ARTF1201 Vision and Narrative: Literature and the Visual Arts

Reading List
  • Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun)
  • Credits: 20
  • Class Size: 24
  • Module Manager: Dr Joanne Crawford
  • Email:
  • This Module is approved as a Discovery Module

Discovery module overview

Module Summary

Module Summary

On this module students will explore the ways in which we, as social and cultural beings, 'articulate' and interpret in a meaningful way. Through regular encounters with a number of texts and images, students will develop an awareness of the categories or structures through which we understand and articulate objects and ourselves in relation to them. This module will ask students to analyse assumptions made about the privileging of the authorial 'voice,' notions of 'expression' and the ways in which we negotiate the 'truth' or 'value' of the objects concerned. Students will be asked what it is to 'see' and how this relates to 'thought;' whether our encounters with images and objects are subjective, linked to individual feeling or preferences, or whether the contexts in which we 'look' provide the structures within which we 'read' images in a particular way. This module will enable students to analyse their own assumptions about the ways in which we assume the reading and understanding of texts, and the looking and seeing of both static and moving images, as 'natural,' obvious or unquestionable. This module will encourage students to ask questions about the relation between literature, society, ideas and art. It will help them consider how our textual and visual cultures convey and constructs social values, and how 'reading' and 'seeing' are wrapped up with more complicated modes of representation and conceptualisations.


This module will introduce students to a series of key ideas and debates within and across the history of art and literature. These will be explored through a number of fortnightly lectures, seminars and gallery visit in semester 1, then through the same number of 'case studies' and gallery visit in semester 2. These case studies could concentrate on themes such as Romanticism, Classicism or Early c20th Modernism; depending on staff availability. As such these themes will relate to the key ideas and debates introduced in semester 1.
The module will thereby enhance students' abilities with regard to critical analysis as well as developing their abilities to observe, analyse and critique both literature and the visual arts.
Students will be encouraged to consider the various historical approaches taken by researchers within this field and develop their own position relating to the interconnectivity between literature, the visual arts, history and society.
The module will focus upon providing foundational knowledge to support further study of a range of topics in the fields of the history of art and literature and will support those students studying these topics as a major subject at levels 2 and 3.


Main themes for Semester 1:
Weeks 1&2 Looking
Weeks 3&4 Reading
Weeks 5&6 Interpreting (with gallery visit)
Weeks 7&8 History
Weeks 9&10 Contexts
Semester 2:
5 case studies (every 2 weeks) will look at a particular historical period, ranging from the medieval to the present day. Examples are; the medieval and the manuscript; the Renaissance, the Enlightenment; Romanticism; Classicism; Modernism etc. The case studies will rotate on a yearly basic to account for availability of academic staff. The focus of the case studies will be decided a year in advance to allow planning.
There will also be a gallery visit in Week 7.

Learning Outcomes

The module will:

  • - enhance students' awareness of interdisciplinary approaches, methodologies and practices within both literature and the visual arts;
  • - furnish students with knowledge and understanding of a diverse range of critical debates and examples that sit between and across disciplines and which emerge in a range of different contexts;
  • - equip students with a broader understanding of how literature and the visual arts have developed through interdisciplinary collaborations;
  • - equip students with a foundational understanding of research in literature and the visual arts which has interdisciplinarity at its core.
  • - develop students' ability to observe, critique and analyse art and literature using appropriate theoretical tools.

In terms of more generic skills, the module will:

  • - enhance students' awareness of the manner in which authors, artists and researchers develop contribution to their discipline develop their capacity to analyse and assess practice and theory;
  • - enhance their ability to read, assess and represent sophisticated evidence and arguments;
  • - develop their ability to relate academic knowledge/theorising to a range of performance practices;
  • - enhance their ability to utilise, accurately and effectively, formal and specialised language appropriate to the study of literature and the visual arts;
  • - enhance their awareness of the role, function and value of the arts both historically and socially.
  • - refine their ability to communicate ideas effectively verbally and in written form;
  • - develop their ability to plan, organise and manage self-directed projects, producing work in accordance with a given brief ;
  • - enhance their ability to undertake and present written work in a scholarly way;
  • - encourage them to engage in constructive interpersonal communication allow them to develop and demonstrate IT skills;
  • - develop their research skills (e.g. literature searching);
  • - develop their referencing skills;
  • - enhance their capacity to reflect upon their own learning experience and to assess the skills that have been or could be acquired for the future.

Assessment and teaching

Assessment and teaching


Assesment type Notes % of formal assesment
Essay 500 word assignment 15
Essay 500 word assignment 15
Assignment 1000 word 35
Assignment 1000 word 35
Total percentages (Assessment Coursework) 100

Private Study

Preparing for lectures and seminars; undertaking set reading. Preparing and writing assignments.

Progress Monitoring

Through attendance of seminars, through mid and end of semester(s) assessment.

Teaching methods

Delivery type Number Length hours Student hours
Art Gallery visits 2 2 4
Lecture 10 1 10
Seminar 10 1 10
Private Study Hours 176
Total Contact Hours 24
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits) 200

Reading List

Reading List
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