Module Catalogue 2020/21

HCA1007 : Stuff: living in a material world

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Sophie Moore
  • Lecturer: Professor Helen Berry, Dr Jane Webster, Dr Felix Schulz, Dr Eric Tourigny, Dr Nicola Clarke, Dr Chloe Duckworth, Dr Chris Fowler, Dr Andrea Dolfini
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment

N/A

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment

N/A

Aims

Why do you love your new phone? Why do we style our homes? Why do we care when some things are broken? What can you tell about a person from their shoes, their car, or even from their evening meal? This module aims to introduce students to ideas about people and their things. It is concerned with one of the most fundamental parts of our lives: our stuff. We will consider why, and how, people use things in their lives. We will interpret ways in which we use things and ways in which things can exert power over us.

As humans we surround ourselves with things which play an important part in our lives whether we recognize them as significant or not. Graduates in a variety of careers need to be equipped to interpret the role of all kinds of objects in people’s lives. We will give you the skills to consider objects and people from different times and different places to help you to understand our contemporary world. This module will be of interest therefore to anyone who seeks to work with people and things in a range of disciplines and careers such as business, marketing, economics, Film Studies, English literature, heritage and tourism, geography, sociology, architecture, art, history or archaeology.

This module will introduce students to the study of stuff (also known as material culture studies!) through a series of thematic teaching sessions based on both lectures and workshops. Each week, we will introduce theories of material culture and examine the work of key scholars who have influenced thinking in material culture studies. Students will work together to reinforce and develop learning in practical sessions and assignments. The module will make use of the Great North Museum: Hancock’s artefact collection and other resources available locally in Newcastle city centre from shopping centres to art galleries and will seek to build both subject-specific skills and key graduate skills.

Outline Of Syllabus

The syllabus will include topics covering broadly those areas outlined here

Getting started
Block 1: What is Material Culture Studies?

Block 2: Material Culture and Us

Block 3: Artefact Biography

The Individual
Block 4: Things and Childhood

Block 5: Coming of Age and Adulthood; Clever Stuff: Technology, Wearing stuff

Block 6: Powerful Stuff

Block 7: Death and Stuff

The Home
Block 8: Eating Stuff

Block 9: Drinking Stuff

Block 10: The Living Room

Other stuff
Block 11: Imagined Communities

Block 12: Stuff, Heritage and Nostalgia

How to produce a good podcast
How to produce a good group project

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

A critical awareness of differing ways in which people in different contexts use material culture
Knowledge of various approaches for the analysis of material culture in material culture studies
knowledge of various approaches to the interpretation of material culture in material culture studies
specific and detailed knowledge about particular artefacts chosen for the assignment

Intended Skill Outcomes

- Intellectual skills of interpreting and analysing material culture
- Interdisciplinary skills of relating artefacts with art historical, archaeological and textual evidence

Key skills to develop:
- visual intelligence in studying artefact as evidence
- personal confidence of working within a small group
- presentation skills and public speaking skills

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion741:0074:0045% of guided independent studies
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading721:0072:0045% of guided independent studies
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00Seminar
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study181:0018:0010% of guided independent studies
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Each week the first session will be a lecture on a topic followed by a double session for a workshop on a related theme

We will set two key readings in advance of each practical, linked to the material we will look at.

LECTURES impart core knowledge and an outline of the knowledge that students are expected to acquire and they stimulate development of listening and note taking skills.

SEMINARS encourage independent study and promote improvements in oral presentation, interpersonal communication, problem-solving skills and adaptability.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research paper2M501500 Words
Research paper2M503000 words - Group Project Research Paper
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

1.
Write 'podcast essay text' (1500 words) on object biography. This must be based on ONE selected artefact - to be agreed with module leader
Students will gain the research skills needed to write a critically informed study of their chosen artefact, but they will be crafting their writing for a podcast which is arguably more readily useful for the ‘real world’ than an essay alone. Thinking about their audience will enable students to develop their writing skills and delivering the podcast will enable them to practice skills in public speaking.
This piece of assessment must provide:
1) an essay (with references and bibliography) - summative
2) images to go with the podcast text - summative
3) a pod cast sound file (with the student’s voiceover reading the submitted text) - formative

2.
Group Project Research paper
The aims of the research paper will be to enable the students to collaborate on a project in small groups in order to explore an assemblage or artefact type.

Student teams will design a plan and timetable for their project, to be submitted with the assessment.
Students will also reflect on their learning from doing the project, and include it with the research paper.

The submitted work tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes, develops key skills in research, reading and writing.


All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. This will take the form of an alternative assessment, as outlined in the formats below:

Modules assessed by Coursework and Exam:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be one essay in addition to the other coursework assessment (the length of the essay should be adjusted in order to comply with the assessment tariff); to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Exam only:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be two 2,000 word written exercises; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Coursework only:
All semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be expected to complete the standard assessment for the module; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.
Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending the whole academic year or semester 2 are required to complete the standard assessment as set out in the MOF under all circumstances.

Timetable

Past Exam Papers

General Notes

N/A

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2020/21 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2021/22 entry will be published here in early-April 2021. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.