Module specification



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MODULE SPECIFICATION


  1. Title of the module

Surrealism: Myth and Modernity

  1. School or partner institution which will be responsible for management of the module

School of Arts – History of Art

  1. The level of the module (e.g. Level 4, Level 5, Level 6 or Level 7)

Level 5 and Level 6

  1. The number of credits and the ECTS value which the module represents

30 credits (15 ECTS)

  1. Which term(s) the module is to be taught in (or other teaching pattern)

Autumn or Spring

  1. Prerequisite and co-requisite modules

None

  1. The programmes of study to which the module contributes

BA Art History (SH and JH), BA HPA (SH and JH), BA VPA, BA Art & Film. Also available as a wild module.

  1. The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
    On successfully completing the module students will be able to:


On successfully completing the module level 5 students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the lives and work of a group of key surrealist artists (e.g. Man Ray, Max Ernst, Salvador Dali).

  2. demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the range of visual artists belonging to the Surrealist group (including, for example, such artists as Jean (Hans) Arp, Joan Miró, André Masson, Yves Tanguy, René Magritte, Alberto Giacometti, Paul Delvaux, Victor Brauner, Joseph Cornell, Hans Bellmer, Roberto Matta, and Wilfredo Lam).

  3. demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of artists associated with, and providing inspiration for, but not members of the Surrealist group (e.g. Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Giorgio de Chirico, Francis Picabia and Kurt Schwitters).

  4. demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the position of women artists in relation to Surrealism (including, for example, such artists as Frida Kahlo, Leonor Fini, Meret Oppenheim, Lee Miller, Leonora Carrington, Dorothea Tanning, Florine Stettheimer, Eileen Aigar, Claude Cahun, Ithell Colquhoun and Louise Bourgeois).

  5. Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of a range of key texts, controversies and debates, and experimental practices, of significance for the history of the Surrealist group (including, for example, a knowledge of key works by significant figures like André Breton, Paul Eluard and Louis Aragon).

On successfully completing the module level 6 students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a systematic understanding and a detailed knowledge of the lives and work of a group of key surrealist artists (e.g. Man Ray, Max Ernst, Salvador Dali).

  2. demonstrate a systematic understanding and detailed knowledge of the range of visual artists belonging to the Surrealist group (including, for example, such artists as Jean (Hans) Arp, Joan Miró, André Masson, Yves Tanguy, René Magritte, Alberto Giacometti, Paul Delvaux, Victor Brauner, Joseph Cornell, Hans Bellmer, Roberto Matta, and Wilfredo Lam).

  3. demonstrate a systematic understanding and detailed knowledge of artists associated with, and providing inspiration for, but not members of the Surrealist group (e.g. Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Giorgio de Chirico, Francis Picabia and Kurt Schwitters).

  4. demonstrate a systematic understanding and detailed knowledge of the position of women artists in relation to Surrealism (including, for example, such artists as Frida Kahlo, Leonor Fini, Meret Oppenheim, Lee Miller, Leonora Carrington, Dorothea Tanning, Florine Stettheimer, Eileen Aigar, Claude Cahun, Ithell Colquhoun and Louise Bourgeois).

  5. demonstrate a systematic understanding and detailed knowledge of a range of key texts, controversies, debates, and experimental practices, of significance for the history of the Surrealist group (including, for example, a knowledge of key works by significant figures like André Breton, Paul Eluard and Louis Aragon).

  6. demonstrate a critical understanding of key surrealist themes such as collage, myth, objective chance, psychic automatism and the paranoiac-critical method and their relation to the broader cultural history of the Twentieth Century.



  1. The intended generic learning outcomes.
    On successfully completing the module students will be able to:


On successfully competing the module level 5 students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate knowledge of the underlying concepts and principles associated with the Humanities, evaluating and interpreting these in the context of the area of study.

