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New Ways of Reading: Ideology and the Text

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Our beliefs, prejudices and assumptions inform everything we say and do. Other people's beliefs, prejudices and assumptions infect everything we read and hear.

In this course, we will explore the ways in which language can instruct and indoctrinate through a study of various texts, including, advertisements, newspaper headlines, novels, short stories and poems.

As well as looking at the ways in which texts can perpetuate certain ideologies, we will also see how ideologies can de-construct texts: students will learn how to read classic texts such as Jane Eyre from feminist and postcolonial perspectives, and explore issues of cultural identity in 20th-century Welsh fiction.

This course is for anyone with an interest in literature, language or philosophy and the enthusiasm to take that interest further. It operates as part of the Inside Narratives pathway, and the Pathway to a degree in Media, Journalism and Culture, and will equip you with the knowledge, understanding and skills that will help you to study other courses in the pathway.

This course is co-taught with Dr Michelle Deininger (Coordinating Lecturer in Humanities).

Learning and teaching

This course will be taught over three day schools running on consecutive Saturdays. These sessions will include lectures, class discussions, debates, group-work and pair-work.

In addition, there will be support both before and after the day schools themselves, facilitated via email contact and through Learning Central, the University's Virtual Learning Environment.

Coursework and assessment

You will be expected to complete two pieces of assessed work:

  • a 600-word close analysis
  • a 1,200-word essay.

Advice and support will be provided for both assignments and you will receive detailed feedback relating to strengths and areas for improvement on both pieces of work.

Reading suggestions

  • Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin, The Empire Writes Back: Theory and           Practice in Post-colonial Literatures, 2nd edn (London: Routledge, 2002)
  • Campbell, Joseph, The Hero With A Thousand Faces, 3rd edn (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008)
  • Carson, Rachel, Silent Spring (London: Penguin, 2000)
  • Gilbert, Sandra M. and Susan Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination, 2nd edn (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000)
  • Gillespe, David, Early Soviet Cinema, Innovation, Ideology and Propaganda (London: Wallflower Press, 2001)
  • Higgins, John, Raymond Williams Reader (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001)
  • Hiltner, Ken, Ecocriticism: An Essential Reader (London: Routledge, 2014)
  • Hollinger, Karen, Feminist Film Studies (Oxford: Routledge, 2012)
  • Lodge, David, with Nigel Wood, Modern Criticism and Theory: A Reader, 2nd edn (Harlow: Longman, 2000)
  • Massey, Doreen, Space, Place and Gender (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1994)
  • Moers, Ellen, Literary Women (London: W. H. Allen, 1977)
  • Moi, Toril, Sexual/Textual Politics, 2nd edn (London: Routledge, 2002)
  • Mulvey, Laura, ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’in Mast, G, Cohen, M and Braudy, L, Film Theory and Criticism (Oxford: Oxford University Press 1992)
  • Shaw, Daniel, Film and Philosophy, Taking Movies Seriously (London: Wallflower Press, 2008) *{CHAPTER 1}
  • Vogler, Christopher, The Writer’s Journey, Mythic Structure For Writers 3rd edn (Studio City, CA: Michael Wise Productions, 2007)
  • Watson, James, Media Communication: An Introduction to Theory and Process, 2nd edn (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)
  • Further suggestions for secondary material will be provided in classes.

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.