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IP122-15 Revolution

Department
Liberal Arts
Level
Undergraduate Level 1
Module leader
Gavin Schwartz-Leeper
Credit value
15
Module duration
10 weeks
Assessment
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

This module explores the ways in which art and artistic expressions prompt, influence, or resist moments of crisis and change. Using Problem-Based Learning, students explore four rich case studies that cut across a range of historical, cultural, and conceptual boundaries. The case studies are organized around four central themes that require students to connect theoretical frameworks and methodologies to specific actions, conceptual and material objects, texts, datasets, and academic fields in order to tackle complex problems. While the specific content of the case studies are dynamic, changing year on year in response to specific cohort interests, the four case studies retain their thematic structures to help students build knowledge transfer and critical thinking skills. Students will work individually and in groups with a wide range of diverse materials; these student-led activities require that students interrogate existing professional, academic, and cultural paradigms through the lenses of race, gender, colonialism, and cultural theory.

Module aims

By the end of the module, students will be expected to:
-- Understand the ways in which artistic expression has positioned itself in relation to revolutionary events;
-- Examine in-depth the historical contexts of each revolution and relate them to specific artistic productions;
-- Explore the political and social contexts of each revolution and understand how they impacted on artistic production;
-- Critically analyse specific artistic productions by deploying an appropriate theoretical framework
-- Compare artistic productions from various eras and in different parts of the world, and attempt to theorise their contributions
-- Compare dominant revolutionary narratives and scholarship with marginalized ones in relation to scholarly theory and practice;
-- Have demonstrated foundational research and professional communication skills

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: Introduction to Identity and Power
Week 2: Humanity and Revolution: Analyzing Objects [Skills-based session]
Week 3: Authority in the French Revolution
Week 4: Society and the Self in the French Revolution
Week 5: Success and Failure in the Haitian Revolution
Week 6 Politics and Revolution: Using the Past/Historiography [Skills session]
Week 7: Trotsky on Art and Revolution
Week 8: Class and Revolution
Week 9: The Truth and the Russian Revolution
Week 10: Critical Reflection

Learning outcomes

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

  • Understand the ways in which artistic expression has positioned itself in relation to revolutionary events
  • Examine in-depth the historical contexts of each revolution and relate them to specific artistic productions
  • Explore the political and social contexts of each revolution and understand how they impacted on artistic production
  • Critically analyse specific artistic productions by deploying an appropriate theoretical framework
  • Compare artistic productions from various eras and in different parts of the world, and attempt to theorise their contributions
  • Compare dominant revolutionary narratives and scholarship with marginalized ones in relation to scholarly theory and practice
  • Have demonstrated foundational research and professional communication skills
Indicative reading list

Arendt, H. (1963) On revolution. London: Faber & Faber.
Arendt, H. (1970) On violence. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich.
Attwood, B. (2003) Rights for Aborigines. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.
‘Battleship Potemkin’ (1925). FilmFour.
Beaty, B. and Woo, B. (2016) The greatest comic book of all time: symbolic capital and the field of American comic books. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Bonnell, V. E. (1999) Iconography of Power: Soviet Political Posters Under Lenin and Stalin. Berkerley: University of California Press.
Chang, J. (1991) Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Chesterman, J. and Galligan, B. (1997) Citizens Without Rights: Aborigines and Australian Citizenship. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Chinese Posters: Propaganda, Politics, History, Art. https://chineseposters.net/.
Chute, H. L. (2010) Graphic women: life narrative and contemporary comics. New York: Columbia University Press.
Clark, K. et al. (2006) Soviet Culture and Power: A History in Documents, 1917-1953. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Clark, P. (2008) The Chinese Cultural Revolution: A History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Connelly, O. and Hembree, F. (1993) The French Revolution. Arlington Heights, Ill: Harlan Davidson.
Coppola, S. et al. (2006) ‘Marie Antoinette.’ London: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Darnton, R. (1995) The forbidden bestsellers of pre-revolutionary France. London: W.W. Norton.
Doyle, W. (2002) The Oxford history of the French Revolution. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Esherick, J.W. et al (eds.) (2006) The Chinese Cultural Revolution as History. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
‘Goodbye Lenin’ (2003). BBC4.
Haebich, A. (2001) Broken Circles: Fragmenting Indigenous Families, 1800-2000. Fremantle: Fremantle Arts Centre Press.
Han, D. (2008) The Unknown Cultural Revolution. New York: Monthly Review Press.
Hanson, P. R. (2009) Contesting the French Revolution. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
Highway, T. (2008) Kiss of the fur queen. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
Hobsbawm, E. (1998) On History. London: Little, Brown Book Group.
Hobsbawm, E. J. (1977) The age of revolution: Europe, 1789-1848. London: Abacus.
James, C. L. R. and Walvin, J. (2001) The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo revolution. London: Penguin.
Joseph Betz (1992) ‘An Introduction to the Thought of Hannah Arendt’, Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society. Indiana University Press, 28(3), pp. 379–422.

View reading list on Talis Aspire

Research element

Students undertake individual and group-based research for each class, which is summarized and co-presented as part of the student-led nature of the module. Students also work on a range of research projects related to their assessments. Students from this module have gone on to publish or present elements of their research in a range of professional research contexts.

Interdisciplinary

This module is structured around wicked problems relating to revolutions. As a result, students with a wide range of skills and interests are able to select particular tools, methodologies, or goals throughout. Students also work as part of mixed-expertise teams to learn how to identify problems and create meaningful interventions.

International

This module takes a global perspective: revolutionary case studies have ranged chronologically from c1400 to the present day; geopolitically we have covered revolutions in China, Haiti, France, Russia, Australia, England, Iran, and the Arabic Middle East. Regardless of the specific case studies used in any one year, students are able to choose points of comparison in any area that interests them and apply that content using the theoretical frameworks we explore in class. As a result, students have covered a wide range of topics in class and in assessments, from Soviet infrastructure to political protest in Hong Kong, from landscape development to early modern European iconoclasm.

Subject specific skills

Use of appropriate theoretical frameworks to analyse a range of artistic production.
Deployment of physical and digital archival research skills.
Academic writing
Interdisciplinary research skills

Transferable skills

Critical analysis/reflection skills
Project management/team management
Interdisciplinary teamwork
Presentation/communication skills
Theoretical frameworks for assessing revolutionary change

Study time

Type Required
Seminars 10 sessions of 2 hours (13%)
Private study 35 hours (23%)
Assessment 95 hours (63%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

Typically students should expect to do approximately two hours of preparation for each teaching session. Preparation will include a range of individual and group preparation activities to be arranged by students in their own time. Students should expect to spend approx. 110 hours on assessment preparation.

Other activity description

Film screenings.

Costs

No further costs have been identified for this module.

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

Assessment group A
Weighting Study time
Image or Film Analysis 30% 30 hours

Focused research-based piece of written work analyzing an argument connected to an image or film.

Archival Assessment 30% 30 hours

Focused research-based piece of written work analyzing an argument connected to at least two archival objects.

Group Presentation 30% 20 hours

Create a research-based presentation around a defined problem, hypothesis, and argument.

In-class Collaborative Test 10% 15 hours
Feedback on assessment

Feedback will be provided electronically within the university’s prescribed timeline of 20 days. Each student will be given individual feedback on their work via Tabula, with additional support available in dedicated office & feedback hours. For in-class assessments, time will be given for full-class reflection opportunities.

There is currently no information about the courses for which this module is core or optional.