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FASS604 The Analysis of Culture


Module description

Each day will start with an overview lecture on the respective topic. For the second half of the session students will be asked to prepare texts (available from the module's LUVLE site) for both days. The group will be split to prepare one text each, in order to facilitate discussion.

Session 1: What is 'culture'?

Tutors: Charlotte Baker, Cornelia Graebner

This session will focus on influential approaches to 'culture'. Students will be introduced to key interpretations of 'culture' since the 19th century. In the second part of the session students will discuss their prepared readings of key texts by Matthew Arnold and Terry Eagleton.

Session 2: Analysing ' Culture'

Tutors: Charlotte Baker, Cornelia Graebner

This session will focus on three influential approaches to the analysis of 'culture': Students will be introduced to key approaches to the activity of analysing 'culture' or 'cultures'. In the second part of the session students will discuss their prepared readings of key texts by Mieke Bal and Raymond Williams.


Aims and objectives

This module aims to give an interdisciplinary introduction to the concept and study of 'culture' for students who have little or no previous knowledge of the concept and the subject. The first day introduces the concept of culture; the second day introduces approaches to the study of culture.

The selected approaches facilitate the critical analysis of cultural activities in the widest sense. This introductory course is relevant for postgraduate study in various disciplines, such as Area Studies, Cultural Studies, Media Studies, Theatre and Performance Studies, Art History, Geography, History, and Politics.

Compulsory reading will be posted before the course on the course Moodle site. Students are expected to have read and prepared these texts before the class.


Reading list

Arnold, Matthew, Culture and Anarchy and Other Writings. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge UP, 1993

Badmington, Neil and Julia Thomas (eds.), The Routledge Critical and Cultural Theory Reader. London and New York: Routledge, 2008

Bal, Mieke, Travelling Concepts in the Humanities: A Rough Guide. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002

Bal, Mieke, The Practice of Cultural Analysis: Exposing Interdisciplinary Interpretation. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999

Barker, Chris, The Sage Dictionary of Cultural Studies. London: Sage, 2004

Butler, Judith, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. London and New York: Routledge, 2006 [1994]

Butler, Judith, Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex. London and New York: Routledge, 1996

Cixous, Hélène, 'Sorties', New French Feminisms, Elaine Marks and Isabelle de Courtivoron, eds. Brighton: Harvester, 1975, pp. 366-71

During, Simon, The Cultural Studies Reader. London and New York: Routledge, 2007

Eagleton, Terry, The Idea of Culture. Oxford: Blackwell, 2000

Hall, Stuart, Representation and Signifying Practices. London: Sage, 1997

Mikula, Maia, Key Terms for Cultural Studies. London and New York: Routledge, 2008

Williams, Patrick and Laura Chrisman (eds), Colonial Discourse and Postcolonial Theory. London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1993.

Williams, Raymond, Culture and Society, 1780-1950. London: Fontana, 1958

Williams, Raymond, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1983 (2nd edition)


Timing and Location




06/05/15 - 13/05/15

Number of sessions:

2 x 1 hour sessions (ams) and 2 x 3 hour sessions (pms)

Timing and Location:

Wednesdays, 11.00-12.00 and 1.00-4.00, Charles Carter A16


Additional information

Minimum quota: 6

Maximum quota: 25

Charge to non-FASS departments: £178


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Graduate School, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
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United Kingdom

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