats associated with terrorism have inevitably deepened. This course provides a general introduction to terrorism and poses a series of questions that rarely feature in mainstream criminological and sociological discourse. Central elements of the course include an examination of the historical roots of terrorism; an analysis of threat posed by the various terrorist factions associated with the ‘global Salafi jihad’; the contextualization of terrorism within the context of late modernity; and an analysis of terrorism at the macro, meso, and micro levels

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO605 - Crime , Media and Culture

The module provides students with an understanding of the contested cultural meanings underpinning crime. Too often criminology is satisfied taking definitions of criminality at face value, when really it means very different things to different people and in different contexts. The module examines how media representations propagate particular perceptions of crime, criminality and justice. It goes on to consider the manner in which those who 'offend' experience and interpret their own behaviour, which may be focused on the attainment of excitement or indeed on attaining their own conception of justice. The module explores these contradictions in a world where crime, control and the media saturate everyday life. In doing so it considers a diverse range of concepts; youth culture, hedonism, hate crime, risk taking, moral panics, the image, emotionality and consumerism. We examine the nature of a late-modern society where criminality inspires great fear and resentment, whilst at the same time it provides imagery which is harnessed to produce entertainment and sell a range of consumer goods. Students will become familiar with cutting edge research and theory in the fields of Cultural Criminology, Visual Criminology, and Media and Crime, placing issues such as music, photography, street gangs, extreme sports, newspapers and nights on the town in new and exciting contexts.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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ART502 - Costume and Fashion

The art historian Aby Warburg – an avid reader of Thomas Carlyle’s philosophical novel about clothes Sartor Resartus (1836) – said that a good costume, like a good symbol, should conceal as much as it reveals. This module will take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of costume and fashion – the art that can be worn – in order to explore their roles in drama, film and the visual arts. The social values encoded by clothes, their relation to class or sexual identity, will be discussed, along with how these assumptions inform the use of costume in adaptations or stagings of texts, or how they colour our view of a character, or of a director’s interpretation (for example, using deliberate anachronism). The role of clothing and costume in the history of art will be analysed from artists’ representation of clothes, contemporary or otherwise, to their involvement in fashion design.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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CP502 - Fiction and Power

This module looks at a group of politically inspired novels and films, some of which were produced under the totalitarian regimes which held sway in Europe between 1917 and 1989, others deal with Latin American political unrest, the Middle East conflict and the Islamic revolution in Iran. Most explore ways of challenging and subverting authoritarian power structures and of articulating a critique in what Bertolt Brecht called 'dark times'. But we will also focus on less obvious negotiations of fiction with power, especially with respect to the various forms of power to which these texts are subject and in which they participate. The approach is comparative in two senses as the texts range historically and culturally as well as across genres and language barriers (Arab, Czech, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian and Spanish).


This module is subject to change pending faculty approval

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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CP518 - The Book and the Film: Adaptation and Interpretation

This module seeks to explore how novels and plays are adapted and interpreted for the screen. We shall be looking at how certain texts lend themselves to multiple reshaping such as Laclos’ 'Dangerous Liasions' and Henry James’ 'The Turn of the Screw', both of which have been adapted for the screen more than once. We shall also analyse lesser known works that have gone on to become feature films, such as Arthur Schnitzler’s short work ‘Dream Story’, filmed as 'Eyes Wide Shut'. Adaptations directed by widely recognised filmmakers such as De Sica, Max Ophuls, Kubrick and Pier Paolo Pasolini will also be examined with a view to eliciting and understanding their particular approach to, and filmic vision of, written texts.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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CP524 - Fiction and Power

This module looks at a group of politically inspired novels and films, some of which were produced under the totalitarian regimes which held sway in Europe between 1917 and 1989, others deal with Latin American political unrest, the Middle East conflict and the Islamic revolution in Iran. Most explore ways of challenging and subverting authoritarian power structures and of articulating a critique in what Bertolt Brecht called 'dark times'. But we will also focus on less obvious negotiations of fiction with power, especially with respect to the various forms of power to which these texts are subject and in which they participate. The approach is comparative in two senses as the texts range historically and culturally as well as across genres and language barriers (Arab, Czech, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian and Spanish).

This module is subject to change pending faculty approval

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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CP534 - Modern Arabic Literature and the Middle East

The module introduces students to one of the richest and most stimulating eras of Arabic literary innovation and aims to link literary processes of transformation to current political changes. Exploring how recent Arabic fiction prefigures the 2011 Arab Spring revolution, the module offers students the opportunity to study these works in English translation by analysing creative trends and movements that currently resonate around the region. In addition, the module explores how these emerging Arab voices negotiate links to the past in relation to texts such as The Thousand and One Nights. The module combines the methodological approaches of comparative literature, the sociology of literature and postcolonial theory and explores concepts such as cultural identity, gender, diaspora and historiography.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CP594 - Travel Literature

Everybody travels, in one way or another. This module asks what it means to ‘travel’. In doing so, it addresses fundamental concerns, such as identity, foreignness, time, home, gender, power and ethics. By looking at texts from a wide range of periods and places, it will consider how these might be compared in their treatments of the shared theme of ‘travel’. It will also address the ways in which this theme affects and is affected by the genre of writing.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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CP609 - Modernism and the European Avant-Garde

The module will begin with the study of some of the major avant-garde movements (including Expressionism, Futurism, Imagism, Vorticism, Dada, and Surrealism) that sprang up in the first two decades of the twentieth century. Students will read a range of short manifestos and literary works by Tristan Tzara, Filippo Marinetti, T. E. Hulme, Wyndham Lewis, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, André Breton, and others. Once both the diversity and the international nature of modernism have been considered, students will go on to look in depth at a series of major modernist writers from different national backgrounds, and to identify what these writers share, what distinguishes them from one another, and, in some cases, what sets them in violent opposition. The aim here will be to give students a sense of the plurality of modernisms and the conflicts that were internal to the movement. Although the focus will be on some of the most significant individual works of modernist literature (for instance, Proust’s Swann’s Way, Kafka’s The Trial, Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Eliot’s The Waste Land), shorter texts, both literary and critical/theoretical, will also constitute the recommended reading in preparation for seminars. Seminal essays by major commentators on the modernist movement such as Walter Benjamin, Georg Lukács, and Theodor Adorno will constitute part of the primary reading. The aim throughout will be to strike a balance between close reading and the consideration of the more general theoretical and political issues at stake in the modernist ‘revolution of the word’. Students will also be encouraged to explore the ways in which modernism finds expression in the visual arts, particularly in Expressionism, Cubism, and Abstraction.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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CP611 - Postmodernism

The module will begin by studying some of the major early postmodern writers such as Charles Olson and Alain Robbe-Grillet. This will be followed by a comparative analysis of second-generation postmodern literature in both Europe and the United States, including writers such as Italo Calvino and Thomas Pynchon. The module will also reference postmodern texts in other media such as film (the ‘Free Cinema’ movement) and the visual arts (most notably, Pop Art). Almost from its inception, postmodernism has been subject to theorization and to a highly charged debate over its status as either a radical and liberating movement or as a mere symptom of ‘late capitalism’ and a media-saturated culture in which ‘the medium is the message’. Students will study some of the key theoretical documents on the postmodern, including extracts from the work of Jean Baudrillard, Fredric Jameson and Jean-François Lyotard.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CP627 - Science Fiction: History and Innovation

