Approaches to Literary and Visual Culture module (HU51001)

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Module code


This is a ‘state of the question’ module taught through series of discussion seminars (led by faculty who specialise in the area in question) which address key aspects of research and thinking in literary and cultural theory as well as in theory and history of visual art; focus in each seminar will be on a key concept, thinker, or movement in thought important to research in literary/aesthetic study, with various worked examples from primary literary and artistic works.

Indicative List of Topics

  • The Ideas of ‘Culture’ and ‘Criticism’
  • What is an Author?
  • Postmodernism and Popular Culture
  • Historicism and New Historicism
  • Eco-criticism
  • Feminist Criticism
  • New Criticism / Formalism
  • Frankfurt School on literature                      
  • Ethical Theory and Criticism
  • Psychoanalytical Theory and Cultural Discourse
  • Intertextuality, Parody and Pastiche
  • Ekphrasis
  • Satire in Theory and Practice
  • Visual Culture
  • Theory of the Image
  • Modernism and Visual Culture
  • Theory of the Picture
  • Digital Theory
  • Theory of Photography
  • Abstraction                                        
  • Writing Art    


100% coursework

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of the module students should be able to demonstrate:

  • the ability to employ critical and cultural approaches to written texts and visual artworks;
  • an advanced level of knowledge and understanding of different approaches to research in their subject areas;
  • the ability to identify and assess current and significant issues and debates in critical and cultural studies;
  • an understanding of interdisciplinary approaches and methodologies;
  • the ability to respond to a range of social, historical and cultural representations and practices;
  • sufficient methodological knowledge and skill to devise and write a major piece of research involving original ideas, analysis and argument


Dr. Heather H. Yeung