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Cultural festivals, carnivals and special events are a prominent feature of arts and cultural activities at the local, national and international level. Through a series of international and local case studies, this subject will examine the economic and artistic origins of and rationales for these events in the context of a range of theoretical framings. Students will be asked to consider a variety of professional and critical approaches to evaluating these events, including programming and content analysis, audiences, creative labour, place-making strategies and the role of artistic directors. The influence of ritual, invented traditions and the carnivalesque in contemporary festival practices, along with the historical and political underpinning of festivals, will also be explored in order to appreciate the diverse range of interests that are served by such events and the social and political contexts within which they take place.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students will be able to:
- appraise the historical and cultural aspects of a range of local and international arts and cultural festivals;
- evaluate the importance of festival artistic programming, communities, and festival stakeholders on festival operation;
- apply theoretical and critical skills to questions of event practice and employ a multi-method approach in service of advanced critical analysis of festivals and special events; and
- critique the economic, political and social contexts of festivals and special events.
At the completion of this subject, students should gain the following generic skills:
- be able to demonstrate research and analytical skills;
- be able to demonstrate clear spoken and written communication;
- be able to demonstrate attention to detail; and
- be able to demonstrate understanding of ethical and cultural contexts.
Last updated: 2 December 2019