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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

The first half of a film history sequence at the second year level, Visualising Modernity focuses on crucial moments, concepts and cinematic works from the period 1895 to 1945. Students will be marked according to a mid-term essay, a final exam, short assignments on Blackboard, and attendance in lectures and tutorials.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Professor Alan Marcus

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This survey course introduces students to a selected constellation of significant visual and textual sites from the first fifty years of film practice, including the 'attractions' of early cinema, the rise of Hollywood and the studio star, the kino-eye of city cinema, and the cinematic aftermath of WWII. Each week, we will explore a different historical moment and a set of key film-theoretical concepts, looking at how film intersects with modernity. Students will acquire not only a knowledge of these specific historical sites, but also a facility with critical and comparative thinking. Students will learn to move between film practice, film history, and film theory to analyze the ways in which the moving image makes meaning.

Further Information & Notes

This is a compulsory course for entry into the Honours Film and Visual Culture programme.

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 3-day take-away exam (50%). In-course assessment: one 2,000 word essay (40%) and tutorial assessment (10%).

Resit: 3-day take-away exam (100%).

Formative Assessment

Short writing assignments (including responses papers, shot-by-shot analyses, and screening reports) will be submitted and discussed in tutorial groups.


Written and/or oral feedback will be offered on short tutorial assignments (see above) and essays.

Course Learning Outcomes


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