This is a module framework. It can be viewed online or downloaded as a zip file.
As taught Autumn Semester 2010.
This module will focus on the treatment of war or the representation of war in art broadly conceived: war stories, war photography, war paintings, war films, war music, even war architecture - war memorials and war museums. It will seek to ask in what ways such works contribute to our understanding of war, and by extension our understanding of international relations. How effective are they? Can works of the imagination - works of art - reach parts that other works cannot reach? How? What strategies do they employ? Do they have to be explicit? Do they have to be easy to read (or watch or listen to)? In what ways are we affected by them? What difference can they make?
Module Codes: M14060 (20 credits) / M14061 (15 credits)
Suitable for study at: Postgraduate Level
Professor Alex Danchev, School of Politics and International Relations
Alex Danchev is an unorthodox Professor of International Relations. As in his research, he feels it is important to be able to cross traditional disciplinary boundaries. International Relations is an interdisciplinary subject in itself, embracing history, politics, law, economics, philosophy, geography and sociology. Alex Danchev is especially interested in bringing art and culture into play - integrating works of the imagination, broadly conceived, into the study of politics and international relations. His contribution to the second-year module on Power and International Order, for example, includes a study of Joseph Conrad's novel, Heart of Darkness, as well as On War by Clausewitz, and The Communist Manifesto, by Marx and Engels. His MA module on Art and War includes a study of painting and photography, as well as a visit to the Imperial War Museum North at Salford Quays - to explore the building (by Daniel Libeskind) as well as its contents.
His third-year module on Political Biography, co-taught with Ion Trewin, a Special Professor in the School, featured prominently in the Times Higher Education magazine. It includes a visit to the National Portrait Gallery in London, to study portraits of prime ministers, and also an element of creative writing - the 'forward obituary' of someone not quite dead. It was primarily for this module that he received a Dearing Award for Teaching and Learning in 2009.
In seminars and tutorials, he places most emphasis on student participation in small-group work, where the quality and depth of the discussion is paramount - student-centred learning rather than teacher-led lecturing. Remaining silent is not an option in these seminars; but it is equally important to have something relevant and cogent to say. They demand preparation and reflection. If it works well, the outcome is a more satisfying experience.
He teaches a broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules.