Censorship, Markets and Human Rights (LAWM058)

StaffMelanie Williams - Convenor
Credit Value15
Academic Year2012/3
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The aim of the module is to provide a broad-based appreciation of how perspectives upon 'freedom', 'politics' and 'rights' are created and how the relationship between law and politics, cultures and markets informs such perspectives. You will be introduced to core themes in relation to censorship, freedoms, rights and commerce, will be encouraged to develop an appreciation of the disciplinary connections between law, politics, philosophy and economics and to advance your understanding of connections between different cultural influences, formal and informal, upon the development of values and principles. The critical, discursive nature of the module will also provide you with the opportunity to undertake independent, reflective research.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. critically analyse the issues of censorship and rights from a multi-perspectival approach;
  • 2. critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of arguments concerning freedom and inhibition of expression;
  • 3. demonstrate detailed knowledge of the most important legal and theoretical frameworks relevant to such debates;

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. synthesise and critically assess the relationship between political, legal and philosophical approaches;
  • 5. understand and evaluate the efficacy of legal trials and caselaw in the field;
  • 6. apply the insights and findings in the sources to the analysis of law as an institution in relation to other social and political institutions

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. demonstrate the ability to use and apply relevant factual and rhetorical arguments;
  • 8. communicate and engage in debate effectively and accurately, orally and in writing, in a manner appropriate to the discipline/ different contexts
  • 9. work independently as well as in group.

Syllabus plan

The module's content may vary but it is envisaged that the syllabus will contain the following topics in this order:
Weeks 1-2 Introduction to issues arising from censorship, freedom of expression, human rights discourse and commerce
Weeks 3-4 Representations of political and ideological challenge
Weeks 5-6 Politics, ideology and the market
Weeks 7-8 Challenges to social values and constraints - obscenity, pornography and violence
Weeks 9-10 Social values and constraints - the law and the market
Weeks 11-12 Oral Presentations

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

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
18 132 0

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities18 hoursLectures and practical classes
Guided independent study132 hoursIndependent study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Individual oral presentation15 minutes1-9Verbal feedback
Group seminar presentation 25 minutes1-9Verbal feedback

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
Written essay752,500 words1-9Written feedback
Individual oral presentation 2515 minutes1-9Oral feedback

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written essayWritten essay (2,500 words)1-9Next reassessment period
Individual oral presentation Individual oral presentation (15 minutes) 1-9Next reassessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Texts, extracts and DVD showings taken from the following list, in addition to journal materials as recommended:

Eric Barendt, Freedom of Speech [2007, Oxford University Press]

J.M. Coetzee, Giving Offense: essays on censorship [1996, University of Chicago Press]

Nick Cohen, You Cant Read This Book [2012, 4th Estate/Harper Collins]

Shen Congwen, Selected Stories [Chinese-English bilingual edition, 2004, The Chinese University Press]

Andrew Flibbert, Commerce in Culture, States and Markets in the World Film Trade [2007, Palgrave Macmillan]

Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems [1996, City Lights Books, San Francisco]

Nadine Gordimer, July's People [2005, Jonathan Cape]

Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago [2002, Vintage Classics]

Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things [2004, Harper Perennial]

Fidelma Ashe, Alan Finlayson, Moya Lloyd and Iain Mackenzie, Contemporary Social and Political Theory: An Introduction [1998, Open University Press]

Kelly Ives, Wild Zones, Pornography, Art and Feminism [2010, Crescent Moon Publications]

Nicholas Karolides, Margaret Bald and Dawn Sova, 120 Banned Books [2005, Checkmark Books]

Paul Kearns, The Legal Concept of Art [1998, Oxford University Press]

Jeffrey Kinkley, Chinese Justice, The Fiction: Law and Literature in Modern China [2000, Stanford UP]

Martin Loughlin, Sword and Scales: the Relationship Between Law and Politics [2000, Hart]

Franz Kafka, The Trial [2009, Wordsworth Press and DVD 2007]

Adam Parkes, Modernism and the Theater of Censorship [1996, Oxford University Press]

Charles Rembar The End of Obscenity [1968, Andre Deutsch]

Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness [2003, Routledge]

Bernard Williams, In the Beginning was the Deed: Realism and Moralism in Political Argument [2007, Princeton UP]

Qiu Xiaolong, Death of a Red Heroine [2006, Sceptre]

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Censorship Markets Human Rights