Your essay is a major written work which clearly synthesises the results of a substantial research project. It should offer a coherent argument about the topic addressed and aim to incorporate an element of originality in that argument and/or the evidence used to sustain it. It should be a maximum of 4,500 words with any literature referenced in your text (e.g. as footnotes or in-text-citations) and listed in full in your bibliography (NB: as stated in the current Examination & Assessment Regulations, the bibliography does not count towards the word count, nor do footnotes/endnotes, appendices, abstracts, maps, illustrations, transcriptions of linguistic data, or tabulations of numerical or linguistic data or their captions.)
For this module, your essay must study in detail the work of one particular media artist (or collaborative team); this could be, but does not have to be, one of the artists on our list. It is similar in content to the Report and should:
contain an investigative, open-ended research question to guide your work
contain an argument or assertion about the artist’s (or group’s) work which is supported; this is your (perhaps contentious) answer to the question above
describe how that artist’s work is framed and presented by the artist and by others
describe how it engages with critical / theoretical / semantic / formal debates with reference to specific theorists
culturally contextualise the work or make connections between it and the work other artists (in any medium)
describe how it has evolved over time and offer some rationales / arguments for this evolution
include your own original critical analysis of key projects by your chosen artist
describe how the student’s own creative media practice engages with similar issues/debates and relates to them, contests them and/or extends them (NB: While precise compartmentalisation will be impossible, roughly 80% of the essay material should address the chosen artist and 20% should address the student’s own evolving creative media practice. It is vital to the section contextualizing the student’s own work that it do so with reference to cultural / critical / social / aesthetic theory. That is to say: it should not be too impressionistic and should reference others.)
Relevant learning outcomes:
Conducting a literature search and assembling a bibliography relevant to a specific topic.
Producing succinct summaries and comparison of arguments and debates.
Synthesising connections between cultural/philosophic/political/sociological theory and creative media.
Carrying out research tasks using a range of sources.
Working independently and managing time
Developing self-reflexivity about students’ own creative media work and an ability to frame that work in terms of the media creatives and ideas presented on this module.