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Unit information: Post-Modern Political Theories in 2020/21

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Unit name Post-Modern Political Theories
Unit code POLI31367
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Carver
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit distinguishes between postmodernity and postmodernism, taking the latter to be a 'way of looking at the world'. This will be explained and explored in informal lectures, focused reading, class discussion and questions, student presentations, and engagement with current politics. Students will be expected to apply insights developed in the unit to areas of special interest such as party politics, gender politics, international relations, political economy, and public policy. This will require self-directed reading and news-following.


  1. To familiarise students with the philosophical ideas ascribed to postmodernism
  2. To help students to apply these insights to the analysis of political issues
  3. To help students develop an awareness of postmodern concerns with power
  4. To familiarise students with the political importance of visual media
  5. To enable students to read politics from films and to read politics into films

Intended learning outcomes

  1. Thorough knowledge of postmodernism as a 'way of looking at the world'
  2. Ability to deploy postmodern conceptions of 'reading', 'boundaries', appearance, representation, metaphor and power
  3. Ability to use the postmodern linkage between genre and knowledge
  4. Ability to communicate political ideas through visual framing and illustration

Teaching details

The unit will be taught through blended learning methods, including a mix of synchronous and asynchronous teaching activities

Assessment Details

2,000 word essay 1 (25%) 2,000 word essay 2 (75%)

Reading and References

  • Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Also published under the title Blade Runner) (Gollancz 1999). PS3554.128.D6 (SLC)

Required films on DVD in the library

  • Purple Rose of Cairo (Woody Allen)
  • Dark Star (John Carpenter)
  • Total Recall (Paul Verhoeven)

Other reading:

  • Christopher Falzon, Philosophy Goes to the Movies.
  • Adam Roberts, Science Fiction.
  • Sara Mills, Discourse, 2nd edn.
  • David Howarth, Discourse.