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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

Analysing the moving image's relationship to industrialism, leisure time, consumerism, post-Fordism and many other issues, the course will link a diverse group of visual works to important historical and theoretical trends in the work and free time of the twentieth and twenty first centuries. Each week will be organised around an overarching theme (work, strike, automation, the idle rich etc.), pairing important texts in the history and theory of labour with relevant film works and analysis. Students will be marked according to two essays, participation and attendance, presentations and weekly online contributions.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Paul Flaig

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Course Description

Course Aims: The course aims to provide in-depth knowledge and understanding of an important topic in film and visual culture. Analysing the moving image's relationship to industrialism, leisure time, consumerism, post-Fordism and many other issues, the course will link a diverse group of visual works to important historical and theoretical trends in the work and free time of the twentieth and twenty first centuries. Students will develop knowledge and understanding of: 1. theories and key issues relating to the study of film and visual culture 2. film's relationship to other forms of visual media 3. significant works and movements in film and visual culture from around the world and across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and key critical frameworks and a precise rigorous language for discussing questions of film and visual culture. B: Intellectual and Practical Skills. Students will develop the ability to: 1. engage in critical thinking, through the evaluation and challenging of abstract ideas, using appropriate research methodologies and synthesising ideas drawn from a variety of sources to enable reflection upon key questions relating to film and visual culture; 2. read film closely, identifying patterns (repetitions, developments, sites of difference and disunity) 3. engage with the process of learning in a constructive and self-motivated fashion, by following research interests beyond seminar discussion and developing arguments independently 4. in seminar situations articulate views and engage in reflective discussion, responding with evidence to other points of view 5. write clearly and construct coherent arguments. Content: In a certain sense, cinema begins at the threshold of work and leisure, with the Lumiere brothers documenting, in their earliest film, their own employees crossing the line from the space of the factory to the space of free time. Beginning with the Lumieres' Workers Exiting the Factory, this course will examine the relationship between moving images, labour and leisure. We will explore the many ways cinema depicts different labour practices (human, automated or otherwise) and places (factories, offices, studios) in documentaries, narrative films and experimental works. Moreover, we will look at cinema's own relationship to work, both as complex, evolving industry and as a venue for entertainment, promising escape from the time and space of labour while simultaneously putting its spectators to work in ways both explicit and unconscious. Films by Farocki, Chaplin, Eisenstein, La Cava, De Sica, Godard, Akerman, Kopple, Altman, von Trier, Pixar and others.

Further Information & Notes

May not be taken as part of a graduating curriculum with FS35MG Labour, Leisure and the Moving Image A.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for courses may be subject to change. All updates for first-half session courses will be actioned no later than 1700 (GMT) on 18 September 2020. All updates for second half-session courses will be actioned in advance of second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 100% Continuous assessment: 1 short essay, 1500-2000 words (30%); 1 research essay 3000-4000 words (40%); 1 Project (20%); Seminar Assessment (10%). Resit: For honours students only: candidates achieving CAS mark of 6 - 8 may be awarded compensatory level 1 credit. Candidates achieving a CAS mark of less than 6 will be required to submit a new essay.

Formative Assessment

Students are expected to complete Blackboard submissions each week, on which feedback is provided. The essay is completed during the course. Feedback on this work will be provided to the students, thus helping them to prepare for the research essay.


Formal feedback will be provided on both essays in the form of written comments provided through Turn-it-In on MyAberdeen. Students will also be encouraged to discuss their performance on a one-to-one basis with the course co-ordinator. Written feedback will be offered on short written responses. Informal feedback on contributions to seminars will be offered on an on-going basis and students will also receive feedback in the form of a seminar assessment mark and written comments.

Course Learning Outcomes


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