This module examines the development of science fiction from the second half of the nineteenth century to its current global status in both serious and popular culture. It explores how science fiction has developed via the interaction of different genres, different media and different national cultures. The module begins with the work of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells since their fiction is at the root of international variants of science fiction. Special attention will be paid to the comparative analysis of science fiction from the Americas, Western and Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union. Consideration will also be given to the relationship of literature to film, especially surrounding topics such as aliens and alienation, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, dystopia and apocalypse.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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CP629 - Second Thoughts: Women Novelists from Bronte to Jelinek

This module investigates the representation of love, desire and the body in a selection of texts by women writers from different temporal, cultural and linguistic backgrounds. In particular we will look at the way representations of love, desire and the body reflect the respective socio-cultural contexts and the situation of women therein, how these writers deal with themes such as love, desire and eroticism, and what aesthetic strategies they use to tackle them. What models of feminine behaviour are celebrated or criticised? To what extent are relevant representational conventions adhered to or transgressed in these works?
Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre for example provides a complex representation of a split and conflicted female identity, torn between demands of the body, passions, rages and desires, and the demands of the mind, the spirit and the intellect. This conflict is externalised in the form of the characters Bertha Mason and Helen Burns, alter egos which Jane has to overcome and reconcile. Jane Eyre will offer a useful touchstone for other representations of female figures caught between social conventions and desires, and their attempts to come to terms with them.
Students will be asked to engage with the siginificance of images and representations of women proliferated through literature. These representations provide or question role models, perpetuate or problematise stereotypical versions of feminine goals and aspirations. Furthermore, emphasis will be placed on close readings of the various works, and students will be asked to pay close attention to cultural differences and variations, and to examine how the conceptions and representations of love and desire changed in the course of time.
The selected fictions allow a comparative examination of a wide range of different perceptions by women writers of the body, of gender, identity, love, desire and sexuality and the way these reflect the respective wider ideological framework. Close readings of these texts are complemented by selected references to a body of feminist literary theory.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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CP636 - European Realism

This module is concerned with the development of literary realism in nineteenth century Europe. A representative selection of writers is studied, including Balzac, Flaubert, Eliot, Tolstoy and Zola. We will explore realism not only as a set of techniques but also as an ideology: a particular way of viewing and re-presenting the world in literary form. As such, we will also explore contradictions in terms of the realist method, especially in its negotiation of gender, sexuality and desire. Although the focus is primarily textual, we will consider cultural and historical factors such as literary production, class and economic conditions, science and technology, religion and philosophy, and the social positions of men and women.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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CP644 - Creatures of the Night: Vampires in Literature and Film

This module introduces students to a range of nineteenth-, twentieth-, and twenty-first-century literary and cinematic representations of vampires from different cultural backgrounds. It explores the reasons for the abiding allure of the figure of the vampire both in popular culture and in literary fiction. The module examines the ways in which vampires function as polyvalent symbols of specifically modern preoccupations, for the emergence and popularity of vampire tales is intricately bound up with the advent and wider cultural ramifications of modernity. What do vampires represent in each of the works discussed, and what hidden desires and anxieties do they allow authors and filmmakers to express? The vampire is an allegorically highly potent figure which is suspended between life and death and between animal and human existence. Vampires frequently serve as foils to discuss more contentious matters, in particular questions relating to sexuality, gender roles, class, immortality and the desire for everlasting youth, being an outsider, and addiction. Texts and films to be studied include John Polidori’s The Vampyre (1819), Théophile Gautier’s Clarimonde (1836), J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla (1872), Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897), F. W. Murnau’s and Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu adaptations (1922 and 1979), Angela Carter’s The Lady of the House of Love (1979), Neil Jordan’s Interview with the Vampire (1994) and Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight (2005)

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CP646 - Prize Winners

The award of literary prizes is a highly potent tool of cultural policy that frequently determines the wider national and international impact of a literary work. As such it is of crucial relevance to the study of comparative literature in a number of ways: the award of literary prizes reflects the beginnings of the successful or, as the case may be, the (ultimately) abortive formation of literary canons; moreover, it affords insights into processes of cultural production and marketing and reveals in which ways political and economic agendas are tied up with these processes; it also offers a perspective on transnational and transcultural aspects of the production and reception of literature and indicates shifting notions of the social function of literature and the writer; literature is thus understood as a cultural product in ever changing contexts which is frequently subject to external forces of which literary prizes become indicators or even ‘enforcers’. This module will investigate with the methods of literary and cultural studies the development of a number of major literary awards which have achieved global significance, among them the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Man Booker Prize the Prix Goncourt (This list may be modified according to precedent to accommodate the topical relevance of individual award winners in the future.) Seminars will develop a historical perspective by scrutinising and analysing award winners of the past and their most recent counterparts in their different production and marketing contexts as well as in changing reception contexts: seminars will include the close reading of individual works as well as their critical reception, and the analysis of marketing strategies in various media (e.g. reports in culture magazines, reviews, displays in book shops, translations, etc.); final winners will be interpreted in the context of the respective long and short lists from which they emerged; historical developments will be taken into account, for instance by investigating ‘forgotten’ prize winners in comparison with those who, largely through the agency of academic intervention, ‘made it’ into the canon; the module thus also offers an insight into the history of the discipline of literary studies. (It links up logically with the C-level module CP321 Literature and Nationhood.)

This module is subject to change pending faculty approval

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CP647 - Prize Winners

The award of literary prizes is a highly potent tool of cultural policy that frequently determines the wider national and international impact of a literary work. As such it is of crucial relevance to the study of comparative literature in a number of ways: the award of literary prizes reflects the beginnings of the successful or, as the case may be, the (ultimately) abortive formation of literary canons; moreover, it affords insights into processes of cultural production and marketing and reveals in which ways political and economic agendas are tied up with these processes; it also offers a perspective on transnational and transcultural aspects of the production and reception of literature and indicates shifting notions of the social function of literature and the writer; literature is thus understood as a cultural product in ever changing contexts which is frequently subject to external forces of which literary prizes become indicators or even ‘enforcers’. This module will investigate with the methods of literary and cultural studies the development of a number of major literary awards which have achieved global significance, among them the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Man Booker Prize the Prix Goncourt (This list may be modified according to precedent to accommodate the topical relevance of individual award winners in the future.) Seminars will develop a historical perspective by scrutinising and analysing award winners of the past and their most recent counterparts in their different production and marketing contexts as well as in changing reception contexts: seminars will include the close reading of individual works as well as their critical reception, and the analysis of marketing strategies in various media (e.g. reports in culture magazines, reviews, displays in book shops, translations, etc.); final winners will be interpreted in the context of the respective long and short lists from which they emerged; historical developments will be taken into account, for instance by investigating ‘forgotten’ prize winners in comparison with those who, largely through the agency of academic intervention, ‘made it’ into the canon; the module thus also offers an insight into the history of the discipline of literary studies. (It links up logically with the C-level module CP321 Literature and Nationhood.)

