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This subject will focus on some of the major developments in film and screen theory since the turn of the last century. It will critically evaluate some of the key theoretical models that have impacted on the study of cinema and related screen media. The subject will examine the historical development of major theories, including: ideology, psychoanalysis and spectatorship; semiotics, intertextuality and postmodernism; formalism, structuralism and post-structuralism; sense and affect theory; temporality and spatiality; and film history and media archaeology. Major film theorists to be studied may include: the early writers on film (Sergei Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov, Siegfried Kracauer, Hugo Munsterberg, Maya Deren); the first and second wave of theorists associated with the emergence of film studies at university (Christian Metz, Jean Louis Baudry, Laura Mulvey, Jean Louis Comolli and Jean Narboni, Christine Gledhill, Teresa de Lauretis, Stephen Heath); and some of the next generation of film scholars who followed (Mary Anne Doane, D.N.Rodowick, Miriam Hansen, Noel Carroll, Giulana Bruno, Vivian Sobchack, Laura U. Marks, Tom Gunning). Interdisciplinarity is at the core of screen theory and, as such, this subject will also examine the work of critical theorists who impacted on developments in screen theory, including Roland Barthes, Claude Levi-Strauss, Julia Kristeva, Louis Althusser, Jacques Lacan, Fredric Jameson, Jean Baudrillard, Juri Lotman, Mikhail Bakhtin and Gilles Deleuze. This subject will appeal particularly to Screen Studies students who are interested in understanding and exploring some of the main writings and ideas in contemporary and past screen theories, and considering their practical application to the analysis of film and related screen media forms.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should have:
- enhanced knowledge of the topic or area of scholarship taught in the module; and
- an ability to reflect upon their own research work in relation to the content of the module; and
- enhanced engagement with leading-edge research in Arts today.
The subjects will contribute, through teaching and discussion with academic staff and peers, to developing the skills and capacities identified in the University-defined Graduate Attributes for the PhD, in particular:
- the capacity to contextualise research within an international corpus of specialist knowledge;
- an advanced ability to evaluate and synthesise research-based and scholarly literature; and
- an advanced understanding of key disciplinary and multi-disciplinary norms and perspectives relevant to the field.
Last updated: 16 March 2020