Joint-honours information for 2017 entry

Debates in Screen Documentary A

Module P4107A

Module details for 2017/18.

30 credits

FHEQ Level 5

Module Outline

Documentary Studies is a burgeoning sub-field of Film Studies, reflecting the expansion of the documentary well beyond its established TV format. In Debates in Screen Documentary you will explore some of the major questions in the study of documentary film as a way of introducing you to thinking about non-fiction forms in the cinema and beyond.

Topics covered may include:

• Documentary realisms
• Authorship and documentary authority
• Objectivity and subjectivity
• Documentary re-enactment
• Essayistic and experimental documentary modes
• Documentary and the internet

As part of the module, we will explore some key movements and trends in documentary. This may include a range of practices that have spurred heated debate, such as the mockumentary, the interactive documentary, and documentary’s move into the art gallery. Case studies will be international in scope; documentaries previously studied on this course include Citizenfour, The Gleaners and I, Behemoth, Fahrenheit 911, The Act of Killing, and Close-Up.

Debates in Screen Documentary is taught through a combination of lecture, film screening, seminar, and written assessments.


Austin, T and de Jong, W. (eds) (2008) Rethinking Documentary, Maidenhead: OUP
Bruzzi, S. (2006) New Documentary: an introduction London: Routledge
Chanan, M. (2007) The Politics of Documentary London: BFI/Palgrave
Eitzen, D. (1995) When is it a Documentary? Documentary as Mode of Reception¿ Cinema Journal 35 (1)
Juhasz, A. and Lebow, A. (2015) A Companion to Contemporary Documentary West Sussex: Wiley/Blackwell
Minh-ha, T. (1990) Documentary Is/Not a Name October Vol. 52, Spring: 76-98
Renov, M. The Subject of Documentary Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press
Smaill. B. (2009) The Documentary: Politics, Emotion, Culture London: Palgrave Macmillan
Williams, L. (1993) "MIrrors without Memories: Truth, History, and the New Documentary" Film Quarterly, Vol. 46, No. 3 (Spring): 9-21
Winston, B. (2013) The Documentary Film Book BFI/Palgrave

Module learning outcomes

Demonstrate an appropriate understanding of the key themes, issues, and debates in documentary studies.

Identify major films that have influenced the field and their contribution.

Identify the key historical movements in documentary practice.

Demonstrate the ability to integrate critical sources in their construction and development of written analysis and argument.

Coursework components. Weighted as shown below.
EssayT2 Week 7 30.00%
EssayA2 Week 2 70.00%

Submission deadlines may vary for different types of assignment/groups of students.


Coursework components (if listed) total 100% of the overall coursework weighting value.

TermMethodDurationWeek pattern
Spring SemesterLecture1 hour111111111111
Spring SemesterFilm2 hours111111111111
Spring SemesterSeminar2 hours111111111111

How to read the week pattern

The numbers indicate the weeks of the term and how many events take place each week.

Dr Luke Robinson

Convenor, Assess convenor

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