Film, Politics and Identity - FILM6350

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 6 30 (15) Margrethe Bruun Vaage checkmark-circle


Throughout its history, film has functioned as a powerful sociopolitical engine. Individuals and groups have used this medium to express their identities (whether gender, sexual, ethnic, class, political, national, taste or intersectional constellations thereof) to various audiences, to portray their histories and current realities, to interrogate social norms, to agitate for civil rights and to imagine more equal futures. By the same token, film's unique capacities to reflect, refract and represent has also meant that individuals and groups have also used the medium to exert power or subjugate, create and reinforce stereotypes about the Other or justify their own dominance in the social order. This module focusses on this vital aspect of cinema. Each year the convenor will focus on one case study or series of case studies, for example: how the portrayal of violent women protagonists in action film and television series challenge notions of femininity; the interrelation between gender representation and genre more widely; the use of film as tool for politically/ideologically motivated State-run cinemas (e.g. USSR, Nazi Germany); cinema’s role in the identity wars of post-Vietnam 1970s America; the History of African American cinema; the construction and interrogation of sexuality and queer identities.


Contact hours

Contact hours: 50
Private Study Hours: 250
Total Study Hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:
Critical reflective writing portfolio (2,000 words) (30%)
Essay (4,000 word) (70%)

Reassessment methods:

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.
The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Critically discuss the notion of identity as it relates to questions of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, class and/or another case study
2 Evaluate the historical trajectory of one or several cycle(s) or genre(s) of filmic representations of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, class and/or another case study
3 Critically reflect on theories of filmic representations of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, class and/or another case study
4 Apply their knowledge of this field through independent research and writing.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Develop skills of critical and historical analysis, together with generic intellectual skills of synthesis, summarisation, critical judgement and problem solving that will allow for the construction of original and persuasive arguments
2 Read critically and develop skills in historical and critical enquiry and interpretation, using reference sources and judging evidence and arguments
3 Learn how to organise their private study and library research
4 Acquire the ability to manage a workload in the context of a professional organisation
5 Demonstrate the acquisition of an independent learning style; for example in the preparation and presentation of course work, in carrying out independent research, in showing the ability to reflect on their own learning and by mediating complex arguments in both oral and written form
6 Approach problem solving creatively, and form critical and evaluative judgments about the appropriateness of these approaches to a level where a substantial degree of autonomy and self-reflexive awareness is achieved in these tasks.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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