Representing Contemporary Cultures 2 builds up on “Representing Contemporary Cultures 1″ and proceeds with the introduction of students to issues and debates in contemporary culture and the ways that recent and current writers and film-makers engage with them. The unit will deepen students’ critical understanding of contemporary cultural theories, their awareness of the broader contexts for debates about the contemporary, and their ability to construct complex and detailed arguments in relation to the ways that the contemporary period is represented in literature and film. The unit begins with a discussion of the economic crisis of 2008 and its (ongoing) aftermath to capture the zeitgeist of the early twenty-first century and explore prevalent contemporary ideologies such as neoliberalism and their intellectual critique. Like its precursor, this unit will be taught in three segments introducing additional topics – such as ‘Metropolis’ and ‘The Animal’ – to extend the contextualisation of the present in terms of the ways that identities are made and remade in response to contemporary constraints and freedoms. Texts and films discussed on this unit might include David Harvey’s The Enigma of Capital (2010), Tony Judt’s Ill Fares the Land: A Treatise on Our Present Discontents (2010), Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom (2010) and Oliver Stone’s Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps (2010).
The unit is taught by a team of fully research-active staff from the English department whose research profiles can be viewed at www.hssr.mmu.ac.uk/centre-of-research-in-english.
This course is worth an optional 20 credits at Master’s level and costs £500. For further details, contact Professor Berthold Schoene: +44 (0) 161 247 1780. To apply, contact James Draper: +44 (0) 161 247 1787; j.dr...@mmu.ac.uk.