Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Transcript - Liberal Arts Core Module: Art and Revolution

Hi my name is Kornelia, I'm half Polish half Irish and I'm in my fourth year of Liberal Arts on a Specialist Interest Pathway called Social and Anthropology and Media. I will be talking to you a bit today about 'Art and Revolution' which is a first-year core module, affectionately called 'Art and Rev' by people on the course. It is worth 30 CATs and runs through the whole year with two hour seminars weekly for Term 1 and 2, currently.

'Art and Revolution' really contextualises different revolutions from around the world through the lens of artistic productions and seeing whether they prompt, predict, or respond to revolutionary movements. I particularly enjoyed learning how to look at historical events through the events through the lens of artistic production and seeing how different people adapt and recognise or see the revolutions from around the world. Usually, there are four case studies that you learn and these change from year to year and are based on the incoming cohort of students and their own interests. So when I studied the course, we focused on the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the Iranian Revolution and the Arab Springs. Particularly one of the texts I really enjoyed reading was Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and seeing how she used the medium of the graphic novel to really represent her own experience of the Iranian Revolution.

Through these case studies you're introduced to Problem-Based Learning which is an approach that we use throughout the degree and it allows you to think in creative ways about the relationships between individuals and the societies. As part of this Problem-Based Learning as a whole, the classroom is largely discussion-based and it allows for students to bring in their own topics that particularly interest them and learn from each other rather than just from the professor. With classes from up to 15 people, this allows for a safe and nurturing space to bring your own ideas and truly learn from each other and your fellow students.

Assessments for this module currently include object analysis, a group presentation, research project, and a two hour analytical exam in Term 3. This sounds like a lot but it's really doable and there's no pressure to be perfect at all.

So what I found particularly challenging about this module was learning to recognise your own preconceptions in a productive way, so that you can learn to recognise the value and the points that other people make that you wouldn't have really thought of on your own, and seeing how you can truly learn from each other. Every contribution counts and is valuable and this really promoted the idea that learning isn't linear so you're not just learning facts and dates and it's not a History of Art course. You learn throughout the degree skills that are transferable and it really sets the tone for the rest of your degree.

Thank you!