  2. present, evaluate and interpret data, developing lines of argument to make connections between specific phenomena and broader trends, and making sound judgments and critical evaluations in line with basic theories introduced in this module.

  3. communicate the results of study accurately and reliably, with structured and coherent arguments.

  4. demonstrate that they have developed study skills in order to research and present their work, including appropriate Information Technologies.

  5. demonstrate that they have developed qualities of personal responsibility in completing assessment tasks to deadline, working in a self-motivated manner, thereby enhancing transferable skills necessary for employment.

On successfully competing the module level 6 students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a systematic understanding and detailed knowledge of the underlying concepts and principles associated with the Humanities, evaluating and interpreting these in the context of the area of study.

  2. present, evaluate and interpret data in a systematic and detailed manner, developing lines of argument to make connections between specific phenomena and broader trends, and making sound judgments and critical evaluations in line with basic theories introduced in this module.

  3. communicate the results of study accurately and reliably, with structured and coherent arguments demonstrating detailed knowledge and systematic understanding.

  4. demonstrate that they have developed study skills to a higher level in order to research and present their work, including appropriate Information Technologies.

  5. demonstrate that they have developed qualities of personal responsibility in completing assessment tasks to deadline, working in a self-motivated manner, thereby enhancing transferable skills necessary for employment.



  1. A synopsis of the curriculum

This module will explore the impact of Surrealism on the visual arts. It will focus in detail on a small group of key surrealist artists, such as Man Ray, Max Ernst, and Salvador Dali; while also, in order to understand the scope and definition of Surrealism, considering further artists in some detail who were associated with Surrealism but who denied that they were indeed surrealists, such as Frida Kahlo or Pavel Tchelitchew. In addition the module will survey the work of those artists formally associated with the Surrealist group, and the contribution of Dadaist precursors and contemporary artists who exercised a profound influence on Surrealism. While hardly feminist, Surrealism did provide a supportive forum for a number of innovative female artists, arguably enabling the artistic careers of more women than other avant-garde movements in the first half of the Twentieth Century. The relationship of women artists to Surrealism will, therefore, be a key theme of the course. Surrealism was not, however, principally a phenomenon of the visual arts, or a conventional artistic movement: the surrealists sought to reconnect moral and artistic forces, to achieve liberation through emotional intensification (‘a systematic derangement of the senses’), and by this means to revolutionize society. They drew inspiration from Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytical theories to explore the workings of the unconscious and the ‘over-determined’ symbolism of dreams, and also what Gaston Bachelard called the new scientific spirit of the ‘why not’. Characteristic methods included pure psychic automatism, objective chance, the paranoiac-critical method, the double image, dislocation, and collage. Particularly at level 6, this module will explore the broader implications of these surrealist themes, for example the question of whether myth is an expression of society, or constitutive of it, which was a key concern for the Surrealists. Indeed, André Breton described Surrealism as ‘a method of creating a collective myth’ in 1933. These thematic aspects of the module should make it an interesting wild option for students studying literature, twentieth-century history or cultural history, in addition to history of art students.

  1. Reading List (Indicative list, current at time of publication. Reading lists will be published annually)

Breton, A. (1972) Manifestoes of Surrealism, trans. Richard Seaver and Helen R. Lane, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press

Breton, A. (2002) Surrealism and Painting, trans. Simon Watson Taylor, Boston: MFA Publications

Chadwick, W. (1985), Women Artists and the Surrealist Movement, London: Thames & Hudson

Ernst, M. (2009) Beyond Painting, Chicago: Solar Books

Foster, H. (1993) Compulsive Beauty, Cambridge, Mass., and London: MIT Press

Mahon, A. (2005) Surrealism and the Politics of Eros, London: Thames & Hudson, 2005.

Nadeau, M. (1973), The History of Surrealism, trans. Richard Howard, London: Pelican


  1. Learning and Teaching methods




Total Contact Hours: 44

Trip: 6


Independent Study Hours: 250

Total Study Hours: 300



  • The module will be delivered by means of a weekly lecture (two hours) and a weekly seminar/workshop (two hours). During trip week there will be an organised visit to a relevant exhibition, museum collection etc.



