Programme/Approved Electives for 2022/23
Available as a Free Standing Elective
Alfred Hitchcock was an historian, critic, and analyst of American culture, as becomes clear by focusing on some of the greatest films he made in Hollywood from the early 1940s until the late 1950s. We will pursue cultural and politicised readings, while also attending in detail to both the production histories of his films, the stars, studios, and collaborators he worked with - and, through close attention to detail, their paramount formal features. Themes considered include the relation between national security and sexual identity, homosexuality and film form, the complicity of cinema in a surveillance culture, fashion and the politics of gender construction.Although previous experience of studying film is not a requirement, students will be expected to engage throughout the module in the close observation of formal features in Hitchcock's cinema
1. To develop students┐ knowledge of Hollywood as an industry and of American culture during the war and postwar years, through the work of a single director;2. To develop students┐ abilities to analyse both formal features of film texts and referential features in relation to American culture and history with a particular emphasis on the politics of film form, sex and gender.
Intended Learning Outcomes
apply advanced skills in close textual analysis of film to show insights into how form becomes a content through the manipulation of mise-en-scene, with a particular focus on the operation of recurrent motifs within and/or across films: 1,2analyse formal features of filmmaking and cinematic themes and relate them to broader cultural and historical issues in American society, including the politicization of sex and gender: 1,2describe and evaluate key features of American society during the 1940s and '50s, in order to develop arguments for how Hitchcock's films engage thematically and formally with key issues both within Hollywood and wider American society, with a particular focus on issues of sex and gender construction: 2apply a critical understanding of the institutional imperatives of Hollywood as a culture industry during the 1940s and 1950s: 2
36 hours teaching, comprising: 12 x 2-hour seminars + 4 x 1 hour lectures + 4 x 2 hour workshops (lectures/workshops may be online and/or in person). 114 hours independent study, comprising: 34 hour seminar preparation; 30 hours Short Paper preparation; 50 hours long essay preparation.
1: Short Paper weighted 30%
Description of Module Assessment
Short Paper to enable students to make a mise-en-scene analysis focusing on a specific motif1,000 word Short Paper in which students will be required to make an illustrated close formal reading of a motif in order to demonstrate skills in mise-en-scene analysis as well as a basic grasp of the module's main themes.2: Essay weighted 70%
Long essay based on the module's key aimsLong essay of 2,500 words designed to enable students to research a specific area of the module's key aims both in terms of film form and in terms of the focus on sexuality.