A 2500 word essay fully referenced (Choose one of the Essay questions below):
a. to use quote marks wherever you are using the words of another author (even short phrases)
b. to use footnotes – not only when you quote, but also whenever you use information, ideas, facts, statistics, arguments interpretations – in short, anything – from another author
c. to include a bibliography listing (in alphabetical order of author’s surname) all the sources you have used in the essay.
• include appropriate visual illustration, ensuring that images are properly captioned
• use evidence to back up its points
• make close reference to the work of other authors on your chosen topic, weighing up the strengths and weaknesses of their arguments
• evidence reading from and beyond the materials provided in module reading lists
Choose ONE of the questions below.
2. Making close reference to the work of at least two theorists, discuss how contemporary culture represents masculinities OR femininities. Does the culture you discuss challenge or reinforce dominant expectations about gender?
5. Selecting one particular youth subculture from either the past or the present, discuss the ways in which we can understand the various forms of representation that characterise it as expressing the set of values and way of life of the group that sets it apart from mainstream society. To what extent can we understand these forms of representation as amounting to a ‘politics’? Your answer should make close reference to readings on subculture.
7. Discuss the relationship between typography and nationalism in the twentieth century. Close reference must be made to texts both from and beyond the module reading list.
8. Select an indoor space in London in which one particular national identity is dominant. (Examples of this might be a Polish shop, an Irish bar etc.) Making close reference to texts on the reading list, discuss how visual culture constructs the national identity in question.
(a) Choose a recent Hollywood film that represents non-Western ‘others’. How can this film be critiqued through theories of the colonial and the postcolonial?
(b) Choose a film made outside of Europe or North America. How might postcolonial theory help us understand the ways in which this film critically negotiates the histories of colonialism and its aftermath?
11. Discuss how a particular producer of visual culture (an artist, designer, illustrator, film-maker, etc.) represents, critiques or otherwise responds to the conditions of a “globalised” world.
12. Select either:
• a work from popular culture (a book, film, comic, artwork, poster, piece of design, etc.), or
• the oeuvre of a particular author (artist/designer/illustrator/etc.),
Discuss how this work might be considered to express and/or challenge dominant ‘ideology’. Your essay should carefully define and discuss this complicated term, with reference to Marxist theories about the function of culture as ‘ideological’.
13. Select the work of an “activist” artist, designer, illustrator or other cultural producer, making work at some point between the start of the twentieth century and the present, who took up a Marxist political standpoint. How did their work attempt to take on board Marxist theories about culture and society?
14. Discuss the role played by EITHER graphic design OR illustration in both supporting and challenging consumerism and the consumerist society. You must make reference to at least two texts by writers who have published work on the effects of consumerism.
15. Discuss how designers and illustrators can remain ethically engaged in a consumer society. Make reference to texts from and beyond the module reading list.
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