1 x 1-hour lecture weekly
1 x 1-hour tutorial weekly
1 x 2-hour film screening weekly
Enrolment not permitted
HIST2058 has been successfully completed
Course context
Associated major: History
Topic description
Film has been one of the most important media for the representation of contemporary and historical events and movements. This topic explores the relationships between the medium of film and both the broader historical contexts from which it arises and the historical events and phenomena which it represents. Understanding the form and cultural functioning of films crucially demands an understanding of the historical contexts of production and reception. Film industries also have histories, and we will be interested in ways of constructing and researching arguments concerning those histories. This topic will provide a general, cross-disciplinary approach to the range of issues involved in these relations, and then deepen this through specialised modules which will centre on specific case studies.
Educational aims
This topic aims to:
  • Trace the emergence of the medium of film in its historical context
  • Examine the ways in which films shape historical understanding
  • Provide students with the historical contexts of the development of film generally and of specific films
  • Analyse the techniques and strategies used by films to represent historical events and processes
  • Increase students' abilities to undertake historical research and textual analysis
  • Develop and communicate ideas about the relationships between film and history
  • Foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation that encourages students to learn through collaboration, and to become independent and critical thinkers
Expected learning outcomes
On successful completion of this topic students should be able to:
  • Show a knowledge of the relations between the medium of film and its social contexts at specified historical moments
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the ways in which film can contribute to historical understanding
  • Analyse both the techniques used by films to represent history and the historical determinants on film forms
  • Undertake projects involving historical research and textual analysis of films and construct arguments on the relations between the two
  • Identify the historical circumstances (political, commercial, aesthetic etc.) which can influence the making of film
  • Communicate effectively and to an appropriate scholarly standard their ideas about the relationship between film and history