This module is subject to change pending faculty approval

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CP650 - Decadence in Fin-de-Siecle Europe

The module explores the development of decadence in late nineteenth-century Europe as an artistic response, a philosophic expression and a social critique. Taking the work of Charles Baudelaire and the failed revolutions of 1848 as its starting-points, the module examines decadence as both a symptom of political and artistic frustration and as a psychological investigation of what Max Weber would later term ‘the disenchantment of the world’. Key themes will include the role of the artist, nature versus artifice, fantasy and desire, sexuality, social morality versus personal freedom, and death. The module will not only explore decadence in terms of different literary genres (fiction, drama, poetry) but also in the visual arts of the period.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CP652 - Postcolonial Images of Africa and South Asia

This is a module about the intersection of colonial power relations, anti-colonialism, postcolonialism, feminism, and identity politics in literature from 1940 to 2010 which interrogates the influence of imperialism on a sense of self. It considers the writing of a number of women and men from Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, India and Sri Lanka in a range of genres from the Francophone and Anglophone traditions (short story, essay, novel, autobiography). In light of the complex relationship between coloniser and colonised, we consider the political activism of many of these writers, as well as the ways in which their politics are articulated in their writing, whether fiction or non-fiction. We also examine to what extent this literature is representative of other postcolonial concerns such as nationhood and national consciousness, hybridity and assimilation, and exile and alienation within the larger context of cultural theory. Particularly significant is our interrogation of the violence inscribed in both the colonial system and the colonised’s fight for independence as seen from the psychoanalytical perspectives of Frantz Fanon in Black Skin, White Masks (1952), A Dying Colonialism (1959), The Wretched of the Earth (1961). Studying the primary and secondary texts in English, we bring awareness to the reading scene of the translation process as an important development in the transnational study of comparative literature in our global world. In so Doing, we acknowledge the significance of indigenous languages and dialects as signifers of subjecthood in conflict with the coloniser’s language. By exploring a variety of anti-colonial resistance and liberation discourses in relation to the development of current postcolonial thinking, the module also offers and insight into the history of the discipline of Colonial and Postcolonial studies. This module links up logically with the C-level module CP321 Literature and Nationhood (relationship between a sense of nationhood and writing), the I-level module CP510 The Text (as a corollary to the analysis of different reading perspectives), and the postgraduate level CP806 Postcolonial Cultures as part of the Taught MA Programme.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CP653 - Comparative Literature and English & Linguistics in the Classroom

This module will provide the opportunity for third year undergraduates to gain valuable transferable skills by giving them some first-hand teaching experience in a secondary school classroom. Each student will spend half a day each week for one term in a local school under the supervision of a specific teacher, who will act as a mentor, and decide the tasks and responsibilities of the student. The weekly school based work and university based work will complement each other.
They will observe sessions taught by their designated teacher and possibly other teachers. Initially, for these sessions the students will concentrate on specific aspects of the teachers’ tasks, and their approach to teaching a whole class. As they progressed, their role will be as teaching assistants, by helping individual pupils who are having difficulties or by working with small groups. They may teach brief or whole sessions with the whole class or with a small group of students where they explain a topic related to the school syllabus. They may also talk about aspects of University life. They must keep a weekly journal reflecting on their activities at their designated school.

This module is subject to change pending faculty approval

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CP656 - Shakespeare's Afterlives

How have twentieth-century writers across the world negotiated and appropriated Shakespeare’s omnipresent cultural influence? How have they revised, reinvented, and reimagined his legacy in Europe, Asia, and the Americas (North, Central, and South)? This module focuses on a selection of Shakespeare’s most influential plays (Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, and The Tempest) in order to examine how their thematic, historical, and cultural concerns have been transplanted to a wide range of global locations including the Caribbean, Germany, Japan, a farm in the USA, and the Argentine Pampas. The module also engages with theoretical notions related to the act of appropriating Shakespeare, including the theory of intertextuality, the Benjaminian concept of the ‘afterlife’ of a text, and Genette’s study of the ‘palimpsest’ as a text derived from a pre-existent text. In addition, the module will reflect on issues of race, gender, and cultural identity embedded in the adaptations of the bard in the various world contexts in which his work has been complexly modernized and redeployed.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CP658 - Nordic Literature and Film

This module examines literary works ranging from folk tales and sagas through the respective periods of national Romanticism to the present day written in the principal Nordic languages (Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish), and will also explore some films from the region. The texts will be studied in English translations, and the films will be in the original language with English subtitles. Some of the themes to be extracted from these texts and explored in more detail include: Romanticism, exile, nationalism and post-nationalism, world literatures, translation and adaptation. The current new wave of Nordic crime fiction and its adaptations as TV dramas and films will also be examined, exploring reasons for the genre’s popularity (both within and beyond the region). The module will investigate how Nordic literature and film have developed diachronically, how the literatures of the various Nordic countries interact and interrelate, and how contemporary texts are rewriting and renegotiating the historical linguistic, geographic, ethnic and cultural borders of the region.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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FR593 - Paris: Myth and Reality in the 19th century

Among the capital cities of Europe, Paris has a particularly rich and interesting history. In the revolution of 1789 and subsequent political upheavals in the course of the nineteenth century (1830, 1848, 1870-71), the city played a key role in deciding the fate of the nation. In the same period, it grew dramatically in size and emerged as a modern metropolis. Widely divergent views were expressed as to the wholesomeness of city living; opinion differed equally violently among writers as to the benefits to be derived from the explosive growth of the city. The module will examine conditions of life in the real Paris of the 19th Century and in particular the radical and highly controversial changes to the face of the city brought about during the Second Empire under the direction of Baron Haussmann. The main focus of the module, however, will be the images of the city as mediated in contemporary fiction (Balzac and Zola amongst others), poetry (Baudelaire) and painting (Manet’s vision of city life).

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR594 - Paris: Myth and Reality in the 20th century

Among the capital cities of Europe, Paris has a particularly rich and exciting history. It played, for example, a key role during the revolution of 1789 and subsequent political upheavals in the course of the 19th century. This module follows on from FR593 – ‘Paris: Myth and Reality I’ (which is NOT a prerequisite for FR594). It explores the different and evolving representations of Paris of the 20th century in the context of modernity and postmodernity. Although the main focus of the course will be literary, including poetry and fiction, there will also be examination of the changing landscape of the capital as mediated through film.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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HA504 - Classicism and Baroque

The organising principle of this course is derived from Giovanni Pietro Bellori’s Vite de’ Pittori et Architetti Moderni (1672). In selecting a small group of twelve exemplary artists for his history, Bellori was employing artistic biography to expound his theory of art based on the Idea. This charted a middle way between naturalism and mannerism, through which the imitation of nature informed by the principles of antique art produced works which surpassed nature. Among the artists included in Bellori’s corpus are Annibale and Agostino Carracci, Michelangelo da Caravaggio, and the non-Italian artists Nicolas Poussin, Peter Paul Rubens, and Anthony Van Dyck. Several of the leading artists of the period were excluded from the canon, notably Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Francesco Borromini and Pietro da Cortona. Bellori presumably had these artists in mind when he condemned his contemporaries who “juggle madly with corners, gaps and twirling lines, discompose bases, capitals and columns with stucco nonsense, trivial ornament and disproportions”. The aesthetic and theoretical judgements which informed Bellori’s exclusion of artists from his book can be glimpsed in this quote. In the art historical literature on this period such critical judgements are explained in terms of the dichotomy between “classicism” and “the baroque” (although these were not terms used in the period). Following Riegl and Wölfflin the baroque has been defined in opposition to classic art, as an art of becoming rather than of being, addressing the emotions, rather than the intellect, through a tactile evocation of appearances. Often the theoretical writing of the period has been characterised as reacting against, or irrelevant to, what was truly innovative about the work of baroque artists like Bernini and Borromini. These generalisations will be tested through close study of the works of the artists named above, and also by exploring how they might relate to contemporary artistic debates, such as those at the French Académie Royale about the relative merits of Poussin and Rubens, or between Andrea Sacchi and Pietro da Cortona in Rome over the number of figures which should be included in a narrative painting. In addition to exploring the acute interest in stylistic criticism during the seventeenth century, the study of individual artists will also involve consideration of the role played by their patrons, especially their ideological, religious and antiquarian concerns. Although the course will progress by studying individual artists in roughly chronological order, the treatment will be thematic rather than monographic. Lectures at the beginning and end of the course will introduce and summarise the more general historiographical themes; the remaining lectures will be on artists including Caravaggio, Annibale Carracci, Bernini, Borromini, Pietro da Cortona, Poussin, Rubens and Van Dyck.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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HA507 - Reading the Image

