This programme takes a philosophical and theoretical approach to cultural studies, offering an in depth study of major paradigms of cultural analysis, including critical theory, deconstruction and psychoanalysis. The programme also provides an analysis of the historical formations of contemporary cultural structures and of cultural studies itself as a reflexive critical response to modernity in its long history. Emphasis is given to practices of close reading and the question of textuality. Key issues of modernity and postmodernity, the postcolonial, subjectivity and sexuality, as well as the innovative study of both visual and acoustical culture, music, voice, cinema and popular cultures are integrated into both theoretical and substantive studies.
Students take two core modules, 'Cultural Theory' and 'Cultural History', and two modules chosen from the extensive array of options offered by all of the MA programmes in the School. Previous options have included: 'The Voice in Cultural Theory'; 'Derrida and Deconstruction'; 'Reading Laura Mulvey and Watching Movies'; 'Unfinished Business: Trauma, Cultural Memory and the Holocaust'; 'Reading Sexual Difference'; 'Aesthetics and Politics'; 'Cities and Film'; and 'Movies, Migrants and Diasporas'. The programme of study is completed by a dissertation of 12,000-15,000 words. A range of lectures, workshops, day schools and conferences supplement the programme. Module content is delivered in weekly seminars. Assessment is usually by essays of c.5000 words. The dissertation enables you to undertake research in a topic of interest to you. Past visitors have included Hélène Cixous, Judith Butler, Stuart Hall, Julia Kristeva, Laura Mulvey, Adrian Rifkin, Zygmunt Bauman, John Mowitt.