Graffiti: Marking Space & Time
Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences
20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Karen Pollock
Overall aims and purpose
Graffiti has many and various stories to tell about the past: from the writing on the wall in ancient Pompeii to contemporary graffiti and street art. These stories are increasingly recognized as important social comment and worthy of academic analysis. This module explores the history, archaeology and heritage of graffiti and analyses the growing historiography and research in this field. It will consider the motivation behind historic and modern graffiti and assess its value as a heritage resource. Particular attention will be paid to context and to evaluating how different contexts – political, social or religious – provoke, encourage and influence the content of graffiti. It is a module which has a broad disciplinary base and will draw from history, archaeology and anthropology in order to evaluate past and contemporary attitudes to graffiti.
The cultural context of graffiti and its value as social comment in the historical and contemporary past are key issues covered by this module. Particular emphasis is given to graffiti’s potential value as a heritage resource.
Topics and themes to be explored:
- The history of graffiti – from rock art to contemporary graffiti and street art.
- The medieval mind and graffiti Graffiti and identity
- Graffiti and context (cultural, religious, social and political)
- Graffiti and protest Contemporary graffiti and heritage legislation
- Graffiti and Symbolism Historic graffiti (18th – 21st century) in
Wales with particular emphasis on the tourist trail.
- ‘Selling out’ – the commercialisation of graffiti
(i) First-class honours There are four grades for first-class performance: A* (95%) At this level, first-class work earns its mark by showing genuine originality. It may advance a novel argument or deal with evidence which has not been considered before. Such originality of ideas or evidence is coupled with the standards of content, argument, and analysis expected of first-class work graded at A or A+. At this level, the work exhausts relevant secondary material, includes in dissertation work extensive and often unanticipated primary evidence, and betrays no factual or interpretative inaccuracy. It can also show a mastery of theory and deploy hypotheses subtly and imaginatively. In the case of essays and dissertations, work of this standard will be impeccable in presentation and will be publishable. A+ (87%) At this level, first-class work will also have its argument supported by an impressive wealth and relevance of detail, but will further deploy the evidence consistently accurately and give indications of deploying unexpected primary and secondary sources. It will habitually demonstrate a particularly acute and critical awareness of the historiography and/or archaeological debate, including conceptual approaches, and give a particularly impressive account of why the conclusions reached are important within a particular historical or archaeological debate. It will show a particularly sophisticated approach to possible objections, moderating the line taken in the light of counter-examples, or producing an interesting synthesis of various contrasting positions. It will be original work. The standards of content, argument, and analysis expected will be consistently first-class work. In essays and dissertations standards of presentation will be very high. A (80%) At this level, first-class work will have its argument supported by an impressive wealth and relevance of detail. It will usually also demonstrate an acute awareness of historiography and/or archaeological debate, and give an impressive account of why the conclusions reached are important within a particular historical or archaeological debate. It may show a particularly subtle approach to possible objections, moderating the line taken in the light of counter-examples, or producing an interesting synthesis of various contrasting positions. Overall, the standards of content, argument, and analysis expected will be consistently superior to top upper-second work. In essays and dissertations standards of presentation will be high. A- (74%) A first-class mark at this level is often earned simply by demonstrating one or more of the features of a good upper-second essay to a peculiar degree, for example presenting a particularly strong organization of argument, strong focus, wide range of reading, engagement with the historiography and/or archaeological debate, depth of understanding, an unobjectionable style, and strong presentation.