The module examines the development of the western tradition of the visual arts from the Renaissance to the late twentieth century, looking specifically at issues about the representation of time and space in painting and related arts. The module begins with the ‘invention’ of linear and atmospheric perspective in the Renaissance and looks at the development of these compositional techniques and the tradition of visual illusion they underpin in Europe in the 15th, 16th and 17th Centuries. The course looks at the theories of Alberti and Humanist writers and in particular the role played by perspective in advancing the narrative tradition of painting. The module goes on the examine the critique of the Renaissance tradition in the later 19th Century and the breaking away from the tradition of perspective in modernist painting.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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HA554 - From Warhol to Whiteread: Postmodernity & Visual Art Practice

This module explores a range of neo-avant-garde and post-war art practice from the 1960s through to the contemporary; from the Minimalism & Pop Art of the 1960s through to the YBAs and after. It will introduce and discuss some of the key artistic figures within the period, exploring their practice, critical contexts and legacy. Taking a thematic approach to one of the most innovative and stylistically diverse art historical periods, we will consider a range of genres – painting, sculpture, installation, performance and land art – exploring how artists have re-defined and developed their practice in the cultural period following Modernism. Artists exampled will typically include Jake and Dinos Chapman, Gilbert & George, Eva Hesse, Jenny Saville, Yinka Shonibare, Gerhard Richter and Rachel Whiteread.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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HA556 - Art and Film

Art & Film will explore the longstanding relationship between these visual media and the different ways this relationship has been conceived and evolved over the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Though special emphasis will be placed on the post second world war period, which has seen artists and filmmakers increasingly exploring intermediality, the course will begin by examining the field of visuality out of which cinema emerged and will look at the shared visual traditions that existed between them within the rapidly changing visual culture of the nineteenth century. The development of cinema and photography will be examined in relation to new technologies for the production of visual knowledge and imagery and the new modes of spectating that accompanied their inception. During the course students will deepen their understanding of the impact of critical theories on art and culture on the production and reception of works of visual art by being introduced to key critical texts. Within this context the course will also look at institutional frameworks and settings (e.g. the museum, the gallery, the cinema etc.) in which works of art and films are produced and viewed, examining how these settings inflect the experience of those works.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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HA559 - Abstraction And Construction in 20th Century Art

The development of Abstract Art is one of the distinctive features of the 20th Century. In this module we will examine the roots of the aspiration to allow ‘the object to evaporate like smoke’ in European and Russian art, and the establishment of Constructivism as a central force in artistic practice in 20th century art. The spiritual, philosophical and social ideas (and ideals) of key artists (such as Malevich, Tatlin, Kandinsky, Mondrian and Klee) are considered in relation to their artistic practice; the work and ideas of American abstractionists are addressed through an examination of legendary figures such as Rothko, Pollock and Stella; discussion of Nicholson, Moore, and de Staël, among others, enables us to think about the response of the British and European artworld to the challenges and opportunities of abstraction and construction. Finally, we will explore how contemporary artists make use of this ‘radical tradition’. Throughout the module we will raise the question of how to make, think about and respond to an ‘art without objects’.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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HA575 - Beauty in Theory Culture & Contemporary Art

After decades of neglect, beauty has made a controversial ‘return’ both in contemporary art and as a concept in contemporary aesthetics, art theory and criticism. In very different ways, beauty can be seen in the work of artists as diverse as Vanessa Beecroft, Chris Ofili, Robert Mapplethorpe, Gary Hume and Jenny Saville, and it has been rehabilitated as a critical term in the writings of critics such as Dave Hickey and Arthur Danto.

The module examines the issues raised by this recent resurgence of beauty. Looking at the concept of beauty, the roles of beauty in culture and society, and its presence in contemporary art and theory, the module explores the issues that make the return of beauty such a controversial topic.

The module will draw on a variety of sources and disciplines to examine the place of beauty: classic philosophical texts (Plato, Kant, Lessing), contemporary philosophy (Levinson, Gaut, Nehamas, Walton, Zangwill, Hepburn), cognitive and evolutionary science (McMahon, Etcoff), art criticism (Danto, Hickey, Beckley), art history (Gombrich, Clark), sociology and cultural theory (Wolff). In addition, a range of traditional, modern and contemporary artists will be discussed, including Goya, Warhol, Orlan, Duchamp, Picasso, Goldsworthy, Rubens, Ofili, Poussin, Serrano, Metsys, Velazquez, Motherwell, Rembrandt, Mangold.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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HA586 - Photographic History & Aesthetics 1: Realism in Theory and Practice

This module begins with an exploration of the history and pre-history of the invention of various photographic technologies, along with the early uses to which these technologies were put. Particular attention is given to the early cultural and intellectual impact of the invention of photography, especially its use as a recorder of the appearance. After considering an example of the kind of predominate modernist art theory that made photography problematic as a realist art form, the emergence and development of realist photographic theory in various guises is explored through a number of key authors and seminal texts. Having explored a wide variety of realist theories, the difficulties of reconciling a realist photographic practice with traditional accounts of aesthetic significance is discussed along with possible responses. The module closes by considering the rise of digital imaging and the end of the realist aesthetic among fine art photographers, as well as exploring the implications of this new technology for our understanding of what a photograph is.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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HA595 - Visual Arts Writing

• This module will be for final year students who are interested in gaining employment within the art and heritage press and/or marketing sectors. It will complement the vocational and work-based emphasis of the existing HPA Internship module (HA579). It will comprise a series of taught seminars supplemented by visiting speakers from the art/trade press, and from across the marketing and heritage sectors [6-8 speakers per module delivery].

• NB: This is not an NCTJ validated course and makes no pretence at providing the full competencies of such. What it will provide will be an introduction to a range of press and related activities within the visual arts and heritage sectors. It will be of relevance for those students considering the possibility of working within these areas and for those who wish to explore some of the practicalities of researching and submitting copy and undertaking related promotional and marketing activities.

• The module will start by considering examples from the range of trade, specialist and institutionally affiliated publications which service the art and heritage markets. It will consider their target readerships, commissioning practices and particular subject and industry angles. Publications such as The Antiques Trade Gazette, The Art Newspaper, Tate Magazine and Art Monthly will be among those evaluated.

• Seminars will introduce some of the basic principles of trade writing: standing up and presenting copy proposals for commissioning; adapting copy to differing house-styles; preparing for and undertaking interviews for writing briefs and useful sources of information for generating ideas for prospective writing projects. Seminars will also consider the arts-related promotional work typically undertaken by press and marketing departments within auction houses, public art galleries and within government-funded organisations such as the British Council, and those local and regional authorities with heritage related responsibilities and sections (Canterbury City Council, Medway Unitary Authority etc).

