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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Undergraduate Course: Sexuality, Space and the Cinema (HIAR10139)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummarySexuality has long been one of the defining concerns of western societies. This course explores the visual representation of sexuality in cinema, with a particular focus on mainstream US-produced films from 1945 to the present. It explores the Hollywood¿s interaction with both changing social mores, and legislation such as the Hays production code. It also explores the way cinematic space, especially urban space, is a means of representing sexuality. The films discussed therefore are ¿city¿ films, as well as films that have sexuality at their centres. Key material covered the course includes Hitchcock¿s US productions of the 50s and 60s, film noir, King Vidor¿s The Fountainhead, and the work of David Lynch. ¿Film¿ also include several long-form TV dramas. Related textual material includes theories of sexuality by Freud, cinematic criticism by Laura Mulvey, and core feminist texts by Betty Friedan.
Course description 1 Theories and methods. Film (s): Strangers on a Train (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1951)
2 Phallic Architecture and Phallic Architects. Film(s): The Fountainhead (dir. King Vidor, 1949)
3 The Return of the Repressed. Film(s): Double Indemnity (dir. Billy Wilder 1944)
4 The Fetish Object. Film(s): Vertigo (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1958).
5 The Femme Fatale. Film(s): The Birds (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1963).
6 Queer Space. Film(s): Strangers on a Train (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1951), Some Like it Hot (dir. Billy Wilder, 1958), Midnight Cowboy (dir. John Schlessinger, 1969).
7 Sex and Suburbia. Film(s): The Stepford Wives (dir. Bryan Forbes, 1975), American Beauty (dir. Sam Mendes, 2001)
8 Pornomodernism. Film(s): Boogie Nights (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson, 1997).
9 Postmodern Sex. Film: Mulholland Drive (dir. David Lynch, 2001).
10 Sex is History. Film: Mad Men season 1 (dir. Matthew Wiener, 2007), The Apartment (dir. Billy Wilder, 1960)
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: History of Art 2 (HIAR08012) OR Architectural History 2a: Order & the City (ARHI08006) AND Architectural History 2b: Culture & the City (ARHI08007)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 171 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Essay 50% (at end of the course)

Exam 50% (at end of the relevant academic year)

Formative assessment normally consists of (1) participation in group discussion, (2) participation in group tasks set in class, and (3) student seminar presentations. The number of and variety of these tasks will vary according to the size and the ability of the group. Feedback on formative assessment will be provided verbally in class.

Summative assessment consists of one essay of 2,500 words and one 2-hour exam. Feedback on essays is provided in written and verbal form. Preparation for both essays and exams is an integral part of teaching.

Feedback on students¿ work in class will be provided verbally in the class itself. Feedback on written work will be provided in written form as part of assessment, and verbally in individual meetings with the course organiser. The course organiser will normally provide verbal feedback to the whole group on questions of relevance to the whole class.
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)Sexuality, Space and the Cinema2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students will be able to demonstrate:

    1. an expert knowledge of c.10 key films from the post-war period.

  2. 2. an understanding of key modern theories of sexuality, and how they have been used in both film theory, and as a subject in film-making.

  3. 3. the ability to analyse films to a high level in written work, with a particular emphasis on visual analysis.

  4. 4. the use of a specialized theoretical vocabulary in order to write about films.
Reading List
Chapman, J., Cinemas of the World (London: Reaktion 2003)
Kaplan, E. A., Psychoanalysis and Cinema (London: Routledge, 1990)
The Sexual Subject: A Screen Reader in Sexuality (London: Routlege, 1992)
Penguin Freud Library vol. 7: On Sexuality (London: Penguin, 1991)
Williams, R. J., Sex and Buildings (London: Reaktion 2013)
Kuhn, A., Women¿s Pictures: Feminism and Cinema (London: Verso, 1994)
Colomina, B., (ed.) Sexuality and Space (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1992)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsSexuality, space, cinema, film, city
Course organiserDr Richard Williams
Tel: (0131 6)51 6792
Course secretaryMrs Sue Cavanagh
Tel: (0131 6)51 1460
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