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Television History and Criticism (FI 205)


MODULE NAME: Television History and Criticism


Television is dead. Television is everyday. Television is everywhere. Television is online. Television is domestic. Television is spectacular. Television is public. Television is all this and more.

In this module, you’ll unpick and complicate some of the accepted cultural positions about what television is and what it does. Building upon your introduction to television studies in the Visual Cultures module in Year One, this module will deepen your understanding of television as an historical, critical and theoretical object of study. It comes at a particularly key moment in the discipline’s history, as new technologies once again threaten our understanding of this complex, yet everyday, object.

The focus will be on exploring a wide range of examples from television’s early years to the present day, and on giving opportunities for you to engage critically with some of the most interesting work in television studies, including both foundational work of the discipline and cutting-edge research into this ever-changing medium.

Topics and texts change each year in line with staff research interests and expertise, and you’ll be encouraged to become a co-creator in new work. Recent topics have included regionalism, children’s television and music television.

You’ll develop key skills in the close analysis of television and its texts, and be introduced to a range of theoretical concepts and methodologies of television studies. You’ll emerge with a complex understand of television as a textual, institutional, historical and cultural object.

Class Location and Time

FRIDAY 09.00 - 16.00 Room A1.25


If taking as a Year 2 module:
2 x 3000 word essays (30% each, submitted in each of Autumn and Summer terms)
Unseen examination: 2 questions, 2 hours (40%, Summer term)

If taking as a Year 3 module:
1 x 1000 formative textual analysis essay, Week 5 Autumn term (if you did not take Visual Cultures)
Either: 1 x 5000 word essay + 1 x 2 hour unseen examination (50% assessed/50% examined)
Or: 2 x 5,000 word essays (50% each, 100% assessed)
Or: 1 x unseen examination (3 questions, 3 hours, 100% assessed)