Starry Eyed and Laughing: Music, Film and Politics

Kingston University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Starry Eyed and Laughing: Music, Film and Politics

  • Host University

    Kingston University

  • Location

    London, England

  • Area of Study

    International Relations, Media Studies, Radio - Television - Film

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Substantial prior successful study of politics/IR at university level.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Content:

    This module will investigate films and popular music that have intersected with ever
    changing political, social and historical circumstances. Film and music are both influenced
    by and, ultimately, inseparable from the social and political context, cultural traditions
    and institutional frameworks within which they are created. As such, understanding the
    mindsets, intentions, desires and wants of those individuals involved with making films
    and crafting music will form a central plank of the module.

    The broad spectrum of material covered in the module, in terms of geographic locations,
    film and music genres and political mind-sets, will ensure a spotlight is shined on the
    creation of new compositions, the evolution of new styles and the formulation of
    collective identities. Throughout the module academic frameworks for the examination
    of film, popular music and social movements will be utilised to tie together events that
    are separated by geographic location and historical periods. The module assumes all
    films and music to be ?political? and explores in what sense some are more political than

    Topics covered include:
    ? What is cultural politics? The importance of film and music as key
    components of popular culture. Are all cultural products `political?? Can
    music and film mobilise people to support social movements?
    ? What disciplinary tools and concepts are necessary to analyse cultural
    ? The role and activity of states in regulating and censoring elements of
    popular culture
    ? Film as a way of exploring and understanding IR theory and themes and
    issues core to political philosophy
    ? Ethnicity, class, gender, nation ? identity and difference in film and music
    ? Third world cinema ,Third Cinema, World Music and Cultural Imperialism
    ? Art and action. Politically committed film/music and social movements

    Autumn Semester - focuses on the interaction between politics and the film industry:
    ? International Relations Theories & Film
    ? US Exceptionalism & Frontier Thesis
    ? Marxism & the Communist Threat
    ? Vietnam War
    ? The African American Experience
    ? Soviet Cinema
    ? Censorship
    ? Idealism v Utilitarianism & Third Cinema
    ? US Presidency & Oliver Stone
    ? Film & Politics

    Spring Semester - focuses on the relationship between music and politics:
    ? Music, Politics & Theory
    ? Gospel & Soul
    ? 60s Rock & Folk
    ? Censorship
    ? Music & Violence
    ? Female Icons & Riot Grrrl
    ? British Identity
    ? Reggae
    ? Dance & Hip-Hop
    ? The War on Terror & Music
    ? Art & Politics

    Teaching: Lectures, seminars and workshops

    ? 2000 word essay (50%)
    ? 2 hour exam (50%)
    STUDY OPTION 2: portfolio
    STUDY OPTION 3: portfolio

    Study Option 1 = Whole Year
    Study Option 2 = Autumn
    Study Option 3 = Spring/summer

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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