ENGL132-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018

Cultural Studies: Reading Culture

15 points
16 Jul 2018 - 18 Nov 2018


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; ideology; nature and culture; sex and gender; subculture; digital culture; environments and ‘things’; humans and (other) animals; extinction and survival; popular culture; good taste and bad taste; and sentiment and nostalgia.

This course can be used towards an English major or minor. BA students who major in English would normally take at least two 100-level 15 point ENGL courses (which must include at least one of the following: ENGL117, ENGL102 or ENGL103), at least three 200-level 15 point ENGL courses, and at least two 300-level 30 point ENGL courses. Please see the BA regulations  or a student advisor for more information.

(Image: "Mona" by Incase, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.)

Learning Outcomes

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.


Equivalent Courses

Timetable 2018

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 11:00 - 12:00 A4 Lecture Theatre 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 13:00 - 14:00 A4 Lecture Theatre 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 15:00 - 16:00 Putaiao Koiora 275 23 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
02 Friday 11:00 - 12:00 Jack Erskine 101 23 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Erin Harrington


Philip Armstrong


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Take-Home Test 25%
2000 Word Essay 35%
Take-Home Test 40%


All readings will be provided online.

Course links

Library portal

Indicative Fees

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.

All ENGL132 Occurrences

  • ENGL132-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018