FIL-20023 - 21st-Century Apocalypses
Coordinator: Oliver Harris Room: CBB1.053 Tel: +44 1782 7 33016
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

The module aims to introduce students to a range of cultural representations, mainly but not exclusively cinematic, of a variety of urgent twenty-first century global issues, from the climate emergency to the rise of AI technologies. The "Apocalypse" in the title is understood in both senses of the word: forces of destruction (such as of the environment, of privacy and rights) and counterforce of revelation, engaging by developing skills in close analysis with how media both represent and ideologically contain urgent issues.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Examine critically how contemporary media represent urgent political issues: 1,2
Compare the ways in which twenty-first century apocalypses are conceptualised across different media forms and genres: 2
Engage with formal features of contemporary media to see how the medium shapes our understanding of and response to urgent global issues: 1,2
Develop skills in the close analysis of visual and or literary works: 1,2
Engage with urgent contemporary global issues: 1,2
Research widely in order to contextualise the representation of one or more issues of urgent contemporary crisis: 2

Study hours

Teaching Hours (38):
11 x 2-hour seminars (= 22 hours) [Week 6 has no seminar, to enable students to focus on their Short Paper]
10 x 1-hour lectures (= 10 hours)
6 x 1-hour workshops (= 6 hours)
Independent Study hours (112):
32 hours preparing for classes
30 hours preparing for Short Paper
50 hours preparing for Essay

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Short Paper weighted 30%
Short Paper of 1,000 words
Short Paper of 1,000 words, in which students will apply the module's framework ideas to one of the first set texts, and/or a text of their own choosing, in order to demonstrate skills in close analysis of visual and/or literary works and an engagement with urgent contemporary global issues.

2: Essay weighted 70%
Long essay, of 2,000 words
The long essay of 2,000 words is intended to test students' abilities to research widely in order to contextualise the representation of one or more issues of urgent contemporary crisis and develop an argument based on the close analysis of texts and/or visual detail supported by illustrating images.