C- to C+
(iii) Lower second-class honours There are three grades for lower second-class performance: C+ (58%) Work will receive a C+ mark if it: shows evidence of solid reading, but remains partially superficial; covers the important aspects of the relevant field, but in some places lacks depth; advances a coherent and relevant argument; employs some evidence to back its points; and is presented reasonably well with only a few or no mistakes. It will also contain appropriate references and bibliography, which may, however, be slightly erratic and/or partially insufficient. C (55%) Work will receive a C mark if it: shows evidence of solid reading, but remains superficial; covers most of the important aspects of the relevant field, but lacks depth; advances a coherent and largely relevant argument; employs some limited evidence to back its points; and is presented reasonably well with only limited mistakes. It will also contain appropriate references and bibliography, which may, however, contain some mistakes or be slightly erratic and/or partially insufficient. C- (52%) Work will receive a C- mark if it: shows evidence of solid reading, but little knowledge of in-depth studies (for first-year work the student may not have read beyond a few standard works; at second or third year the student may not have read a good selection of journal articles and specialist monographs); covers most of the important aspects of the relevant field, but lacks depth or misses a significant area (for second- and third-year work this may mean that it fails to deploy the historical details found in specialist literature); advances a coherent, and sometimes relevant argument, but drifts away from tackling the task in hand (for example, by ordering the argument in an illogical way, becoming distracted by tangential material, or lapsing into narrative of only partial pertinence); usually employs evidence to back its points, but occasionally fails to do so or deploys an insufficient range; displays an awareness that the past can be interpreted in different ways, but may fail to get to the heart of the central scholarly debate or fully understand a key point (in second- and third-year work this may extend to a failure to discuss important subtleties or ambiguities in the evidence, or to a lack of awareness of the current state of historical or archaeological debate); is reasonably well presented and contains appropriate references and bibliography, but makes some mistakes in presentation or appropriate use.
(iv) Third-class marks There are three grades for third-class performance: D+ (48%) Work is marked D+ if it: shows evidence of acceptable amounts of reading, but does not go much beyond what was referenced in lecture notes and/or a basic textbook; covers much of the necessary ground but fails to discuss one or a few vital aspects of a topic; deploys relevant material but partly fails to combine it into a coherent whole, or sustains a clear argument only for the greater part of the piece; deploys some evidence to support individual points, but sometimes fails to do so, or shows difficulty in weighing evidence, or chooses unreliable evidence; displays an awareness that the past can be interpreted in different ways but without devoting sustained discussion to this; is for the most part correctly presented but has sections where there are serious problems in presentation, style, spelling, grammar, or paragraph construction (but see section on dyslexia below); and uses references and bibliography where needed but occasionally misunderstands their appropriate use or makes mistakes in their presentation. D (45%) Work is marked D if it: shows evidence of an acceptable minimum of reading, based partly on lecture notes and/or a basic textbook; covers some of the necessary ground but fails to discuss some large and vital aspects of a topic; deploys some relevant material but partly fails to combine it into a coherent whole or sustains a clear argument for only some parts of the piece; deploys some evidence to support individual points but often fails to do so or shows difficulty weighing evidence or chooses unreliable, atypical or inappropriate evidence; shows some awareness that the past can be interpreted in different ways but the differences will not receive sustained discussion or analysis; is often correctly presented but has sections where there are serious difficulties in presentation, style, spelling, grammar, or paragraph construction (but see section on dyslexia below); and uses references and bibliography where needed but sometimes misunderstands their appropriate use or makes serious mistakes in their presentation. D- (42%) Work is marked D- if it: shows evidence of an acceptable minimum of reading, based largely on lecture notes and/or a basic textbook; covers parts of the necessary ground but fails to discuss some large and vital aspects of a topic; deploys some potentially relevant material but fails to bring it together into a coherent whole or sustains a clear argument for only parts of the piece; occasionally deploys evidence to back some individual points but often fails to do so or shows difficulty weighing evidence or chooses unreliable, atypical, or inappropriate evidence; may show some awareness that the past can be interpreted in different ways but the differences will not receive sustained discussion or analysis; is in part correctly presented but has sections where there are serious difficulties in presentation, style, spelling, grammar, or paragraph construction (but see section on dyslexia below); and uses references and bibliography where needed but sometimes misunderstands their appropriate use or makes serious mistakes in their presentation.
(ii) Upper second-class honours There are three grades for upper second-class performance: B+ (68%) Work will receive a B+ mark if it is consistently strong in: covering the necessary ground in depth and detail; advancing a well structured, relevant, and focused argument; analysis and deployment of an appropriate range of historical and/or archaeological evidence and consideration of possible differences of interpretation; and is correctly presented with references and bibliography where appropriate. B (65%) Work will receive a B mark if it: is clear that it is based on solid reading; covers the necessary ground in depth and detail; advances a well-structured, relevant, and focused argument; analyses and deploys an appropriate range of historical and/or archaeological evidence and considers possible differences of interpretation; and is correctly presented with references and bibliography where appropriate. B- (62%) Work will receive a B- mark if it: is clearly based on solid reading; covers the necessary ground in some depth and detail; advances a properly-structured, relevant, and focused argument; analyses and deploys an appropriate range of historical and/or archaeological evidence and considers possible differences of interpretation; and is correctly presented with references and bibliography where appropriate.
