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LP104-30 Thinking Culture and Creativity

SCAPVC - Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies
Undergraduate Level 1
Module leader
Jonathan Vickery
Credit value
Module duration
10 weeks
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

to be completed

Module aims

This module aims to equip the student with a working knowledge of the concepts and theories fundamental to understanding contemporary culture and apply this knowledge in a practical group project. It aims to demonstrate to the student that a historical understanding of culture and creativity can provide a source of creative ideas, inspiration and intellectual material for media and creative production, and that art and intellectual history offer considerable resources for innovation in contemporary media and communication. The module will seek to establish significant intellectual, creative, academic and practical capabilities, all of which are central to playing a transformative role in future global media and creative industries. It will develop a student’s initiative, ability to take risks, experiment and test ideas. The module will aim to dissolve students’ assumptions on the nature of contemporary media content and impact, and through creative thinking processes re-define creative content, communication and engagement, audiences and experience.

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.

The module is in two parts and is taught over Terms 1 and 2 and intends to stretch Level 4 students in critical theory, analysis and application of ideas.

Part 1: Artistic Revolutions and the Radical Cultural Shift (key theories and art movements that represent moments of radical change in the Twentieth Century into the new Millennium)

Part 2: Mediating Creative Transformation (constructing new theory as creative process for high-impact media)

Part 1:
(i) The Avant-Garde – art into everyday life
(ii) The Rise of Popular Culture
(iii) The Post-Modern
(iv) The rise of Brand
(v) Digital Futures
Part 2:
(i) Avant-Garde production
(ii) The Pop cultural product
(iii) The Post-modern intervention
(iv) The Branded production
(v) The Digital product

Each week a specific brief will direct the production toward a specific challenge – explicitly aimed at current dilemmas both social and economic (from populism, mass migrations, terror and fundamentalism; diversity and multiculturalism; social sustainability and the need for new productive markets). This will complement the work undertaken in Media Lab 1.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Fully appreciate theoretical knowledge on key moments in cultural history – periods of artistic and philosophical transformation.
  • Develop analytical-cognitive ability to relate philosophical and theoretical developments with arts, cultural and creative practice.
  • Establish interpretative competencies in identifying and understanding the conditions (political, social, economic) of radical cultural transformation.
  • Demonstrate academic skills in theory-construction and the use of theory as framework for planning and creative production.
  • Develop professional skills in team work and creative application of knowledge.
Indicative reading list

Indicative References
Calinescu, M. (1987) Five Faces of Modernity: Modernism, Avant-garde, Decadence, Kitsch, Postmodernism, Duke University Press.
Hall, S. ed. (1997) Representation: Cultural Representation and Signifying Practices, London: Sage.
Hughes, R. (1991) The Shock of the New, New York: Knopf.
O’Reilly, D., (2005) ‘Cultural brands/branding cultures,’ Journal of Marketing Management 21, pp. 573-88.
Madoff, S.H. (1997) Pop Art: A Critical History (Documents of Twentieth-Century Art), London: T&H.
Poggioli, R. (1971) The Theory of the Avant-Garde, New York: Harper
Schroeder, J.E. (2006) Brand Culture, Routledge.
Schroeder, J.E., Warren, S., Bell, E., (2013) The Routledge Companion to Visual Organization, Abingdon, Oxon and New York: Routledge.
Schroeder, J.E. (2005) ‘The artist and the brand’, European Journal of Marketing, 39, pp. 1291-1305.
Stern, B. B., Zinkhan, G.M., Holbrook, M., (2002) ‘The netvertising image: image communication model and construct definition’, Journal of Advertising 31, Fall, pp. 15-28.

Subject specific skills

Theory building
Conducting theoretical analysis
Conducting a Literature survey
Composing and communicating a presentation

Transferable skills

Identifying and organising research sources
Selecting from a range of interpretative frameworks
Using interpretative frameworks appropriately
Group coordinated work
Composing and delivering presentations

Study time

Type Required
Seminars 10 sessions of 3 hours (10%)
Tutorials 10 sessions of 2 hours (7%)
Private study 250 hours (83%)
Total 300 hours
Private study description

250 private study hours


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A
Weighting Study time
Group Work (presentation) 40%
Written Research Paper (3000 words) 60%
Feedback on assessment

In class formative assessments and verbal feedback. Written feedback on written assessment. Verbal and written feedback on presentations


This module is Core for:

  • Year 1 of ULPA-P301 Undergraduate Media and Creative Industries