  • As a 30 credit module students should carry out 300 hours of study. Lectures and seminars over 11 weeks will come to 44 hours with 6 hours for the trip. This means that each student should do 250 hours of independent learning.



  • Lectures will address learning outcomes 8.1-5 and 8.6-11 and 9.1 and 9.6. Seminars combined with independent learning will cover learning outcomes 9.1-5 and 9.6-10.



  1. Assessment methods.




At level 5 the module will be assessed 100% by coursework comprising:

  • A creative portfolio (40% of final mark) consisting of 1) the analysis of a surrealist work of art 2) a piece of automatic writing or account of a dream 3) an analysis of a surreal object found by the student 4) seminar notes and reflective commentary on works of art seen during the course. The portfolio will be 3000-4000 words in length.



  • One 2500 word critical essay answering a question from an assigned list (60% of final mark)

These two assessment tasks will cover the learning outcomes outlined above at 8.1-5 and 9.1-5.

At level 6 the module will be assessed 100% by coursework comprising:



  • A creative portfolio (40% of final mark) typically comprising of 1) the analysis of a surrealist work of art 2) a piece of automatic writing or account of a dream 3) an analysis of a surreal object found by the student 4) seminar notes and reflective commentary on works of art seen during the course. The portfolio will be 3000-4000 words in length.



  • One 3500 word critical essay answering a question on the broader cultural and thematic importance of Surrealism from an assigned list (60% of final mark). This essay particularly addresses 11.11.

These two assessment tasks will cover the learning outcomes outlined above at 8.6-11 and 9.6-10.

Level 5 and 6 students will be given different lists of essay questions, written to test level 5 and 6 learning outcomes respectively.



  1. Map of Module Learning Outcomes (sections 8 & 9) to Learning and Teaching Methods (section12) and methods of Assessment (section 13)

Level 5

Module learning outcome




8.1

8.2

8.3

8.4

8.5




9.1

9.2

9.3

9.4

9.5




Learning/ teaching method

Hours allocated





































Private Study

250

X

X

X

X

X




X

X

X

X

X




Lecture

22

X

X

X

X

X




X

X

X

X







Seminar

22

X

X

X

X

X




X

X

X

X

X




Trip

6

X

X

X

X

























Assessment method








































Creative Portfolio (3000-4000 words)




X

X

X

X

X




X

X

X

X

X




Essay (2500 words)




X

X

X

X

X




X

X

X

X

X




Level 6

Module learning outcome




8.6

8.7

8.8

8.9

8.10

8.11

9.6

9.7

9.8

9.9

9.10




Learning/ teaching method

Hours allocated





































Private Study

250

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X




Lecture

22

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X







Seminar

22

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X




Trip

6

X

X

X

X

























Assessment method








































Creative Portfolio (3000-4000 words)




X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X




Essay (3500 words)




X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X






  1. The School of Arts recognises and has embedded the expectations of current disability equality legislation, and supports students with a declared disability or special educational need in its teaching. Within this module we will make reasonable adjustments wherever necessary, including additional or substitute materials, teaching modes or assessment methods for students who have declared and discussed their learning support needs. Arrangements for students with declared disabilities will be made on an individual basis, in consultation with the University’s/Collaborative Partner’s (delete as applicable) disability/dyslexia student support service, and specialist support will be provided where needed.



  1. Campus(es) or Centre(s) where module will be delivered:

Canterbury

FACULTIES SUPPORT OFFICE USE ONLY

Revision record – all revisions must be recorded in the grid and full details of the change retained in the appropriate committee records.

Date approved

Major/minor revision

Start date of the delivery of revised version

Section revised

Impacts PLOs( Q6&7 cover sheet)

































Module Specification Template (September 2015)




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