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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Undergraduate Course: Animation 3: Issues of Representation (DESI10100)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe intention of this course is to develop in students an understanding and critique of how animation's potential for exaggeration and stylisation can be used to enhance awareness of cultural and societal norms.
Course description This course looks at representation in animation, how we perceive it and how we are influenced by it.

With continuing discussion around gender representation in films and perceived industrial practices of discrimination, we need to remember that animation can present characters in non-figurative and non-realistic ways, so why do certain character styles dominate? What are some of the best examples in animation (or best practices in industry) which make visible multiple races, abilities and sexualities? Can and should animation challenge dominant tropes? What happens when animation is adapted into live action and characters are 'whitewashed'?

Students will consider the issues raised above and some of the topics outlined below, exploring them in an essay and companion documentary film.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

Gender/sex in mainstream animation.
Animating 'the other' - non-white characters in animation.
Challenges in the workplace
Tokenism in animation
Stereotypes and performance
Positive representation
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs No additional costs to students beyond basic animation materials. Students will be required to provide:

Drawing and painting materials (pens, pencils, crayons, charcoal, markers, paper, sketch pads for example.)
Sculpting materials (wire, modelling clay, balsa wood for example.)
Animation supplies (Peg bar, animation paper and cels for example.)

The list above is an example, and is by no means exhaustive.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  15
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 12, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 8, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 20, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 153 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% Coursework, comprising:

50% 3000 word essay

50% 2 minute documentary film dealing with issues raised in the essay

Submissions for formative assessment at midpoint of course, summative assessment at endpoint.

Relationship between Assessment and Learning Outcomes:

LO1 is assessed 50% against the essay, and 50% against the film
LO2 is assessed 50% against the essay, and 50% against the film
LO3 is assessed 50% against the essay, and 50% against the film

All Learning Outcomes weighted equally.
Feedback 1. Group presentations of proposed essays and films for verbal feedback from peers and staff at the midpoint of course (usually 5 weeks into semester). Documentation of individual feedback and indicative grades via VLE;
2. Documentation of individual feedback and final grades via VLE for summative assessment at the end of course;
3. Self-evaluation is also carried out by student at formative and summative submission points and hosted on VLE
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Use a variety of appropriate research methods to show an understanding and awareness of the issues of representation in contemporary and historic animation.
  2. Undertake a critical analysis and evaluation of selected examples to demonstrate the relationship between representational politics and animation practices.
  3. Explain your findings in an appropriately illustrated essay AND in an animated documentary film that communicates your understanding of issues of representation.
Reading List
Cheu, J. Diversity in Disney Films: Critical Essays on Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Sexuality and Disability McFarland (2012)

Wooden, S. R. & Gillam, K. Pixar's Boy Stories: Masculinity in a Postmodern Age Rowman & Littlefield (2016)

Bernardi, D. The Persistence of Whiteness: Race and Contemporary Hollywood Cinema Routledge (2007)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Critical thinking, analytical thinking, communication, research skills, documentation
Course organiserDr Nichola Dobson
Tel: (0131 6)51 5713
Course secretaryMs Jane Thomson
Tel: (0131 6)51 5713
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