PP3SCF-The Scandal of Film

Module Provider: Philosophy
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:6
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Prof Maximilian De Gaynesford

Email: r.m.degaynesford@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Films play a central role in our cultural life. But many aspects remain unclear and call for philosophical investigation. For example, we often attribute enormous powers to films. They teach us about reality! They reveal the human condition! They make us better people! They make us worse people! They include some of the greatest art yet produced! They do philosophy—better and more seriously than philosophers do! But are any of these claims actually true? Is it even possible, for example, that a film might be a work of art? It would be a scandal to go on believing these claims and not investigate them. So this course will.


Aims:

This module develops a keen sense of the significance of philosophical thinking in dealing with film. The module draws on a range of different conceptions of what counts as ‘Philosophy’, so it encourages students to compare and contrast very different ways of doing philosophy. The module also enhances global engagement and multi-cultural awareness by investigating different cultural approaches to the problems raised by film and cultural life more generally. The emphasis is on developing independent learning, personal effectiveness and self-awareness as well as the ability to reflect effectively on your progress and strengths and on the goals you wish to achieve.


Assessable learning outcomes:

The programme of study in Philosophy is specifically designed to introduce students to progressive intellectual challenges and to consolidate previous experience at each new level. This third-year module enables students to develop mastery of the advanced skills of philosophy – particularly in written work and in oral discussion. This is a research-led module and it improves and tests for research skills - particularly the ability of students to discover new material for themselves and to develop it themselves. It improves personal effectiveness through developing these independent-learning skills.


Additional outcomes:

The module encourages students to confront their deepest beliefs and assumptions about film in a characteristically philosophical way. It builds on techniques learned at Parts 1 and 2 to develop students’ skills in oral and written argument. Students will be enhancing their contextual abilities: this module teaches students different ways of relating concepts and theories to the current context, so they can develop the skills to apply their knowledge to real world problems.


Outline content:

The module will begin by looking at the kinds of claim commonly made about film, and then focus more carefully by asking what film is. Building up from that basis, we shall look at various claims in turn: that films can teach us about reality; that they can reveal the human condition; that they can make us better (or worse) people. We shall also look at whether or not films really can count as works of art. And finally we shall take all we have learned and use that to ask about the relation of film to philosophy. Is it possible, for example, for films actually to be—or to do—philosophy?


Global context:

The module will discuss films in the global context and students will be encouraged to draw on examples from films made in a variety of languages and countries.


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module is taught in classes that will have a flexible form, combining lecture-elements and seminar-elements as appropriate at this senior level. Students are expected to attend 30 hours of classes during the term in which the module takes place. All students are required to write two essays from a list of questions supplied by the module convenor. The essay assignments will be due in weeks 5 and 11 of the Autumn term. Students are encouraged to be active in all classes, asking questions and trying to answer the questions posed by others. A reading list and sample questions will be given out at the start of the course.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 20
    Wider reading (directed) 20
    Advance preparation for classes 20
    Completion of formative assessment tasks 50
    Essay preparation 50
    Reflection 10
       
Total hours by term 200 0 0
       
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Two coursework essays; to be submitted in the 5th week and 11th week of the Autumn Term.


Formative assessment methods:

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:

    Written assignment, to be completed in August/September.


    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 8 April 2019

    THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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