CL2AF-Ancient World on Film

Module Provider: Classics
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Antony Keen


Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module provides an introduction to key techniques and issues in the study of films inspired by the ancient world. We will consider the variety of influences that shape the re-presentation of antiquity in cinema through an examination of films inspired by ancient literature, myth and history. Students will learn how to read, research and write about cinematic texts and their relationship with antiquity.

To introduce students to a selection of the ways the ancient world has been represented in cinema, and to the techniques and contextual knowledge essential for the study of such films.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:
•understand cine-antiquity as a topic in Classical reception
•demonstrate a critical awareness of the major issues in cine-antiquity
•show knowledge of some key films and scholarly writings on the topic
•conduct independent research on topics in cine-antiquity
•communicate their arguments effectively and illustrate them with relevant evidence

Additional outcomes:
The module also aims to encourage the development of skills in research and analysis for sources relevant to the study of cinema. Students will develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources.

Outline content:
Following an introduction to issues in the study of cine-antiquity, we will consider how these work in practice in a selection of films inspired by ancient literature, myth and history. Seminars will facilitate more interactive discussion of theoretical frameworks, specific films, and their reception as re-presentations of the ancient world.

Global context:
The module will include some discussion of differences in production and reception in national cinematic traditions, including Italian, British and Hollywood cinemas.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

There will be ten weekly sessions which will include some formal lecturing as well as more interactive class and small group discussions and hands-on research training. Students will be encouraged to share their queries and insights about new techniques and resources needed to study the topic through an online discussion forum.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Guided independent study 90
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

The module will be assessed by one essay of c. 2500 words, due by Wednesday of week 1 in the Spring term. 

Formative assessment methods:
Students will have the opportunity to submit a formative assessment by the end of the sixth week of term, comprising a 500-word close analysis of the opening sequence of one of the films studied.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:
    40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Resubmission of coursework in August.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 September 2018


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