GV988-7-FY-CO:
Ideology and Political Discourse

The details
2020/21
Government
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Postgraduate: Level 7
Current
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 02 July 2021
30
05 June 2020

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

(none)

Key module for

MA L20212 Ideology and Discourse Analysis,
MA L202EB Ideology and Discourse Analysis

Module description

This module has two principal aims.

First, it introduces, develops, and critically engages key strands of poststructuralist discourse theory, including (post-)marxism, structural linguistics, deconstruction, and psychoanalytic theory. In particular, it clarifies key theoretical categories by examining their associated conceptual frameworks and presuppositions, by probing their value for political analysis and ideological critique, and by exploring their usefulness in relation to selected case illustrations.

Second, the module engages with a set of contemporary debates in political and social theory, for which the categories of discourse and ideology have become central. In particular, we shall deepen our understanding, and explore the intersecting logics, of fantasy, hegemony, populism, and democracy, situating their emergence and inter-relation in the contemporary world.

On completing this module, students should have a good understanding of different approaches to ideology and discourse analysis; the ability to engage critically with the key texts and concepts discussed in the module; and the capacity to initiate independent research from a discourse theory perspective.

Module aims

This module has two principal aims.

First, it introduces, develops, and critically engages key strands of poststructuralist discourse theory, including (post-)marxism, structural linguistics, deconstruction, and psychoanalytic theory. In particular, it clarifies key theoretical categories by examining their associated conceptual frameworks and presuppositions, by probing their value for political analysis and ideological critique, and by exploring their usefulness in relation to selected case illustrations.

Second, the module engages with a set of contemporary debates in political and social theory, for which the categories of discourse and ideology have become central. In particular, we shall deepen our understanding, and explore the intersecting logics, of fantasy, hegemony, populism, and democracy, situating their emergence and inter-relation in the contemporary world.

On completing this module, students should have a good understanding of different approaches to ideology and discourse analysis; the ability to engage critically with the key texts and concepts discussed in the module; and the capacity to initiate independent research from a discourse theory perspective.

Module learning outcomes

On completing this module, students should have a good understanding of different approaches to ideology and discourse analysis; the ability to engage critically with the key texts and concepts discussed in the module; and the capacity to initiate independent research from a discourse theory perspective.

Module information

Module Aims & Outcomes

This module has two principal aims.

First, it introduces, develops, and critically engages key strands of poststructuralist discourse theory, including (post-)marxism, structural linguistics, deconstruction, and psychoanalytic theory. In particular, it clarifies key theoretical categories by examining their associated conceptual frameworks and presuppositions, by probing their value for political analysis and ideological critique, and by exploring their usefulness in relation to selected case illustrations.

Second, the module engages with a set of contemporary debates in political and social theory, for which the categories of discourse and ideology have become central. In particular, we shall deepen our understanding, and explore the intersecting logics, of fantasy, hegemony, populism, and democracy, situating their emergence and inter-relation in the contemporary world.

On completing this module, students should have a good understanding of different approaches to ideology and discourse analysis; the ability to engage critically with the key texts and concepts discussed in the module; and the capacity to initiate independent research from a discourse theory perspective.

Teaching and Expectations

This module will be delivered with a two-hour weekly seminar that will be live-streamed to students off-campus

Teaching format will vary from week to week, but in general will feature a combination of lectures, seminar discussions, student presentations, and other activities. Members of the seminar are expected to prepare for each seminar by reading the essential texts.

We expect students:

* To attend all seminars after having done the required reading.
* To think about the readings and be ready to discuss them in the seminar: try to identify the key assumptions in the texts; map the structure of the argument; underline the conclusions. Highlight to yourself points you don't understand. (If you don't understand it, there's great likelihood others have not understood it either, so don't be shy to ask.) Ask yourself whether you agree with the text, whether you can identify weaknesses or gaps in the argument, and what could someone who disagrees with it argue against it.
* To offer your participation as required (answering questions, asking questions etc.). Learning about and discussing these texts is a communal endeavour and it is a matter of good citizenship to contribute. You are expected to answer questions, raise new points, and contribute to the progression of discussion in class.
* To pay attention and take notes as necessary

Assessment

Students must write two essays, both of which are assessed. Apart from the usual seminar participation in discussion and debate, students will also be expected to make short class presentations, but these are not formally assessed. Students do not have a final examination for this module.

The class presentations are typically based on the seminar readings assigned to specific weeks. Presenters will act as discussants, pinpointing issues that are of special interest and raising questions for discussion.

All essays are 5,000 words in length. The essays are chosen from a list of essay topics which can be found at the end of this module outline. For guidance on writing essays and marking criteria see Appendices 1 & 2.