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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HA657 - Photographic History & Aesthetics 1: Realism in Theory and Practice

This module begins with an exploration of the history and pre-history of the invention of various photographic technologies, along with the early uses to which these technologies were put. Particular attention is given to the early cultural and intellectual impact of the invention of photography, especially its use as a recorder of the appearance. After considering an example of the kind of predominate modernist art theory that made photography problematic as a realist art form, the emergence and development of realist photographic theory in various guises is explored through a number of key authors and seminal texts. Having explored a wide variety of realist theories, the difficulties of reconciling a realist photographic practice with traditional accounts of aesthetic significance is discussed along with possible responses. The module closes by considering the rise of digital imaging and the end of the realist aesthetic among fine art photographers, as well as exploring the implications of this new technology for our understanding of what a photograph is.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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HA661 - Art & Film

Art & Film will explore the longstanding relationship between these visual media and the different ways this relationship has been conceived and evolved over the course of the twentieth and twenty-first century. Though special emphasis will be placed on the post second world war period, which has seen artists and filmmakers increasingly exploring intermediality, the course will begin by examining the field of visuality out of which cinema emerged and will look at the shared visual traditions that existed between them within the rapidly changing visual culture of the nineteenth century. The development of cinema and photography will be examined in relation to new technologies for the production of visual knowledge and imagery and the new modes of spectating that accompanied their inception. The influence of traditions of painting on early cinema will be studied in relation to shared codes of gesture, composition and tableaux, but the course will also assess the early influence of cinema on painting. In this context the development of serialism in art in the late 1880s will receive special attention.
The course will then look at both early experimental film within the context of modernist and avant garde practice in the first part of the twentieth century and Hollywood filmmakers in the 1920s and 30s, whose films continued to make overt references to Academic and non-Academic traditions of painting. The module will examine the impact of theories of modernism on the evolution of film and art before moving on to consider the way artists and filmmakers have engaged with the issue of intermediality in the post-1945 era.
In the context of studying particular artists, filmmakers and movements in the visual arts, students will be engaging with a range of thematic and aesthetic issues that cut across the boundaries of different visual media, exploring questions about perspective, colour and light, movement, montage, temporality, narrative and resistance to narrative, and the transposition of one medium into another, (e.g. the portrayal of painting, photography, drawings, prints and sculpture in film and other media). During the course students will deepen their understanding of the impact of critical theories on art and culture on the production and reception of works of visual art by being introduced to key critical texts. Within this context the course will also look at institutional frameworks and settings (e.g. the museum, the gallery, the cinema etc.) in which works of art and films are produced and viewed, examining how these settings inflect the experience of those works.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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HA663 - Abstraction & Construction in the 20th Century

The development of Abstract Art is one of the distinctive features of the 20th Century. This module examines the roots of the aspiration to allow ‘the object to evaporate like smoke’ in European and Russian art, and the establishment of Constructivism as a central force in artistic practice in 20th century art. The spiritual, philosophical and social ideas (and ideals) of key artists (such as Malevich, Tatlin, Kandinsky, Mondrian and Klee) are considered in relation to their artistic practice; the work and ideas of American abstractionists are addressed through an examination of legendary figures such as Rothko, Pollock and Stella; discussion of Nicholson, Moore, and de Staël, among others, enables us to think about the response of the British and European artworld to the challenges and opportunities of abstraction and construction. Finally, we will explore how contemporary artists make use of this ‘radical tradition’. Throughout the module we will raise the question of how to make, think about and respond to an ‘art without objects’.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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HA668 - Transatlantic Dialogues: British and American Art c. 1900-1970

The development of British and American art reveals patterns of affinity, divergence and mutual interplay, against a backdrop of the wider of an international Modernism centred to a large degree on Paris. This module examines such themes as the following: the currency and influence of realist, abstract, and surrealist aesthetics in the first decades of the 20th century(focussing on figures such as Walter Sickert, Edward Hopper, Ben Nicholson, Stuart Davis, Henry Moore); the impact of the Second World War (and of Picasso’s Guernica as an exemplary artistic response to conditions of war); the emergence after the war of painterly abstraction (Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Peter Lanyon), alongside new approaches to expressive figuration (Willem de Kooning, Francis Bacon); the development of constructed sculpture (David Smith, Anthony Caro) and ‘post-painterly’ abstraction (Frank Stella, Bridget Riley) on either side of 1960; parallel manifestations of Pop, Minimalist, Conceptual and Land Art (Richard Hamilton, Jasper Johns, Richard Long, Robert Smithson); attitudes to photography as an artistic and documentary medium (Walker Evans, Bill Brandt, Diane Arbus).

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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HA671 - Beauty in Theory, Culture and Contemporary Art

After decades of neglect, beauty has made a controversial ‘return’ both in contemporary art and as a concept in contemporary aesthetics, art theory and criticism.

The module examines the issues raised by this recent resurgence of beauty. Looking at the concept of beauty, the role of beauty in culture and society, and its presence in contemporary art and theory, the module explores the issues that make the return of beauty such a controversial topic.

The module will draw on a variety of sources and disciplines to examine the place of beauty: classic philosophical texts (Plato, Kant, Lessing), contemporary philosophy (Levinson, Gaut, Nehamas, Walton, Zangwill, Hepburn), cognitive and evolutionary science (McMahon, Etcoff), art criticism (Danto, Hickey, Beckley), art history (Gombrich, Clark), sociology and cultural theory (Wolff). In addition, a range of traditional, modern and contemporary artists will be discussed, including Goya, Warhol, Orlan, Duchamp, Picasso, Goldsworthy, Rubens, Ofili, Poussin, Serrano, Metsys, Velazquez, Motherwell, Rembrandt, Mangold.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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HA676 - Transatlantic Dialogues: British and Modern Art c.1900-1970

The development of British and American art reveals patterns of affinity, divergence and mutual interplay, against a backdrop of the wider of an international Modernism centred to a large degree on Paris. This module examines such themes as the following: the currency and influence of realist, abstract, and surrealist aesthetics in the first decades of the 20th century(focussing on figures such as Walter Sickert, Edward Hopper, Ben Nicholson, Stuart Davis, Henry Moore); the impact of the Second World War (and of Picasso’s Guernica as an exemplary artistic response to conditions of war); the emergence after the war of painterly abstraction (Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Peter Lanyon), alongside new approaches to expressive figuration (Willem de Kooning, Francis Bacon); the development of constructed sculpture (David Smith, Anthony Caro) and ‘post-painterly’ abstraction (Frank Stella, Bridget Riley) on either side of 1960; parallel manifestations of Pop, Minimalist, Conceptual and Land Art (Richard Hamilton, Jasper Johns, Richard Long, Robert Smithson); attitudes to photography as an artistic and documentary medium (Walker Evans, Bill Brandt, Diane Arbus).

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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HA679 - From Warhol to Whiteread: Postmodernity & Visual Art Practice

This module explores a range of neo-avant-garde and post-war art practice from the 1960s through to the contemporary; from the Minimalism & Pop Art of the 1960s through to the YBAs and after. It will introduce and discuss some of the key artistic figures within the period, exploring their practice, critical contexts and legacy. Taking a thematic approach to one of the most innovative and stylistically diverse art historical periods, we will consider a range of genres – painting, sculpture, installation, performance and land art – exploring how artists have re-defined and developed their practice in the cultural period following Modernism. Artists exampled will typically include Jake and Dinos Chapman, Gilbert & George, Eva Hesse, Jenny Saville, Yinka Shonibare, Gerhard Richter and Rachel Whiteread.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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HA680 - Classicism and Baroque