Demonstrate an awareness of UK policies and legislation on graffiti and its removal.
Discern the strengths and weaknesses of different theoretical approaches.
Demonstrate a knowledge of the history of graffiti, together with an understanding of the key issues and concepts within modern scholarship in this field.
Demonstrate an understanding of graffiti as a heritage resource.
Demonstrate the ability to contexualize graffiti within an historical and cultural context.
Form effective arguments and support them with relevant evidence.
Demonstrate the ability to identify and record graffiti.
Show a critical awareness of the contentious issues surrounding graffiti and street art as heritage.
|ESSAY||2,000 - 2,500 words||
2,000-3,000 word essay. This essay will test students' knowledge of the relevant historiography. Answers will be graded by considering the scope of reading, comprehension and analysis of historiography, clarity of expression, deployment of relevant evidence and merit of argument. (30% of total mark).
|LOGBOOK OR PORTFOLIO||600-800 word project||
Graffiti project - this takes the form of a gazetteer entry - a visual and written record of a peice (s) of graffiti indentifired by the student's independent research (for inclusion on designated area of the School's webstie (this element forms part of a class project). (20% of the total mark).
|EXAM||Exam (2 hrs)||
Two-hour exam (2 questions) (50% of total mark)
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Two fieldtrips (of four hours each)
8 one-hour seminars
11 one-hour lectures
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
Subject specific skills
- problem solving to develop solutions to understand the past
- understanding the complexity of change over time; in specific contexts and chronologies
- being sensitive to the differences, or the "otherness" of the past, and the difficulty to using it as a guide to present or future action
- being sensitive to the role of perceptions of the past in contemporary cultures
- producing logical and structured arguments supported by relevant evidence
- planning, designing, executing and documenting a programme of research, working independently
- marshalling and critically appraising other people's arguments, including listening and questioning
- demonstrating a positive and can-do approach to practical problems
- demonstrating an innovative approach, creativity, collaboration and risk taking
- presenting effective oral presentations for different kinds of audiences, including academic and/or audiences with little knowledge of history
- preparing effective written communications for different readerships
- making effective and appropriate forms of visual presentation
- making effective and appropriate use of relevant information technology
- making critical and effective use of information retrieval skills using paper-based and electronic resources
- collaborating effectively in a team via experience of working in a group
- appreciating and being sensitive to different cultures and dealing with unfamiliar situations
- critical evaluation of one's own and others' opinions
- engaging with relevant aspects of current agendas such as global perspectives, public engagement, employability, enterprise, and creativity
Resource implications for students
Resource Implications of Proposal and Proposed Solutions: Details on any resources required and how they are to be met should be included. Please also list e.g. core texts; recommended reading material; equipment; films etc.
Introductory Bibliography There is an extensive reading list but core texts include: Austin, J. (2001), Taking the Train: how graffiti art became an urban crises in New York, Columbia University Press Bahn, P. (2002) Ways of Looking at Prehistoric Rock Art, Diogenes 49/1, No 193, 88-93 Beard, M. (2008) Pompeii Benefiel, R. (2010) ‘Dialogues of Ancient Graffiti in the House of Maius Castricius in Pompeii’, American Journal of Archaeology, Vol., 114, No. 1 (Jan), 59-101 Blain, J. & Wallace., R. (2004) ‘Sacred Sites, Contested Rites/Rights: contemporary pagan engagements with the past, Journal of Material Culture, 9, 237-61 