This final year module in Film Studies is designed around a student-run editorial process that gives rise to the Mapping Contemporary Cinema website. Work is also submitted to the undergraduate journal Film Matters. The editorial board identifies, edits and develops work from other (research-based) undergraduate modules in order for the best of that work to be published. Students also write editorials identifying key trends and issues in contemporary cinema in order to provide context. It's intended that each year the published work will form a kind of survey of the contemporary scene in the different national cinemas that Film Studies at Queen Mary specializes in teaching. The work aims to direct academic/scholarly work (which tends to take number of years to be formulated) towards current trends and tendencies.
The writing task has driven a different kind of engagement with the subject material/knowledge: more precise (fixing up and clarifying a reference), more opportunist (fixing gaps in another student’s work with quick raids on the critical literature) and in part more expansive (a broader overview of the field is needed to do this well).
You can read a fuller account of the Mapping Contemporary Cinema module here, or take a look a presentation by Guy Westwell, the module convenor, from an event at the University of Limerick in April 2012.