The organising principle of this course is derived from Giovanni Pietro Bellori’s Vite de’ Pittori et Architetti Moderni (1672). In selecting a small group of twelve exemplary artists for his history, Bellori was employing artistic biography to expound his theory of art based on the Idea. This charted a middle way between naturalism and mannerism, through which the imitation of nature informed by the principles of antique art produced works which surpassed nature. Among the artists included in Bellori’s corpus are Annibale and Agostino Carracci, Michelangelo da Caravaggio, and the non-Italian artists Nicolas Poussin, Peter Paul Rubens, and Anthony Van Dyck. Several of the leading artists of the period were excluded from the canon, notably Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Francesco Borromini and Pietro da Cortona. Bellori presumably had these artists in mind when he condemned his contemporaries who “juggle madly with corners, gaps and twirling lines, discompose bases, capitals and columns with stucco nonsense, trivial ornament and disproportions”. The aesthetic and theoretical judgements which informed Bellori’s exclusion of artists from his book can be glimpsed in this quote. In the art historical literature on this period such critical judgements are explained in terms of the dichotomy between “classicism” and “the baroque” (although these were not terms used in the period). Following Riegl and Wölfflin the baroque has been defined in opposition to classic art, as an art of becoming rather than of being, addressing the emotions, rather than the intellect, through a tactile evocation of appearances. Often the theoretical writing of the period has been characterised as reacting against, or irrelevant to, what was truly innovative about the work of baroque artists like Bernini and Borromini. These generalisations will be tested through close study of the works of the artists named above, and also by exploring how they might relate to contemporary artistic debates, such as those at the French Académie Royale about the relative merits of Poussin and Rubens, or between Andrea Sacchi and Pietro da Cortona in Rome over the number of figures which should be included in a narrative painting. In addition to exploring the acute interest in stylistic criticism during the seventeenth century, the study of individual artists will also involve consideration of the role played by their patrons, especially their ideological, religious and antiquarian concerns. Although the course will progress by studying individual artists in roughly chronological order, the treatment will be thematic rather than monographic. Lectures at the beginning and end of the course will introduce and summarise the more general historiographical themes; the remaining lectures will be on artists including Caravaggio, Annibale Carracci, Bernini, Borromini, Pietro da Cortona, Poussin, Rubens and Van Dyck.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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PL526 - Aesthetics

What is art? What is an artwork? Do all types and examples of (what are traditionally classed as) artworks have identifying features in common? If so, what are they? Or, are there such interesting differences between works of literature, pieces of sculpture and the like, that searching for a definition of art is a futile task and this type of question misguided? Do avant-garde works count as art? Can anything count as art, such as food, if it’s presented in the right way or made with the right sort of intention? What does all of this tell us about the nature of definition generally?
These are some of the questions that we will explore at the start of this course. After that we will consider other issues and questions. What is the relation of art to beauty and other aesthetic qualities? What is it for a performance to be ‘authentic’ and is this sort of performance to be privileged in any way? Why is rock music such a part of our lives? Is there anything aesthetically wrong with a forgery? What is the nature of aesthetic experience and of our emotional responses to art? Why do we care so much about the fate of fictional characters? Is there any difference between pornography and erotica? Are artists subject to a different moral code? And what on earth is the point of public art? What is public art?

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PL610 - Aesthetics

What is art? What is an artwork? Do all types and examples of (what are traditionally classed as) artworks have identifying features in common? If so, what are they? Or, are there such interesting differences between works of literature, pieces of sculpture and the like, that searching for a definition of art is a futile task and this type of question misguided? Do avant-garde works count as art? Can anything count as art, such as food, if it’s presented in the right way or made with the right sort of intention? What does all of this tell us about the nature of definition generally?
These are some of the questions that we will explore at the start of this course. After that we will consider other issues and questions. What is the relation of art to beauty and other aesthetic qualities? What is it for a performance to be ‘authentic’ and is this sort of performance to be privileged in any way? Why is rock music such a part of our lives? Is there anything aesthetically wrong with a forgery? What is the nature of aesthetic experience and of our emotional responses to art? Why do we care so much about the fate of fictional characters? Is there any difference between pornography and erotica? Are artists subject to a different moral code? And what on earth is the point of public art? What is public art?

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SA519 - The Social Politics of Food

The module provides an introduction to social and political issues raised by food and its provision, exploring how sociologists, social anthropologists and policy analysts have addressed this area. The module examines the role of food within the household and beyond, exploring the ways in which food and food practices make manifest social categorisations such as gender, age, ethnicity and religion. Using the examples of vegetarianism and religion, it examines the way food is entwined with symbolic and moral categorisations. The module as also addresses the political and policy issues raised by food, exploring government involvement in the area of ingestion, drawing parallels between food, alcohol and tobacco. In doing so it addresses the political issues raised by the large corporate interests of the food industry, and the role of the market in shaping provision. It addresses questions of public health, dietary adequacy and the future of the welfare state through sessions on schools meals and food banks.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO679 - Research Dissertation

This module aims to enable students to design and conduct their own piece of research. This can be primary research where students collect and analyse their own data, or it can be library based, where students research existing literature or re-analyse data collected by others. The research can be about a particular policy or policy area, social problem, social development, or matter of sociological interest. The dissertation will usually be set out as a series of chapters. In order to assist students with designing and writing a dissertation a supervisor – a member of staff in SSPSSR - will have an initial meeting with students (during the summer term of Year 2 where possible) and then during the Autumn and Spring terms students will have at least six formal dissertation sessions with their supervisor. These may be held individually or with other students. In addition there will be two lectures by the module convenor which will also support students’ progress.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SO683 - Cultural Studies Research Dissertation

The module aims to enable students to conceive and execute a major research project in the field of cultural studies. Students attend a Summer term group meeting with the module convenor to explore and discuss ideas for research and the submission of a draft title and plan, which is to be completed during the long vacation prior to the module beginning. In the Autumn term they will receive feedback on this plan and proposal from their supervisor and/or the module convenor. They will then be required to attend a series of meetings with their assigned supervisor throughout the Autumn term and at the end of that term submit a Literature Review for assessment. In the spring term, research and writing of the dissertation continue under the guidance of the supervisor and at the end of the term, the completed assignment is submitted.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SO684 - Globalization and Development

This module aims to develop a critical understanding of one of the most important intellectual and political issues of our times, namely, ‘globalization’ and its relationship to development in third world societies. Examples of the central issues to be examined are: what is ‘globalization’ and what forms does it take? What are the most important global institutions today, and how do they affect poverty, inequality, the growth of middle classes, consumption,politics and identities in ‘developing’ societies in Asia, Africa and Latin America? What effects do global economic treaties under the WTO, IMF etc have upon rural poverty, migration, trade, and urban growth? Why are third worldcities expanding at such a rapid rate, and what consequences does this have? Finally, how can we use the ‘antiglobalization’ movements to critically evaluate contending theories and practices of globalization?