The overall module grade is a weighted aggregate of all assessed coursework. The relative weights are the following:

Presentations not assessed
Essay 1 50%
Essay 2 50%

Coursework Submission Deadlines

Essay 1 Monday, Week 16
Essay 2 Monday, Week 30

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered with a two-hour weekly seminar that will be live-streamed to students off-campus Teaching format will vary from week to week, but in general will feature a combination of lectures, seminar discussions, student presentations, and other activities. Members of the seminar are expected to prepare for each seminar by reading the essential texts. We expect students: * To attend all seminars after having done the required reading. * To think about the readings and be ready to discuss them in the seminar: try to identify the key assumptions in the texts; map the structure of the argument; underline the conclusions. Highlight to yourself points you don't understand. (If you don't understand it, there's great likelihood others have not understood it either, so don't be shy to ask.) Ask yourself whether you agree with the text, whether you can identify weaknesses or gaps in the argument, and what could someone who disagrees with it argue against it. * To offer your participation as required (answering questions, asking questions etc.). Learning about and discussing these texts is a communal endeavour and it is a matter of good citizenship to contribute. You are expected to answer questions, raise new points, and contribute to the progression of discussion in class. * To pay attention and take notes as necessary

Bibliography*

  • Glynos, Jason. (2001-06) 'The grip of ideology: A Lacanian approach to the theory of ideology', in Journal of Political Ideologies. vol. 6 (2) , pp.191-214
  • Ernesto Laclau & Chantal Mouffe, Post-Marxism Without Apologies, NLR I/166, November–December 1987, https://0-newleftreview-org.serlib0.essex.ac.uk/issues/I166/articles/ernesto-laclau-chantal-mouffe-post-marxism-without-apologies
  • Laclau, Ernesto. (1996) Emancipation(s), London: Verso.
  • (©2015) Structures of feeling: affectivity and the study of culture, Boston: De Gruyter. vol. volume 5
  • Goodin, Robert E; Pettit, Philip; Pogge, Thomas. (2007) A companion to contemporary political philosophy, Malden, MA: Blackwell.
  • Gramsci, Antonio; Hoare, Quintin; Nowell-Smith, Geoffrey. (1971) Selections from the prison notebooks of Antonio Gramsci, London: Lawrence & Wishart.
  • Laclau, Ernesto. (2007) 'Discourse', in A companion to contemporary political philosophy, Malden, MA: Blackwell., pp.541-547
  • Laclau, E. (2008) Philosophical Roots of Discourse Theory.
  • Norval, Aletta J. (2004-06) 'Hegemony after deconstruction: the consequences of undecidability', in Journal of Political Ideologies. vol. 9 (2) , pp.139-157
  • Simon, Roger. (©2015) Gramsci's political thought: an introduction, London: Lawrence & Wishart.
  • Howarth, David R. (2000) Discourse, Buckingham: Open University Press.
  • Fink, Bruce. (1997) A clinical introduction to Lacanian psychoanalysis: theory and technique, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
  • Glynos, Jason; Howarth, David R. (2007) Logics of critical explanation in social and political theory, Abington: Routledge.
  • Gasché, Rodolphe. (1986) The tain of the mirror: Derrida and the philosophy of reflection, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Freud, Sigmund; Strachey, James; Richards, Angela. (1984) On metapsychology: the theory of psychoanalysis : 'Beyond the pleasure principle,' 'The ego and the id' and other works, Harmondsworth: Penguin. vol. v.11
  • Fink, Bruce. (c1995) The Lacanian subject: between language and jouissance, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
  • Williams, Raymond. (1977) Marxism and literature, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Özselçuk, Ceren. (2006-04) 'Mourning, Melancholy, and the Politics of Class Transformation', in Rethinking Marxism. vol. 18 (2) , pp.225-240
  • Barthes, Roland. (©2012) Mythologies, New York: Hill and Wang.
  • Hall, Stuart. (1988) The hard road to renewal: Thatcherism and the crisis of the left, London: Verso.
  • Laclau, Ernesto; Mouffe, Chantal. (2001) Hegemony and socialist strategy: towards a radical democratic politics, London: Verso.
  • Žižek, Slavoj. (1989) The sublime object of ideology, London: Verso.
  • Saussure, Ferdinand de; Culler, Jonathan D; Bally, Charles; Sechehaye, Albert; Riedlinger, Albert. (1974) Course in general linguistics, London: Fontana.
  • Dahlberg, Lincoln; Phelan, Sean. (2011) Discourse theory and critical media politics, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Butler, Judith. (2004) Precarious life: the powers of mourning and violence, London: Verso.
  • Critchley, Simon; Mouffe, Chantal. (1997) Deconstruction and pragmatism, London: Routledge.
  • Howarth, David R.; Stavrakakis, Yannis. (2000) 'Introducing Discourse Theory and Political Analysis', in Discourse theory and political analysis: identities, hegemonies, and social change, Manchester: Manchester University.
  • Althusser, Louis. (©1976) Essays on ideology, London: Verso.
  • Ducrot, Oswald; Todorov, Tzvetan. (1981) Encyclopedic dictionary of the sciences of language, Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Barthes, Roland. (1967) Elements of semiology, London: Cape. vol. 4
  • Laclau, E. (1991) The Impossibility of Society.
  • Lorde, Audre. (©2017) Your silence will not protect you, UK: Silver Press.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Essay 1     50% 
Coursework   Essay 2    50% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Jason Glynos, email: ljglyn@essex.ac.uk.
Prof David Howarth, email: davidh@essex.ac.uk.
Professor David Howarth, Professor Jason Glynos
Module Supervisors Professor Jason Glynos ljglyn@essex.ac.uk or Professor David Howarth davidh@essex.ac.uk Module Administrator Jamie Seakens govpgquery@essex.ac.uk

 

Availability
Yes
No
Yes

External examiner

Dr Patrick Bayer
University of Glasgow
Lecturer in International Relations
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 40 hours, 40 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).

 

Further information
Government

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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