FIL-30008 - Crime in Neoconservative America
Coordinator: David S Mcwilliam Tel: +44 1782 7 34575
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2022/23


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2022/23

Neoconservatism, a reaction within American culture and politics against the radicalism of the 1960s and faith in the ability of the state to address the socio-economic causes of crime, focuses on personal responsibility when considering the treatment of criminals. With the presidency of Ronald Reagan, ideas associated with the neoconservative framing of crime became electorally popular and found both expression and resistance on screen. This module will explore US filmic and televisual representations of crime in relation to differing framings such as criminal monstrosity and systemic violence. Students will be expected to develop sophisticated responses to the complexities of texts that engage with broader conceptualisations of criminality. As such, this module will combine nuanced close reading of texts with historical and political contextualisation in order to consider the ways in which issues of class, gender, race, and sexuality are addressed in films and television shows from the 1970s to the present.

To consider how changing conceptualisations of crime and criminals have been explored in film and television.
To develop film/television analysis skills and film/television theory to an advanced level.
To enable students to relate filmic and televisual formal features to issues of historical knowledge.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

apply advanced skills in close textual reading of film and/or television (mise-en-scene analysis): 1,2
situate films and/or television shows in relation to political and historical context: 1,2
analyse how the representation of crimes and criminals in films and/or television shows address wider debates about how they are conceptualised: 1,2
demonstrate skills in referencing and bibliography: 1,2
analyse formal features of films and/or television shows to an advanced level: 1,2

Study hours

10 x 2-hour seminars (20 hours)
2 x Assessment workshops (2 hour)
Film and television viewing (20 hours)
Seminar preparation (50 hours)
Short Paper preparation (24 hours)
Essay preparation (34 hours)

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Short Paper weighted 30%
1,000-word short paper
1,000-word short paper requiring close analysis of a scene from one of the texts on the module in relation to a critical quotation.

2: Essay weighted 70%
A 2,000-word essay from a list of approved questions
A 2,000-word essay from a list of approved questions that consider themes raised on the module.