SOAS University of London

School of Arts

Critical Readings in Arts and Cultures

Module Code:
158100002
Status:
Module Not Running 2019/2020
Credits:
15
FHEQ Level:
6
Year of study:
Year 2, Year 3 or Year 4
Taught in:
Term 1

This half-unit introduces students from across the School of Arts to key texts of post-colonial theory that deal with aesthetics and the senses. The team-taught module mixes different disciplinary approaches from Music, History of Art and Archaeology, and Media to engage key concepts in post-colonial studies. With a focus on close reading, the module guides students through advanced texts that they will encounter across disciplines in their later years of study, equipping them with the analytical tools to apply key ideas to regional case studies. Drawing from faculty expertise, the module will emphasize reading the texts from the perspective of the traditions covered in regional modules.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this course a student should be able to:

  • demonstrate a broad awareness of major paradigms in cultural theory.     
  • approach key theoretical texts with confidence.
  • engage in close critical reading.
  • apply the terminology and methods of cultural theory to specific case studies from Asia and Africa.
  • assess critically the existing literature and approaches to music and art in Asia and Africa

Workload

One 2 hour lecture per week

Scope and syllabus

  1. Space and place
  2. Nation
  3. Representation and Power
  4. Gender: the Body
  5. Class
  6. Race
  7. The Culture Industries
  8. Post-colonialism
  9. The Media
  10. Globalization

Method of assessment

  • Written exam worth 40%
  • Essay on selected topic (1,000 words) - 20%
  • Essay on selected topic (2,000 words) - 40%

Suggested reading

  • Anderson, Benedict (1983) Imagine Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism. New York: Verso.
  • Appadurai, Arjun (1990) "Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy." Theory, Culture and Society 7: 295-310.
  • Benjamin, Walter (1936) "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," In Illuminations, Ed. Hannah Arendt. New York: Schocken, 217-51.
  • Fanon, Franz (1952) Black Skin, White Masks. New York: Grove.
  • Foucault, Michel (1977) Discipline and Punish: Birth of the Prison. London: Penguin, pp. 195-228.
  • McLuhan (1964) "The Medium is the Message," Understanding Media: the Extension of Man. New York: Signet pp. 23-35.
  • Mohanty, Chandra (1984) "Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses." oundary 2. 12-3-13.1: 333-358.
  • Said, Edward (1978) Orientalism. New York: Pantheon.
  • Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty (1983) "Can the Subaltern Speak?" In Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism.

Disclaimer

Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules