LIT3060 : War on Screen

Convener(s): Dr Jonathan Rayner


General Information

This module sets out to examine the interconnections, reciprocal relationships and parallel development of warfare and cinema, and the evolution war on film. The module will engage with close textual analysis, aspects of film history and cultural history, theories of representation, and concepts of film adaptation from literature in examining the depiction of conflict in images, on film and on television through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Historically- and thematically- linked topics will be supported by weekly screenings of examples such as All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) In Which We Serve (1942), The Battle of Algiers (1965) and Zero Dark Thirty (2012). We will study images of war from Britain, America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, from the First World War to the present day. We will explore and debate diverse representations of conflict through concepts of realism and spectacle, frameworks of film genre and ideology, and cinema's influential role within popular culture, the propagation of establishment and personal histories, and constructions of national identity.


Topics for consideration (for example, realism in depictions of conflict, definitions of the war film, imagery of the Global War on Terror) will be introduced via weekly lectures and tutor-led presentations. These themed topics will be explored through weekly seminars, supported by set films. Short written responses to the weekly set films will form the basis of assessment 1.


The module will be assessed through 100% coursework, composed of two assessments: Assessment 1: Portfolio of 5 written responses to weekly set texts (1000 words maximum, 40% weighting) Assessment 2: Research essay on a topic proposed by the student, e.g examining in detail texts from a substantial area of theoretical and/or historical significance in the representation of war (3000 words maximum, 60% weighting)

Contact Details

Dr Jonathan Rayner

Information last changed: Thursday 10th of March 2016 :: 07:00:42 PM (GMT)

Please note: This module may or may not run in any individual session. Please check with the course convener.


The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK