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MFCO320 Irish and Australian Film: Contested Identities

Comparing and contrasting the representation of identity in Irish and Australian film in terms of semiotics, post-colonial theory, and cultural materialism, with reference to the institutions, processes and politics of film production.

This paper interrogates contested images of national identity in a selection of contemporary Irish and Australian feature films. Focusing on the questions of cultural and national identity, the paper explores the institutions, processes and politics of film production within national and international contexts, specifically Hollywood. Students will encounter a range of theories drawn from semiotics, post-colonial theory and cultural materialism that are germane to an informed reading of filmic texts.

Paper title Irish and Australian Film: Contested Identities
Paper code MFCO320
Subject Media, Film and Communication
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2018
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $868.95
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,656.70

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18 200-level MFCO or FIME points
FIME 312
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Students who have not passed the normal prerequisite may be admitted with approval from the Head of Department.
Teaching staff
Professor Peter R. Kuch
Paper Structure
The paper is organised in terms of group learning and individual written and oral contributions. It comprises:
  • A systematic comparative study of selected Irish and Australian films in terms of dominant cultural discourses
  • Self-directed written work that employs the theoretical material relevant to the paper
  • A self-directed analysis presented to a small group of a selected scene or scenes from a chosen film
  • Presentations during tutorials: 25%
  • Essay (2,500 words): 25%
  • Exam (3 hours): 50%
Course readings and reserved books at Central Library.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
The paper will:
  • Provide a historical background to the establishment of the Irish and Australian film industries
  • Acquaint students with a significant body of film texts
  • Examine the representation and experience of the Irish diaspora
  • Develop the skills of textual analysis
  • Address ways of employing semiotics, post-colonial theory and cultural materialism to read film texts
  • Deepen appreciation of film genres and conventions
  • Develop tools of research and skills of essay writing

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Not offered in 2018

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system