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO689 - Drugs, Culture and Control

This module will be divided into three parts: the first will offer an analysis of current and potential methods of drug control; the second will explore cultural contexts of illicit drug use within modern society; the third will consider and evaluate practical issues facing drug policy makers of today. Each will be considered in a global context. Particular emphasis will be placed on theoretical arguments underpinning the major debates in this field and up-to-date research will be drawn upon throughout.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO709 - Modern Chinese Societies

This course will provide students with a well rounded assessment of modern China, with particular emphasis on events since the 1978 Open Door Policy initiated by Deng Xiaoping. The course first introduces students with key sociological concepts related to Chinese traditional society, then move onto major events that form state-society relations in the past three decades. Students are encouraged to connect China’s rise to their own life and think comparatively. The bulk of the course will explore a range of contemporary issues, which includes:

• One country, two systems and four worlds: Diversity and social gaps in modern China

• The broken ‘iron rice bowl’: Social mobility and welfare system since 1980s

• The Me Generation: The rise and individualization of China’s new middle class

• New social media and the ‘Great Fire Wall’

• Zao: The making of consumption culture within the World’s factory

• Bit player or the new powerhouse? China’s struggle with scientific innovations

• The triumph of paintings: Social protests and the Chinese art scene

• From ping-pong diplomacy to Linsanity: Sports and modern Chinese identity

• The greening of China: The social cost of industrialization and grassroots environmental movements

• The ‘sea turtles’ (overseas-returns) and Chinese diaspora: An alternative imagination of Chineseness

• ‘All under Heaven’ (Tianxia) reinterpreted : China in a globalized world

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO710 - War, Atrocity and Genocide

This is an interdisciplinary module on war, atrocity and genocide. Drawing on a range of sources from military history, social psychology, sociology, criminology, political ethics and political history, it is concerned to explore the following questions: What is war and why is it a matter of criminological and sociological interest? What are the defining experiences and emotions associated with war and genocide? How is killing in war framed or ‘constructed’ in the minds of those who kill? What is mass killing/genocide and how is it accomplished and facilitated in war? Why is rape used so widely as a weapon in conflict situations and what is its lasting impact? What is genocide and how should it best be understood? How are atrocities in war denied, excused or rationalized? The aim of the module is to provide a framework for thinking about (1) the phenomenology of killing in war; (2) the conditions which facilitate genocide and mass killing at the state and sub state level; and (3) the ways in which perpetrators of mass killing, their apologists and distant others contrive to deny, rationalize or legitimize mass killing/genocide

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO712 - Urban Sociology

The course discusses the main approaches which have developed in urban sociology through an exploration of some of the major themes. These themes include urbanisation under capitalism, planning, post-industrialism, globalisation, social differentiation, multiculturalism, protest and social movements, and comparative urbanism (Asian and African contexts). Approaches considered within these will include Marx, Weber, the Chicago School, the Manchester school, and post-modernism.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO727 - Contemporary Sociological Theory

This module provides an introduction to the major issues and controversies that have shaped key developments in contemporary social theory. It surveys the development of social theory through the second half of the twentieth century and up to the present day. Following on from the SO408 module on ‘classical’ social theory, it questions the distinction between the ‘classical’ and the ‘contemporary’ so as to highlight the intellectual decisions, values and problems involved in the packaging of social theory under these terms. It also provides critical introductions to the following theorists and issues: Talcott Parsons and his legacy; Symbolic Interactionism up to Goffman and beyond; The Frankfurt School: Critical theory and the crisis of western marxism; Jurgen Habermas and the decline of the public sphere; Michel Foucault and a his understanding of ‘power’; Pierre Bourdieu and the reproduction of inequality; From Modernity to Post-modernity?; The feminizing of social theory; Globalization, networks and mobilities; New challenges for the twenty-first century.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO736 - Sociology of Religion

This module covers key issues and debates in the sociology of religion in order to interrogate the significance of religious practice and belief in the modern world. After an introductory lecture, the module is organised into two connected parts. Firstly, it explores classical statements on the sources, meaning and fate of religion in modernity by examining the writings of Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber and Georg Simmel, and using their analyses to interrogate current events (e.g. ‘prosperity Pentecostalism’, the rise of the supernatural in culture through such media as the Harry Potter novels, and violent responses to transgressions of what religions consider to be sacred). The emphasis here is on developing in students the knowledge and skills necessary to appreciate and engage critically with the significance of religion for the development of sociology, and with key statements about the modern fate of religion in and beyond the West. Second, the module explores core issues concerned with and associated with the secularisation debate. Here, we look not only at conventional arguments concerning secularisation and de-secularisation, but also at the significance of ‘the return of the sacred’ in society, civil religion, the material experience of religion, and the manner in which religious identities and habits are developed in the contemporary world. This enables us to develop new perspectives on the viability of religion in current times.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO737 - Literature and Society

This course will provide students with a sociological understanding of the changing and central importance of literature (in its myriad forms, both fiction and non-fiction) for contemporary society, including the emergence of specific genres which reflect the changing demographics and social and political concerns of Britain, as well as some other societies. These genres and concerns have been articulated through a diverse array of protagonists in contemporary literature, varying in terms of gender, sexuality, religion, and class. Not only do we talk of ‘chick lit’, but we also read and consume books about vampires and zombies as symbolic vehicles of social otherness. Contemporary literature enables us to examine the ways in which texts address the past, changing social norms, the process of self-discovery and revelation, and the changing boundaries of private and public, in increasingly diverse societies. This module will also emphasize the importance of literature in fostering social reflection, through the ways in which important moral and ethical concerns are often addressed in a variety of genres. While most of the texts are relatively recent, this module also includes a small number of older works of ethnography.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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TH570 - I:Religion and Film

Please note: all Module Handbook information is subject to change pending faculty approval.

The aim of this module is to enable students to understand and evaluate the range of models by which film and religion may be employed as conversation partners and to provide them with the tools necessary for exploring critical links between theology/religious studies and the medium of film. The course will begin with an examination of the methodological, conceptual and disciplinary issues that arise before exploring in critical depth the historical relationship between religion and film, with specific reference to the reception (ranging from prohibition to utilisation) of film by different religious groups. There will be a focus on particular categories of film and categories and models of religious and theological understanding, allowing students taking this module to develop the critical skills helpful for film interpretation and for exploring possible religious and theological approaches to film criticism.
Film clips will be used within lectures and will be discussed and unpacked in the seminars.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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TH574 - H:Religion and Film

Please note: all Module Handbook information is subject to change pending faculty approval.

The aim of this module is to enable students to understand and evaluate the range of models by which film and religion may be employed as conversation partners and to provide them with the tools necessary for exploring critical links between theology/religious studies and the medium of film. The course will begin with an examination of the methodological, conceptual and disciplinary issues that arise before exploring in critical depth the historical relationship between religion and film, with specific reference to the reception (ranging from prohibition to utilisation) of film by different religious groups. There will be a focus on particular categories of film and categories and models of religious and theological understanding, allowing students taking this module to develop the critical skills helpful for film interpretation and for exploring possible religious and theological approaches to film criticism.
Film clips will be used within lectures and will be discussed and unpacked in the seminars.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SO659 - Risk and Society

The course is concerned with the relatively new ideas of living in a ‘risk society’ which theoretically capture the heightened sensitivity within Western societies to the numerous ‘risks’ which shape our lives. The course will explore basic concepts of risk, hazard and probability and how risk is managed and communicated. Topics will include risk and globalization, and risk and the media. Developments will be examined through key examples such as ‘mad cow’ disease and genetically modified ‘frankenfoods’. The course will suggest that heightened perception of risk is here to stay, and is leading to a reorganisation of society in important areas.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO668 - The Sociology of Work

Work and economic life is one of the central themes of sociology. Work allows us to think about class, gender, race and issues of identity. Work defines how people live their lives and is a major constituting factor in identity formation. In recent years work has changed enormously with the rise of globalisation, of deindustrialisation and the ending of old certainties which used to underpin working lives. This module examines how sociology and sociologists have looked at the issue of work in the past as well as in contemporary societies. It charts the theoretical background to the assumptions sociologists make about work as well as the methods they use to investigate work and employment. The module will focus on issues industrialisation, deindustrialisation, notions of career and identity and places and spaces of work. A major part of this module is the discussion of innovative ways of looking at work including through visual methods and approaches, and in addition it will draw on material from the arts and humanities.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO670 - Kent Student Certificate for Volunteering, Platinum Award

This is a 15 credit course which will enhance your CV, particularly if you are hoping to work in the public or voluntary sector. You will be supported to undertake three placements in a variety of volunteering roles, both on and off campus; attend four lectures on the voluntary sector and complete a reflective learning log to help you think about your experiences and the transferable skills you are gaining.

