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Humans grapple with representations of themselves and their contexts. They also like to imagine other possible worlds. We use words, language, images, sounds and movement to construct narratives and stories, large and small, about the trivial and the profound, the past and the future. These representations can help us to understand worlds but they can also create worlds for us. This subject explores how different genres such as speech, writing, translation, film, theatre and art generate representations of social life, imagination and the human condition. A key aim of the subject is to develop a critical appreciation of how language, images and embodied gestures are used to construct empowering and disempowering discourses.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of the subject students should have:
- an enhanced understanding of representation as a defining feature of human social and cultural life;
- learnt to analyse the genres of representation including speech, writing, translation, film, theatre and art;
- a crtical understanding of the way gender roles and racial and ethnic identities are represented in different cultures and different genres;
- a good basic understanding of how representation creates symbolic worlds;
- an understanding of the different expressive possibilities of verbal and visual texts, and of multimedia texts such as film and theatre.
Students who successfully complete this subject will:
- be able to critically think and analyse through recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion;
- be able to research through competent use of the library and other information sources, and the definition of areas of inquiry and methods of research;
- be able to engage with the methodologies of the humanities and social sciences;
- be critically self-aware, open to new ideas and possibilities through learning how to construct an argument;
- be able to communicate knowledge and arguments intelligibly and economically through essay writing and tutorial discussion;
- have the ability to assess the strength of an argument through recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion;
- be able to time manage and plan through managing and organsing workloads for recommended reading, essay and assignment completion.
Last updated: 18 December 2020