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IR4586   Political Violence and Popular Culture

Academic year(s): 2024-2025

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 10

Semester: 1

Planned timetable: Tuesday 11am - 1pm

Popular culture has provided a platform to depict, examine and challenge our understandings of political violence, in a variety of ways. This module engages with popular culture to understand a range of themes around revolution, torture, victimhood and heroism, by focusing on depictions of policy, actors, events and narratives. It does this through engagement with a range of media from novels like Milkman, to television shows like 24 and films like Four Lions. Through this, students are introduced to a range of topics through popular culture which provides a foundation to examine these matters originally and critically.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass IR2006

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: The class would be delivered as a two-hour seminar, but with a mixture of lecture and tutorial styles as needed. Four weeks of the module will include a 3-hr compulsory screening/engagement session.

Scheduled learning hours: 34

Guided independent study hours: 260

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 100% Coursework

Re-assessment: 100% Written Examination


Module coordinator: Dr N Brooke
Module teaching staff: Dr Nick Brooke

Intended learning outcomes

  • Explain what is meant by the term ‘popular culture’, and how ‘popularity’ is measured
  • Critically assess the authenticity of depictions of political violence and counterterrorism within a range of popular media
  • Explain, with examples, the range of impacts that popular culture has on policy, both with regard to terrorism and political violence, and further afield.
  • Systematically and comparatively study a range of popular media.
  • Design an effective, valid and original short research project