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An introduction to Cultural Studies, emphasising aspects of the field that are most pertinent to English Studies: the textuality of culture, cultural history, and cultural value and taste.
This course is an introduction to Cultural Studies. The focus is on the textuality and readability of culture, looking at how our everyday life is a constant exercise in encoding and decoding our cultural environment, including elements that are commonly thought to be ‘natural’. While the course reads many different types of cultural ‘texts’ – including television programmes, films, advertising campaigns, theatrical performances, print publications, websites, museums, zoos and tourist enterprises – it does so with the aim of explaining in accessible ways the theories and concepts that characterize cultural studies as a field.Topics for 2018 include the following: how to ‘read’ culture; popular culture; digital culture and video games criticism; ecocriticism; nature and culture; taste and camp; nostalgia and kitsch; good taste and bad taste; sentiment; Human-Animal Studies; sex and gender; and the secret life of ‘things’.(Image: "Mona" by Incase, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.)
In this course you will learn: awareness of the ways in which cultural texts may be produced and received in different times and places; knowledge of the debates surrounding competing notions of ‘culture’, ‘cultural value’ and ‘taste’; improved capacity to think about the processes by which cultural phenomena carry the values and anxieties of the societies from which they emerge; understanding and ability to make use of various concepts and methods integral to cultural studies analysis.
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Students must attend one activity from each section.
All readings will be provided online.
Domestic fee $746.00
International fee $3,038.00
* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.
For further information see
Humanities and Creative Arts.