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Unit information: Criticism and the Arts in 2015/16

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Unit name Criticism and the Arts
Unit code DRAM10029
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Jones
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Theatre
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit offers all 1st-year students in the departments of Music, Film and Theatre the opportunity to encounter creative practices, performances and perspectives within and outside of their respective subject specialisms. Students will be taught how to engage critically with all three art forms, and explore communicating their experiences, interpretations and analyses through different modes of writing. The aim of this unit is to enable students to develop their critical writing skills in response to creative work; to move beyond a populist appreciation and modes of expression, and towards a comparative and conceptual understanding of these cultural forms.

Intended Learning Outcomes

(1) to introduce students to key methods and approaches to analysing music, film and theatre;

(2) to develop a range of writing skills necessary for the professional practice of reviewing music, film and theatre.

(3) to establish critical vocabularies and frameworks used to articulate the reception of music, film and theatre in scholarly articles.

Teaching Information

6 one-hour lectures; 7 two-hour seminars; attendance of at least 4 appropriate art-events

Assessment Information

Portfolio of 3 x 500-word reviews focused on the student's own art-form (50%)

1 x 1,500 article on either a film, music or theatre event depending on the student's own art-form (50%)

Reading and References

Billington, Michael (1993), One Night Stands: A Critic’s View of the Theatre from 1971 – 1991

Butt, Gavin, ed. (2005) ‘Introduction: The Paradoxes of Criticism’, in After Criticism: New Responses to Art and Performance, London: Blackwell.

Carroll, Noel (2009) On Criticism, New York: Routledge.

Clayton, Alex and Andrew Klevan, eds. (2011), The Language and Style of Film Criticism

Haskell, Harry (1996), The Attentive Listener: Three Centuries of Music Criticism

Sontag, Susan (1961) ‘Against Interpretation’, in Against Interpretation and Other Essays, London: Penguin.