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The University of Southampton

TRAN6015 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, 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:

  • Possess a broad, wide-reaching knowledge of critical concepts central to the Transnational Studies MA programme
  • Be fully equipped to take on further MA modules and their dissertations.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Display highly refined skills in analysing cultural trends, narratives and texts, reflected in sophisticated academic writing and presentation
  • Demonstrate confidence and skill when engaging in discussion and debate around the course content
  • Display confidence in engaging with high-level academic and theoretical texts related to the course content
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the location of their own research interests within wider global trends and frameworks, and be able to extrapolate the case studies used in class to their own specific interests and to global current events and trends
  • Demonstrate confidence in presenting ideas in a group environment
  • Have developed their written communication skills
  • Possess highly refined critical thinking skills.


The module will cover two broad and overlapping thematic areas: Culture and Nation, and Culture and Power. The Culture and Nation portion might include, for example, theories and concepts of: nationhood; national and cultural identity; nationalism; nation-building; and the transnational. The Culture and Power portion might include, for example, theories and concepts of: race and ethnicity; gender and sexuality; disability; socioeconomic class; imperialism/colonialism and postimperialism/postcolonialism; war and violence; authoritarianism; and resistance.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, seminars and individual tutorials.

Independent Study128
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Young, Robert, (1981). Untying the Text: A Post-Structuralist Reader. 

Anderson, Benedict (2006). Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. 

Barry, Peter (2009). Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 80%
Student presentation  (10 minutes) 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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