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Framing the Contemporary - ENG00050M

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  • Department: English and Related Literature
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. J T Welsch
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24

Module summary

Framing the Contemporary, introduces students to a variety of approaches to studying the art, culture, and thought of the period post-1945 to the present. Like the MA in Culture and Thought After 1945, for which this is the core module, the syllabus here is interdisciplinary throughout and with a strong methodological bent, providing students with an introduction to the various means by which different disciplines conceptualise and analyse the contemporary period. The module is team-taught by tutors from the different departments involved in the MA, each contributing sessions that highlight a central way in which their discipline categorises the period (for example, archaeological approaches to modern graffiti or art historical approaches to decolonising museums) while providing examples of the methodological tools used to construct this way of reading the period.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2023-24

Module aims

Upon successfully completing the module, you will have:

  • a familiarity with a range of ways of understanding the post-1945 period;

  • an awareness of different methodological and conceptual approaches used by different disciplines with regard to the contemporary;

  • the ability to identify points at which different disciplinary approaches to the period converge and inform one another.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of and engagement with the study of contemporary culture.

  2. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of and engagement with different disciplinary approaches to the study of contemporary culture.

  3. Evaluate key debates within a range of critical fields dealing with the key issues in contemporary culture.

  4. Produce independent arguments and ideas which demonstrate an advanced proficiency in critical thinking, research, and writing skills.


Task Length % of module mark
4,500 Word Essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
4,500 Word Essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

  • You are provided with feedback within the University deadline of 20 working days.
  • You are always welcome to use staff Open Office Hours to discuss essay feedback

Indicative reading


The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.