HST686: Representing the Eighteenth Century: History & Film
15 credits (semester 2)
Dr. Karen Harvey
Academic historians are increasingly interested in the ways in which history is used and delivered in popular media. Within this area of research, filmic representations are attracting considerable attention. At the same time, historians have become live to the ways in which their own discipline does not simply unearth facts, but creates narratives, deploys plots, and uses genre. On this module, we will explore both filmic and historical representations of the eighteenth century. The focus is on the uses of history in film, and the analysis of these in the context of academic 'representations' of the period.
The module will be taught in five, two-hour classes. After an initial session on the eighteenth century and film criticism, the remaining four will focus on a particular film, which will have been viewed independently by the students. The discussion will be centred around the film and include the historical background as well as a critical discussion of the narrative and representational strategies of the film. Short clips will sometimes be used in class as discussion points. These classes will enable students to share knowledge, debate controversial issues and listen and respond to the views of others in a structured environment. Students will, in addition, have an individual tutorial with their own supervisor in which to discuss the work they will write for assessment for this module.
Students will prepare a paper (not more than 3000 words) which demonstrates an ability to handle bibliographical resources and which explores one of the key themes raised by an in-depth study of a particular topic in history.
|Intended Learning Outcomes|
By the end of the unit, a candidate will be able to demonstrate the ability to:
- Independently analyse films, and place them within the subject's secondary literature on film criticism.
- Demonstrate the ability to critically analyse the depiction of past events in film.
- Reflect on the position of professional academic history in relation to other competing representations of the past.
- Engage intelligently with issues concerning the public role of history.
- Display an informed familiarity with related disciplines.
- Think critically.