Popular Film, Literature and Television: A Psychoanalytic Approach (Freud and Jung)

The details
Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Sunday 17 January 2021
Friday 26 March 2021
13 May 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA LCJ8 Sociology with Psychosocial Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA LJ8C Sociology with Psychosocial Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA LJC8 Sociology with Psychosocial Studies,
BA C890 Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies,
BA C89A Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA C89B Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA C89C Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

This module forms an introduction to psychoanalytic theory (Freud, Jung, and contemporary perspectives) through material from popular culture. How can we use the insights from psychoanalysis (Freud and post-Freudian) and analytical psychology (Jung and post-Jungian) to understand popular cultural productions like film, television, literature and poetry?

Ideas from psychoanalysis and analytical psychology can be applied to understand why it is that cultures produce what they do and why these productions can be so compelling and popular. By understanding the notion of the individual and group unconscious (foundational for both Jung and Freud), psychoanalytic perspectives can also provide insight into cultural phenomena.

Film, television and literature will be used alongside theoretical texts to bring out the major insights of psychoanalytic theory as a method to analyse cultural production.

Module aims

The modules aims:

1. To provide an introduction to depth psychological theory by utilising its unique perspectives on popular film, literature, and theory.

2. To enable a critical approach to the depth psychologies and their applications to popular culture: particularly film, television, and literature.

3. To explore film, television and literary criticism from a depth psychological perspective and explore the validity of such an engagement.

Module learning outcomes

On successful competion of the module, student will be able to:

1. Show an understanding of the major concepts in Freudian, Jungian, and contemporary psychoanalytic theory.

2. Critically demonstrate how such methods and concepts can be applied to cultural phenomena such as film, television and literature.

3. Show how concepts from the depth psychologies have affected the content of certain forms of cultural phenomena.

Module information

For students taking PA108 as an outside option, the module can be taken either on its own or as a complement to the module, Sex, Politics, and Religion (PA109-4-SP). These two modules, further, serve as strong introductions to both The Unconscious Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society (PA208 6 AU FREUD) and The Unconscious Analytical Psychology, Culture and Society (PA209 6 SP JUNG), available to 2nd and 3rd year students.

Learning and teaching methods

Weekly one-hour lectures by staff, followed by one-hour seminars led by GTAs, both from the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies. Students are expected to have seen and be familiar with the films before the seminar in which they will be discussed. In the case of the television series Arrested Development, students are expected to be familiar with the plot line of season one.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

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

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Kevin Lu, email:
From the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Student Administrator 5A.202; telephone 01206 87 4969; email 01206 874969 Room 5A.202



External examiner

Prof Barry Richards
Bournemouth University
Professor of Political Psychology
Available via Moodle
Of 50 hours, 30 (60%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
20 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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

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