This course is devoted to Cultural Studies an academic discipline which combines anthropology, literary theory, sociology, political economy, social-science history, philosophy, to study cultural phenomena in societies. The course departs from basic theoretical distinctions such as postmodernism (social theory and systems of analysis), postmodernity (historical period or characteristics of society) and postmodern condition (new forms of knowledge). While inhabiting globalising scenery, and having parted with meta-narratives, postmodern subject enjoys/struggles with a multiplicity of perspectives on meaning that emerged with the end of the 'grand narratives' of liberalism, socialism and Marxism. These challenges account for why no single sociological approach can provide answers or even ask all relevant questions.
The postmodern explosion of a 'society of the spectacle' and postmodern subjectivities (the issues of identity, self and desire) will (re)introduce students to the work of leading modernist and postmodernist writers like Roland Barthes, Walter Benjamin, Antonio Gramsci, Pierre Bourdieu, Giles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, Michel de Certeau, Stuart Hall, Bruno Latour, Meaghan Morris, Gayatri Spivak, Paul Gilroy, Judith Butler, Raymond Williams, and others.
The increasingly plural and fragmenting social reality generates new topics for sociological analysis: space and time in the global world, cybercultural reality, new approaches to leisure, tourism, subcultures and cultural subversion, youth and adulthood in the consumerist society, gender as a social practice, gendered experience of the body as key elements of social persons, social practices affecting the body, and visual culture and visual representation.
Central in this course is the concept of culture within (post)modern societies from an interdisciplinary perspective (i.e. sociology, anthropology, cultural geography, history, literary theory, and psychology). The term culture has a complex history and several meanings in the present-day discourse. For this reason, the course opens with an overview of various concepts and notions related to the idea of culture. Questions which among others will be asked are: How do people constitute parts of culture? How can different cultures be understood? Why are certain forms of culture valued more than others? In order to better comprehend the functioning of culture attention will be paid to such issues as ‘communication and representation’ (language, signs, semiotics) and ‘culture, power and inequality’ (or: how is cultural inequality generated and reproduced). This is stressed in a handbook and the reader students have to study. Lectures, films and documentaries will supplement these readings
1. Course Outline - SSCANTH306 Advanced Cultural Studies - Fall 2019.pdf1. Course Outline - SSCANTH306 Advanced Cultural Studies - Fall 2019.pdf