Burdick, C. &Vicencio, F. (2015) ‘Popular demands do not fit in ballet boxes’: graffiti as intangible heritage at the Iglesia de San Francisco, Santiago?, International Journal of Heritage Studies, 21:4, 369-389 Byrne, D. (2011) ‘Archaeological heritage and cultural intimacy: an interview with Michael Herzfeld, Journal of Social Archaeology 11 (2), 144-157 Champion, M. (2015) Medieval Graffiti, Ebury Press Conkey, M. W. (2010) ‘Images with Words: the construction of prehistoric imaginaries for definitions of ‘us’, Journal of Visual Culture, 9 (3), 272-283 Craw et al. (2006), ‘The mural as graffiti deterrence’, Environment and Behaviour, 38, (May), 422-434 Drechsel, B. (2010) ‘The Berlin Wall from a visual perspective: comments on the construction of a political media icon, Visual Communication (9) 1, 3-24 Ferrel, J. (1995), ‘Urban Graffiti: crime, control, and resistance’, in Youth and Society, 27, 73-99 Ferrell, J. (1996), Crimes of Style: urban graffiti and the politics of criminality, Boston Fleming, J. (2001), Graffiti and the writing arts of early modern England, London Historic England, (1999) Graffiti on historic buildings and monuments: methods of removal and prevention https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/graffiti-on-historic-buildings-and-monuments/ Lyndon, J. (2005) ‘Driving By: visiting Australian colonial monuments, Journal of Social Archaeology, Vol. 5. (1), 108-134 MacDonald, N. (2002), The Graffiti Subculture: youth, masculinity, and identity in London and New York Merrill,S. (2015) ‘Keeping it real? Subcultural graffiti, street art, heritage and authenticity, International Journal of Heritage Studies, 21:4, 369-389 McCormick, J. &Jarman, N., (2005) ‘Death of a Mural’, Journal of Material Culture, 10 (1), 49-71 Oliver, J. & Neal, T (eds.) (2010), Wild Signs: graffiti in Archaeology and History, Studies in Contemporary Archaeology 6, BAR International Series, 2074 Pritchard, V. (1967) English Medieval Graffiti, Cambridge UniversityPress Rahn, J., (2002), Painting without Permission: hip-hop graffiti subculture, Westport, Conn. Stein, M.B., (1989), ‘The Politics of Humour: The Berlin Wall in Jokes and Graffiti, Western Folklore, 48, No. 2 (April 1989), 85-108 The Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey: http://www.medieval-graffiti.co.uk/ The Suffolk Medieval Graffiti Survey: http://www.medieval-graffiti-suffolk.co.uk/
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- V1V9: BA History with Archaeology with International Experience year 2 (BA/HAIE)
- V1V4: BA History with Archaeology year 2 (BA/HAR)
- V1VK: BA Welsh History with Archaeology year 2 (BA/WHA)
Optional in courses:
- 3QV1: BA History and English Literature year 2 (BA/ELH)
- P3V1: BA Film Studies and History year 2 (BA/FSH)
- V100: BA History year 2 (BA/H)
- V103: BA History and Archaeology year 2 (BA/HA)
- VV41: BA Herit, Archae & Hist year 2 (BA/HAH)
- VV42: BA Heritage, Archaeology & History with International Exp year 2 (BA/HAHIE)
- MVX1: BA History/Criminology year 2 (BA/HCR)
- LV11: BA History/Economics year 2 (BA/HEC)
- RV11: BA History/French year 2 (BA/HFR)
- V1W6: BA History with Film Studies year 2 (BA/HFS)
- V1W7: BA History with Film Studies with International Experience year 2 (BA/HFSIE)
- RV21: BA History/German year 2 (BA/HG)
- 8B03: BA History (with International Experience) year 2 (BA/HIE)
- RV31: BA History/Italian year 2 (BA/HIT)
- V1P5: BA History with Journalism year 2 (BA/HJ)
- VW13: BA History and Music year 2 (BA/HMU)
- RV41: BA History/Spanish year 2 (BA/HSP)
- LVJ1: BA Cymdeithaseg/Hanes year 2 (BA/HSW)
- V140: BA Modern & Contemporary History year 2 (BA/MCH)
- V130: BA Mediaeval and Early Modern His year 2 (BA/MEMH)
- WV33: Music & Hist & Welsh Hist (IE) year 2 (BA/MHIE)
- VVV1: BA Philosophy and Religion and History year 2 (BA/PRH)
- LV31: BA Sociology/History year 2 (BA/SH)
- LV41: BA Social Policy/History year 2 (BA/SPH)
- LVK1: BA Polisi Cymdeithasol/Hanes year 2 (BA/SPWH)
- QV51: BA Cymraeg/History year 2 (BA/WH)
- V104: BA Welsh History and Archaeology year 2 (BA/WHAR)
- VV12: BA Welsh History/History year 2 (BA/WHH)
- V101: MArts History year 2 (MARTS/HIST)