FT3IAA-Identity, Agency, Advocacy: Diversity and Representation in Film, Television and Theatre

Module Provider: Film, Theatre and TV
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Simone Knox

Email: s.knox@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

In this module, we explore questions concerning diversity and inclusion that are currently receiving much high-profile attention and debates in a number of different contexts, within and across film, television and theatre. We undertake close analysis of screen and stage representations that pertain to the complex interconnection of issues such as class, disability, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexuality. We combine our intersectional approach with an examination of relevant industrial, political and socio-cultural contexts and debates, and we explore how diversity and inclusion work intersects with the process of making. We pay particular attention to different kinds of minority and/or marginalized identities, as well as the efforts made by campaigners and advocates to push for equitable and meaningful representation. Films, programmes and plays to feature on the module may include: Fresh Off the Boat; Get Out; Goodbye CP; Jubilee; Kiss, Marry, Kill; The Slave; Transparent.


This module aims to develop analytical skills for film, television and theatre through close analysis of texts alongside a critical engagement with relevant cultural and industrial contexts. Here, the module aims particularly to familiarize students with the contemporary landscape of advocacy work pertaining to the stage and screen industries. Through its intersectional approach, the module is designed to promote independent critical thinking, and to encourage students to identify their own critical position on the relevant critical debates and ideological issues through discussion and analysis of selected case studies.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • Make sophisticated intersectional analyses of the politics of representation of selected texts, informed by relevant critical and theoretical perspectives.

  • Demonstrate a good understanding of advocacy work inside the process of making.

  • Understand and be able to place current cultural discourses on issues of representation within a larger history.

  • Demonstrate a good knowledge of the work of contemporary advocacy groups, including the challenges and opportunities available to them.

  • Relate their understanding of issues of representation to a range of other concepts introduced by the course, including authorship, genre, style and form.

Additional outcomes:

The module plays a significant role in the continuing development of other skills and competencies which are central to the course. It is expected that the level of skills and competencies achieved in the following will be appropriate to the level of study: oral communication and argument in group situations; deployment of research using printed and electronic resources; critical analysis and coherent argument; undertaking self-directed, independent work; presentation of written work using IT; identifying and addressing problems in the analysis of film, television and/or theatre; creative deployment of technology in the development and presentation of analysis.

Outline content:

The module is intended to begin with a roundtable exploration of the major issues, challenges and opportunities presented by exploring the politics of representation from an intersectional perspective, as well as diversity and inclusion practices within the contexts of Higher Education. The module will proceed with a critical focus on whiteness, in terms of both institutional contexts and deployment of aesthetic forms; and then consider issues of gender and gender equality across film, television and theatre. We will analyse the representation of East Asian identities and explicit or implicit yellowface. Practices, aesthetics and experiences pertaining to LGBTQ+ identities will form one case study, with a particular focus on issues of curation and self-representation. The module will also pay attention to issues of disability, different types of embodiment/enmindment and ‘ableist’ attitudes. At least one guest speaker will be drawn from the field of advocacy work, who may speak, for example, about the significance of social class in relation to the creative industries. (Note: this outline content is indicative and may vary in practice.)

Global context:

Whilst focused on Anglophone contexts, this module considers issues of identity relating to a range of national contexts.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Within the two-hour class, a range of teaching styles will be used and may vary from week to week. Where appropriate, short lectures will be used to establish contexts and introduce issues for discussion and debate. The primary teaching method will be discussion based around prepared reading and close analysis of case studies screened and/or read in advance. Short presentations or new media-based activities may be involved prepared by individuals or small groups for larger group discussion.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 18
Supervised time in studio/workshop 32
Work-based learning 2
Guided independent study 148
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

There is one summative assignment, for which students choose between a 5,000 word essay and a project output with accompanying 1,500 word documentation. The submission date will be early in Summer Term.

Formative assessment methods:

There is one formative assessment, for which students submit their plan for their essay or project output and receive feedback to provide opportunities to improve.

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: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    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:

    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Resubmission of failed coursework.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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