The following 2 units are compulsory:

Active community volunteering
Project Leadership

Plus 1 unit selected from the following:

Active university volunteering
Training facilitator
Mentoring
Committee role

All students taking this module are expected to attend four sessions that provide the academic framework for understanding volunteering, as well as practitioner knowledge that will be helpful as you progress through your placements, and invaluable preparation for your essay. These sessions last one hour each and are spaced evenly throughout the academic year.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Teaching & Assessment

Cultural Studies

Modules are usually taught by a combination of lectures and seminars, and you can always consult the lecturers for individual advice outside of formal teaching. Additionally, a wide range of study skills sessions are available to all students throughout each year of study.

Coursework is continuously assessed at Stage 1, and this is combined with the results of exams, in most modules. At Stage 2/3, modules are assessed by a combination of essays (50%) and exams (50%). All single honours students and some joint honours students also have the opportunity to do a final-year dissertation on a chosen subject, which counts as one module (and does not involve an exam).

Social Anthropology

Most modules are  taught by a combination of lectures and seminars and also involve individual study using library resources and, where relevant, laboratories and computer-based learning packages. If you are taking modules involving computing or learning a language, you have additional workshop time.

Assessment ranges from 80:20 exam/coursework to 100% coursework. At Stages 2 and 3, most core modules are split 50% end-of-year examination and 50% coursework. Both Stage 2 and 3 marks and, where appropriate, the marks for your year abroad count towards your final degree result.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • provide students with a broad range of knowledge in the major sub-divisions of anthropology, showing how it is closely linked to other academic disciplines
  • acquaint students with theoretical and methodological issues relevant to understanding the discipline
  • demonstrate to students the relevance of anthropological knowledge to an understanding of a variety of local, national and international issues
  • facilitate the educational experience of students through the provision of appropriate pedagogical opportunities for learning
  • develop students’ transferable skills and prepare graduates for employment and/or further study in their chosen careers
  • ensure that the research of the School staff informs the design of modules, and their content and delivery in ways which are conducive to achieving the national benchmarks of the discipline in a manner which is efficient and reliable, and enjoyable to students.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • social anthropology as the comparative study of human societies
  • specific themes in social anthropology, for example, religion, politics, kinship, nationalism and ethnicity
  • human diversity and an appreciation of its scope
  • several ethnographic regions of the world including Central Asia, the Mediterranean, Amazonia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific
  • the history of the development of anthropology as a discipline
  • the variety of theoretical approaches contained within the discipline
  • the process of historical and social change
  • the application of anthropology to understanding issues of social and economic development throughout the world
  • the relevance of anthropology to understanding everyday processes of social life anywhere in the world.

Intellectual skills

You develop the following intellectual skills:

  • general learning and study skills
  • the ability to think critically and analytically
  • the ability to express ideas in writing and orally
  • communication 
  • group work
  • computing
  • the ability to review and summarise information
  • data retrieval ability.

Subject-specific skills

You gain the following subject-specific skills:

  • understanding how people are shaped by their social, cultural and physical environments while nonetheless possessing a capacity for individual agency which can allow them to transcend environmental constraints
  • the recognition of the pertinence of an anthropological perspective to understanding major national and international events
  • the ability to interpret texts and performance by locating them within appropriate cultural and historical contexts
  • competence in using anthropological theories and perspectives in the presentation of information and argument
  • the ability to identify and analyse the significance of the social and cultural contexts of language use
  • the ability to devise questions for research and study which are anthropologically informed
  • the ability to perceive the way in which cultural assumptions may affect the opinions of others and oneself.
  • an openness to trying to make rational sense of cultural and social phenomena which may appear at first sight incomprehensible.

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferable skills:

  • communication: organising and summarising information; responding critically to written information; making a structured argument in written and oral form
  • Problem-solving: identifying problems; formulating ways of problem-solving; evaluating alternative solutions
  • Improving own learning: management of time available; awareness of strengths and weaknesses; development of personal learning strategies; ability to conduct independent research
  • Information technology: accessing information on the internet; producing documents; using databases; using technology for oral presentations and online portfolio development
  • Group work: participation in joint learning and communication; sharing ideas and skills; understanding group dynamics.

Careers

Cultural Studies

Cultural Studies provides a useful background for a wide range of careers. The skills you acquire, such as improved communication skills, the ability to work as part of a team and independently, the ability to analyse complex ideas and the confidence to offer your own innovative solutions, are all considered essential attributes by graduate employers. The programmes are especially good preparation for professional or postgraduate training in the media and cultural industries.

Our graduates take up careers in advertising and design, journalism, broadcasting, teaching, arts administration, publishing, public relations, research, information services, leisure industry management, tourism and heritage, personnel, local government, and the organisation of social and community projects.

Social Anthropology

Studying social anthropology gives you an exciting range of career opportunities. We work with you to help direct your module choices to the career paths you are considering. Through your studies you learn how to work independently, to analyse complex data and to present your work with clarity and flair.

Our recent graduates have gone into areas such as overseas development and aid work, further research in social anthropology, social sciences research, media research or production (TV and radio), journalism, advertising, social work, education, international consultancy and work with community groups.

For more information on the services Kent provides you to improve your career prospects visit www.kent.ac.uk/employability.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications, typical requirements are listed below, students offering alternative qualifications should contact the Admissions Office for further advice. It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

ABB including Film, English Literature, Politics, Media, Geography, Philosophy grade B where taken

Access to HE Diploma

The University of Kent will not necessarily make conditional offers to all access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. If an offer is made candidates will be required to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

The university will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF;OCR) on a case by case basis please contact us via the enquiries tab for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 15 points at HL

International students

The University receives applications from over 140 different nationalities and consequently will consider applications from prospective students offering a wide range of international qualifications. Our International Development Office will be happy to advise prospective students on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about our country-specific requirements.

Please note that if you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes through Kent International Pathways.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
English Language Requirements
Please see our English language entry requirements web page.
 
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to support eligible undergraduate students during their studies. Our 2014 financial support package includes a £6,500 cash bursary. Find out more about the support package, eligibility and terms and conditions on our fees and funding pages.

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created a new scholarship, The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence, which will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications as specified on our funding pages.

Enquire or order a prospectus

Download a prospectus (PDF - 2MB) or order one below.

Contacts

Related schools

Enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 827272

Resources

Download a subject leaflet (pdf)

Our subject leaflets provide more detail about individual subjects areas. See:

Read our student profiles

Open days

Our general open days will give you a flavour of what it is like to be an undergraduate, postgraduate or part-time student at Kent. They include a programme of talks for undergraduate students, with subject lectures and demonstrations, plus self-guided walking tours of the campus and accommodation.

Our next open days are:

  • Saturday 21 June 2014 – Medway
  • Saturday 12 July 2014 – Canterbury

Please check which of our locations offers the courses you are interested in before choosing which event to attend.

Related courses

UNISTATS / KIS

Key Information Sets

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.

Fees

Every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in publicity materials is fair and accurate at the time of going to press. However, the courses, services and other matter covered by web pages and prospectuses are subject to change from time to time and no guarantee can be given that changes will not be made following publication and/or after candidates have been admitted to the University. Please see www.kent.ac.uk/applicants/information/policies/disclaimer for further information. Please note that modules shown are based on the current curriculum but are subject to change.

Publishing Office - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000