Being Human in the Modern World (LIB1105)

StaffDr Luna Dolezal - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This core module will introduce the approaches and methodologies of liberal arts. It will also prepare students for further work in the humanities and social sciences in subsequent years and initiate the development of critical and creative abilities with which to reflect on local, national and global contexts and challenges.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the key concerns in constructions of identities and beliefs.
  • 2. Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which constructions of identities and beliefs involve complex intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, ability, religion, politics, economics, embodiment and culture.
  • 3. Develop the ability to engage inter-disciplinary approaches in academic study.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Demonstrate the ability to analyse evidence, to think critically, and to present ideas clearly.
  • 5. Demonstrate a basic ability to interrelate images, texts and discourses specific to one discipline with issues in the wider context of cultural and intellectual history.
  • 6. Develop skills in the analysis of literary, material, artefactual, digital and visual materials and qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.
  • 7. An ability to effectively and persuasively convey knowledge, argument and analysis in a variety of oral and written forms.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. Develop basic communication skills and an ability to work both individually and in groups through seminar discussions, wiki postings and presentations.
  • 9. Show appropriate research and bibliographic skills; develop a basic capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument, and a capacity to write clear and correct prose in the format of an essay and commentary.
  • 10. Develop a basic proficiency in information retrieval and analysis, an advanced capacity to make critical use of secondary material, to question assumptions, and to reflect on their own learning process, through research for seminars and essays.
  • 11. Engage sensitively and respectfully with views, identities and beliefs which may not be their own.

Syllabus plan

Please note this is not a week-by-week syllabus plan, but rather an indication of the areas and topics to be covered, throughout the module.

  • What is ‘Liberal Arts’?
  • Identities and Belief in Social-Scientific and Humanities Perspectives
  • Identities and Beliefs constructed through narrative, time, space, experience and encounters
  • Specific thematic studies may selectively be covered from year to year. These include (though are not limited to) the following:
    • Bodies, Gender, Sex, and Identity
    • Migration and Identities in a Globalising World
    • Politics, Religion, and Conflict
    • Heroes and Leaders
    • Place, Memory and Identity
    • Beliefs, Ethics and Activism
    • Race and Racism Past and Present
    • Climate Change and Sustainable Futures
    • Food, Famine and Feast

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching44Lecture/Class (22 x 2 hours)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Seminar (22 x 1 hour)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching1Group tutorial for written assessments (2 X 30 minutes)
Guided independent study234Independent Study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Wikis11X200 word wikis 1-11In class discussion with opportunity for follow up tutorial
Commentary plan100 words1-11In class discussion with opportunity for follow up tutorial
Poster or Oral presentation (representing research based on quantitative/qualitative methodologies)10 mins (delivered across seminars in the two terms)1-11Oral feedback from tutor. Opportunity for office hours follow-up.
Essay plan100 words1-11In class discussion with opportunity for follow up tutorial

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Commentary401500 words1-11Feedback sheet with opportunity for follow-up tutorial
Essay602000 words1-11Feedback sheet with opportunity for follow-up tutorial

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
CommentaryCommentary 1500 words1-11Refer/Defer Period
EssayEssay 2000 words 1-11Refer/Defer Period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Elliot, A., (ed), Routledge Handbook of Identity Studies (London: Routledge, 2011)
  • Garrett, M., Gottfried, H. and VanBurkleo, S., Remapping the Humanities: Identity, Community, Memory, (Post)modernity (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2008)
  • Jenkins, R., Social Identity 3d ed. (London: Routledge, 2008)
  • Laff, N. S., (ed), Identity, Learning, and the Liberal Arts (Jossey-Bass, 2005)
  • Stets J. E. and Serpe, R. T., (eds), New Directions in Identity Theory and Research
  • (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2016)

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Liberal Arts