Module Catalogue 2022/23

MCH3037 : Religion and Recent US Film

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Andrew Shail
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • 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

This module has two principal aims: first, to identify how religious concepts have influenced filmmaking in the USA during the late-twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, and second, to supplement the accounts of politics operating through discourses of sex/gender, race and class with which students are normally familiar by Stage 3 with an account of how politics operates through discourses about the supernatural. It also provides students with a self-contained crash course on the study of film. No prior experience in studying film is needed.

Outline Of Syllabus

Each week students will watch recorded lectures (plus bonus lectures in two select weeks) and attend a two-hour seminar (viewings will also be organised, though attendance is not compulsory if students can watch the film otherwise). The lectures will cover the specifics of working on film, the political compass, the politics of specific religious truth claims and religious moral prescriptions (concentrating, in line with the module's focus on the USA, on the beliefs common in Judaism and Christianity), examples of ways that these religions’ political stances have made it into even seemingly anti-theistic films and examples of ways that the mythologies of these religions have populated filmic content.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

A student successfully completing the module will be able to demonstrate in written work:
- knowledge of the political stances underpinning versions of Judaism and Christianity prevalent in the USA during the last roughly 80 years;
- a detailed knowledge of recent religious apologetics and counter-apologetics;
- a detailed knowledge of film’s formal repertoire;
- knowledge of the relationship between, on one hand, historical phenomena and, on the other, the form and content of films;
- a detailed textual knowledge and a broad historical knowledge of the recent Hollywood film industry and its output.

Intended Skill Outcomes

A student successfully completing this module will be able to:
- identify the impact that the mythologies and moral codes of specific religions have had on cultural works;
- identify the attitudes towards religion expressed in narratives that either/both overtly or/and covertly allude to religious truth claims and moral prescriptions;
- identify and engage with the techniques of argumentation particular to religious apologetics;
- demonstrate subject-specific skills in analysing filmic sequences and structures and identifying film’s industrial, historical and cultural specificities.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials131:0013:00Online non-synchronous
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion136:0036:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading103:0030:00Film screenings
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading154:0054:00Required reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00On-campus seminars
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities11:001:00Module briefing
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity101:0010:00Study groups
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study134:0034:00Further reading and viewing
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Non-synchronous lectures give students insight pertinent to all five knowledge outcomes. On-campus seminars give students the ability to develop all four skills. Film screenings permit students to watch the primary works in an academic environment conducive to critical viewing, and present the films in theatrical scale.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A1004,000-word essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The submitted work format is particularly good for testing all of the organizational, research, logic and writing skills involved in detailed analysis and argumentation, and permits the in-depth analysis of time-based visual texts that is fundamental to this module. A single end-of-module essay is used to give Stage 3 students maximum room to explore their chosen films and ideas; feedback will be provided to all students during the module in the form of scrutiny of methods and ideas during seminars.

Timetable

Past Exam Papers

General Notes

N/A

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2022/23 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 2023/24 entry will be published here in early-April 2023. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.