CS301-6-FY: DANGEROUS IDEAS: ESSAYS AND MANIFESTOS AS SOCIAL CRITICISM
Essex credit: 30
ECTS credit: 15
Available to year(s) of study:
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: Yes
|Module is taught during the following terms
This module examines the social criticism and subversiveness of writing in the form of the essay and the manifesto. During the year, we will look at several essays and manifestos that challenge dominant ideas, existing social arrangements, and provoke us to explore the many varieties of writing itself. The module seeks to reappraise the essay and follow the important role it has played in the development of the humanities and social sciences from the 17th century to the present. Today the essay is emerging as a critical tool in the examination of all aspects of human experience, both the profound and the ephemeral. Essays may mask themselves as innocent excursions but, as with Jonathan Swifts, A Modest Proposal, or George Orwells, Politics and the English Language,the essay can rapidly overturn accepted opinions and provoke the questioning of values. Likewise, manifestos like Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto, may be written specifically to mobilise opinion and overthrow existing social institutions, while the Surrealist manifesto proposes a change in the way we literally look at the world.
The readings examined on the module are primarily chosen on the basis of their historical impact, current relevance and at the same time selected as models for good writing. It is hoped that a consideration of how ideas are powerfully and succinctly communicated will encourage students to experiment, and thus, broaden the approach of those essays produced by the students who follow the module.
Learning & Teaching Methods
A seminar that will include staff presentations, student-led intellectual discussions.
100 per cent Coursework Mark
Two 4000 - 5000 word essays
this module contains a participation mark
Exam Duration and Period
Core for final year BA Humanities students.