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Courses / Modules / HIST1189 Content and discontent: Culture and British society, 1815-1914

Content and discontent: Culture and British society, 1815-1914

When you'll study it
Semester 2
CATS points
ECTS points
Level 4
Module lead
Hannah Young
Academic year

Module overview

This module will explore British culture(s) at a time of massive transformation. We often associate culture with forms of relaxation, art or entertainment. But culture is, and was, about far more than that. It is not just a set of things, whether that’s paintings, songs or literature. At its heart, culture is about the production and exchange of shared meaning. This, of course, is a process that is often contested. In the period between 1815 and1914 ‘culture’ performed a number of different functions and constructed many different kinds of meanings and identities. It could transgress, or reaffirm, social boundaries: challenge political convention, or work against social change. This module will examine a range of different cultural forms, from sport, museums and the musical hall to queer subcultures and the custom of charivari, interrogating the different ways these both shaped, and were shaped by, Victorian and Edwardian ideas about gender, race, class, nation and empire. Using a variety of sources, including travel narratives, photography, material culture and media, Content and discontent will explore how nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Britons understood both the world around them and themselves.

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