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The University of Southampton

LANG6023 Nation, Culture, Power

Module Overview

This module offers an in-depth exploration of three concepts that have shaped the modern world: nation, culture, and power. Drawing on staff expertise in cultural and critical theory, the module will investigate the key questions that worldwide thinkers and activists have asked about the fluid concepts of nation, culture, and power, and the theories they have proposed to understand our place within them. Specific topics might include, for example, cultural identity, patriotism and nationalism, racism and empire, gender and feminist thought, queer identity, disability and political resistance. Seminars and individual tutorials are centred on locating your own academic interests within these worldwide theories and concepts. In this way, the module provides you with new and exciting ways of approaching your studies, enhancing your research in other modules and in your dissertation. In addition, the module will significantly strengthen your transferable skills of critical thinking, analysis, debate, and communication of complex concepts, which will serve as an ideal foundation for both advanced study and entrance into the workplace.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • advanced conceptualisations, theories and debates around nationhood, culture, identity, imperialism, colonisation, migration and globalisation
  • working and thinking globally and across cultures, at an advanced level
  • how culture manifests and is disseminated through global exchange and encounter, at an advanced level
  • how to engage critically with high-level theoretical scholarship.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • evaluate advanced theoretical approaches to nationhood, culture, power and identity
  • communicate a high-level academic argument in written and oral form
  • demonstrate confidence and skill when engaging in high-level academic discussion and debate
  • interpret and reflect critically, at an advanced level, on a range of global cultural texts and case studies
  • employ critical and cultural theory in high-level analysis of cultural trends, narratives and texts
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • communicate complex, advanced ideas and arguments in an essay format
  • communicate advanced, complex ideas and arguments orally
  • identify, select and draw upon a wide range of printed and electronic sources
  • reach an advanced level of global and cultural awareness
  • manage deadlines and make effective use of your time
  • engage in advanced debate around complex, high-level ideas and theories
  • engage in high-level analysis of texts/case studies and arguments


The module will cover two broad and overlapping thematic areas: Culture and Nation, and Culture and Power. The precise syllabus will change year-to-year, but the Culture and Nation portion might include, for example, theories and concepts of nationhood, national and cultural identity, nationalism, nation-building, the transnational and culture as a concept. The Culture and Power portion might include, for example, theories and concepts of race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, disability, socioeconomic class, colonialism and postcoloniality, violence, authoritarianism and resistance.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, seminars and individual tutorials, alongside in-depth independent study.

Guided independent study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Lemert, Charles et al, eds (2010). Globalization: A Reader. 

Levitt, Peggy, ed. (2008). The Transnational Studies Reader: Intersections and Innovations. 

Davis, Lennard J., ed. (2017). The Disability Studies Reader. 

Davis, Angela Y. (1981). Women, Race and Class. 

Billig, Michael (1995). Banal Nationalism. 

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

Collins, Patricia Hill (1998). It’s all in the family: intersections of gender, race, and nation. Hypatia. ,13 , pp. 62-82.

Hall, JR, et al, eds (2010). Routledge Handbook of Cultural Sociology. 

Longhurst, Brian et al, eds (2008). Introducing Cultural Studies. 

Young, Robert (1981). Untying the Text: A Poststructuralist Reader. 

Kafer, Alison (2013). Feminist, Queer, Crip. 

Muñoz, José Esteban (2009). Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity. 

Mbembe, Achille (2013). Critique of Black Reason / Critique de la raison nègre. 

Edelman, Lee (2004). No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive. 

Anderson, Benedict (1983). Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. 

Paul Gilroy (1993). The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. 

Couldry, Nick (2000). Inside Culture: Re-imagining the Method of Cultural Studies. 

McGrew, Tony, Stuart Hall and David Held, eds (1992). Modernity and its Futures: Understanding Modern Societies. 

Williams, Patrick and Laura Chrisman, eds (1993). Colonial Discourse and Postcolonial Theory: A Reader. 

Cabral, Amílcar (1972). The role of culture in the struggle for independence / O papel da cultura na luta pela independência. 

Williams, Raymond (1989). Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. 

Yuval-Davis, Nira (1997). Gender and Nation. 

Cohen, Robin (2001). Global Diasporas: An Introduction. 

Samuels, Ellen (2014). Fantasies of Identification: Disability, Gender, Race. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework plan 20%
Essay  (4000 words) 80%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 hours) 80%
Individual Presentation  (10 minutes) 20%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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