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FI344-15 Global Visions

SCAPVC - Film & Television Studies
Undergraduate Level 3
Module leader
Tiago de Luca
Credit value
Module duration
10 weeks
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

Global Visions will look at the ways in which the Earth has been imagined in cinema and related media. The module will focus on a wide variety of visual and audiovisual forms across film and television history, including: early non-fiction cinema, documentaries, popular and art narrative cinema, and TV and digital programmes. By situating these forms within their respective contexts, the module will explore the way in which they relate to wider discourses and phenomena such as globalisation, cosmopolitanism, universalism and the current Anthropocene.

Module aims
  1. To explore the way in which the the world as a whole has been imagined in cinema and related media
  2. To investigate the concepts and phenomena to which world-encompassing imaginings have been attached, including globalisation, cosmopolitanism and the present global environmental crisis
  3. To critically evaluate the way in which global imaginings have adhered to, or else subverted, hegemonic ideologies
  4. To explore the wider narratives and mythologies within which global visions have been figured and constructed, including narratives of progress, colonialism, and end-of-the-world scenarios
Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

Week 1: Modern Conceptions of a World Totality
Screenings: selected sample of early films
Week 2: The Big and the Small: Scale and Size in Early Cinema
Screenings: selected sample of early films
Week 3: Cinematic Universalism
Screening: Intolerance (D.W. Griffith, 1916)
Further viewing: The Wonderful World of Albert Kahn (BBC, 3-disc set, 2009)
Week 4: The World Symphony Film
Screenings: Melody of the World (Walter Ruttmann, 1929) & Koyaanisqatsi (Godfrey Reggio, 1982)
Further viewing: Powaqqatsi (1988) and Naqoyqatsi (2002), Baraka (Ron Fricke, 1992), Samsara (Ron Fricke, 2011)
Week 5: The Face of the World
Screenings: Human, vol. 1 (Yann Arthus-Bertrand, 2016) and Samsara (Ron Fricke, 2011)
Further viewing: Human, vol. 2 & 3 (Yann Arthus-Bertrand, 2016), Home (Yann Arthus-Bertrand, 2009), Life in a Day (2011), One Day on Earth (2012)
Week 6: Reading Week
Week 7: The Global Multinarrative Film
Screening: Babel (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2006)
Further viewing: 360º (Fernando Meirelles, 2011), Mammoth (Lukas Moodysson, 2009), The World (Jia Zhangke, 2002)
Week 6: Reading Week
Week 7: The Global Multinarrative Film
Screening: Babel (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2006)
Further viewing: 360º (Fernando Meirelles, 2011), Mammoth (Lukas Moodysson, 2009), The World (Jia Zhangke, 2002)
Week 9: A Nonhuman Planet
Screenings: Planet Earth (BBC, 2006) & Planet Earth II (BBC, 2016), programmes tbc
Week 10: The End of the World
Screening: Homo Sapiens (Nikolaus Geyrahlter, 2016)
Further viewing: Melancholia (Lars von Trier, 2011), 4:44 Last Day on Earth (Abel Ferrara, 2011)

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • a critical understanding of the ways in which globalising discourses have manifested themselves in cinema and related media
  • a theoretical knowledge of the aesthetic and narrative devices utilised to figure the world as a totality in audiovisual media
  • a historical and geographical understanding of world-encompassing imaginaries
  • an ability to differentiate the various concepts and frameworks related to ideas of worlding, including: world, Earth, the planetary and globalism
Indicative reading list


View reading list on Talis Aspire

Subject specific skills

This module develops skills of audio-visual literacy, through close textual and/or contextual analysis in relation to the moving image and sound. It also develops understandings of historical, theoretical and conceptual frameworks relevant to screen arts and cultures.

Transferable skills
  • critical and analytical thinking in relation
  • independent research skills
  • team work
  • clarity and effectiveness of communication, oral and written
  • accurate, concise and persuasive writing
  • audio-visual literacy
  • intercultural awareness

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 9 sessions of 1 hour (6%)
Seminars 9 sessions of 1 hour (6%)
Other activity 132 hours (88%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

No private study requirements defined for this module.

Other activity description

Independent learning


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A2
Weighting Study time
Written Assignment (5000 words) 100%
Feedback on assessment

Written and verbal feedback


This module is Core optional for:

  • Year 4 of UHPA-RP43 Undergraduate Hispanic Studies with Film Studies

This module is Optional for:

  • Year 3 of UFIA-W620 Undergraduate Film Studies
  • Year 4 of UFIA-W621 Undergraduate Film Studies (with Year Abroad)
  • Year 4 of UFIA-QW26 Undergraduate Film and Literature (with Study Abroad)

This module is Core option list A for:

  • Year 4 of UGEA-RP33 Undergraduate German with Film Studies

This module is Option list A for:

  • Year 3 of UFIA-QW25 Undergraduate Film and Literature
  • Year 4 of UFRA-R1WA Undergraduate French with Film Studies