AH5011 - Debating Issues in the Cultural Industries

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What will I learn on this module?

This module examines the roles and responsibilities of the cultural industries, and how they are influenced by changing ethical concerns, public policy, and attitudes in the popular media. You will study alongside students in art and design, investigating art, design and music institutions and their practices, examining core institutional roles and beliefs and recent shifts in cultural management practices and the contextualisation of art, design and music. The roles of curators, publishers (including record labels), broadcasters and collection or event managers will be analysed in a continually developing cultural environment, dominated as much by digital sites of cultural exchange, as bricks and mortar institutions.

You will be introduced to concepts regarding the management and display of art and design, alongside music management, and debate how these work in reality, discussing issues such as diversity, audiences, access, inclusion, and freedom of speech. Emphasis will be on careful consideration of how the cultural industries can serve society, but also how they react to social concerns, questions of elitism, obscenity or offence, alternative histories and creative interventions in the public sphere. The module will encourage you to think critically about the functions of the cultural industries. It will also work in conjunction with other music modules, such as those in performance and music teaching, to prompt you to consider the impact of questions of difference upon your own future profession. Based around dynamic discussion, the module will culminate in a group task in which you will vigorously debate a current issue in the institutional environment.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a programme of on-campus seminars, supported by lectures, guest presentations, off-campus field trips, film and videos and workshops involving digital media. Lectures will introduce you to key concepts, theories, and indicative examples relating to the functions of the cultural industries. Seminars will encourage the interrogation of these concepts, critical thinking and dynamic debate. Midway through the module, an essay assignment, drawing upon the lecture and seminar content will help you become conversant with the key concepts. After this the emphasis is on group study, enhanced conceptual thinking and bounded, self-directed research, as you identify and critically analyse a key issue in the management or contextualisation of art, design and music. This will culminate in a group “pitch” in which you defend a concept or position in front of your colleagues. Discussion of your ideas in seminar sessions will enable formative feedback as your assignment projects progress, and written feedback will be given for summative assignments. Your learning will be additionally supported by group and individual tutorial sessions as required. This module contributes to the strand designed to enhance your employability through developing your understanding of the sector.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Academic support will be provided through group and individual tutorials and extensive use of the eLearning Portal, to include module page, essential written materials, detailed assignment briefs and tutorial videos. Assessments will be clearly defined and discussed in class with examples and practice sessions. You will also be required to undertake self-directed study, individually and in a group, and identify your own relevant themes and examples regarding the sites of cultural exchange. You will be clearly guided in the appropriate parameters and methodologies of this self-directed research, and your chosen themes and examples discussed in seminar sessions to identify appropriate methods of analysis. Formative assessment is therefore ongoing throughout the module, and summative assignments will receive written feedback within 20 working days of assignment submission. You will be encouraged to assess your learning progression by employing your individual Pebble Pad Development Diary, and identifying skills and concepts from other modules that you can employ in this module, and those that you think will be useful for further personal development. In this way you can develop an overview of how your skills and knowledge are combining in your development towards academic success and a career in music.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• To be able to contextualise music in relation to key critical issues and theoretical concepts, demonstrated in understanding of the functions and practices of the cultural industries in relation to key critical issues and concepts, wider social and cultural context and notable changes in public and governmental attitudes.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• To be able to communicate your opinions and arguments persuasively to peers and tutors, utilising verbal and written forms and with substantiating evidence.
• To be able to apply your knowledge and critical thinking to respond to complex debates and issues in your discipline, balancing conflicting positions and exploring various solutions to problems and challenges.
• To be able to carry out self-motivated and independent research, both individually and in a group, utilising different methodologies to find appropriate data to substantiate your proposals.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• To possess the desire and initiative to fulfil your academic potential that will enable you to plan for further study or a career in the cultural industries.

How will I be assessed?

Summative assessment is composed of two elements:

Part A is a 1500 word essay (50%), responding to a set question and drawing upon the core content of the module by analysing a core concept, belief or issue relating to the cultural industries. This will be submitted midway through the module, and you are encouraged to make full use of feedback and opportunities for discussing your work in preparation for part B of the module assessment. This analysis will enable you to focus your interest on a particular sector of the cultural industries.

Part B will be a group project (50%) in which you identify, research and debate a key issue in the management, contextualisation or dissemination of music. This will require self-directed study and bounded research, in order to identify and critically analyse an example chosen by your group. You will present your analysis as a 15 minute “pitch” presentation to your colleagues, proposing or defending a certain position. You will be guided in the suitability of, and research approaches to your case study through a set list of considerations, seminar discussions, and individual tutorials if appropriate.





Module abstract

In this module, you join with your peers in Art and Design in an examination of the cultural industries in relation to ethics, public policy and their coverage in the popular media. You will study institutions and their cultural management practices, as well as the roles of curators, publishers (including record labels), broadcasters and event managers, paying as much attention to the digital world as to that of bricks and mortar. Issues include audience development, diversity, access, inclusion and freedom of speech, particularly in relation to elitism, whether real or perceived. The module is delivered through a series of seminars, supported by guest lectures, off-campus fieldtrips and workshops.

Course info

UCAS Code W320

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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