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The University of Southampton
Courses

LANG1004 Reading Culture

Module Overview

This introductory course will give you an overview of the history of literary and cultural studies, and to make you aware of a range of different approaches to cultural texts.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the intellectual history of cultural criticism;
  • the role of culture in identity formation; the social and political functions of culture and criticism;
  • the importance of historical and national contexts in reading cultural texts;
  • the implications of working across cultures and across different cultural forms,
  • ethical issues involved in the study of culture.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • analyse complex material;
  • work independently, organising your time effectively.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • make distinctions between theories of production and consumption of culture;
  • critically evaluate the relationship between text and context;
  • select an appropriate critical method for the analysis of a specific text or texts.

Syllabus

This introductory module aims to give you an overview of the history of literary and cultural studies, and to make you aware of a range of different approaches to cultural texts. It aims to encourage you to experiment in choosing different critical approaches, and to learn to think consciously about which critical approach(s) might be appropriate in relation to which particular texts. It will train you in close textual reading as well as in analysis of the relationship between texts and their specific cultural contexts. You will be encouraged to take responsibility for selecting an appropriate critical method for the analysis of a specific text or texts. You will learn to analyse fiction, poetry, film, photography, and of course cultural criticism. In addition, the module will expose you to a range of texts in French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese, taught in English translation. You will be expected to read and cite texts in the particular language(s) you are studying in the original.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • weekly lecture and seminar Learning activities include • small group work • individual presentations • independent learning

TypeHours
Completion of assessment task40
Lecture12
Revision40
Follow-up work4
Preparation for scheduled sessions2
Seminar12
Wider reading or practice40
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Barry, Peter (1995). Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory. 

Rivkin, J. and Ryan, M. (1998). Literary Theory: An Introduction. 

Hall, Stuart (ed.) (1997). Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. 

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback • Group discussion in seminars

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 60%
Reading diary  (2000 words) 40%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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