After completing the course, students are able to:
- systematically analyse and historically contextualise the concept of “culture” with the aim of distinguishing and critically evaluating the use and meaning of the term in different theoretical approaches;
- apply the concept of “culture” in a variety of thematic of socio-political contexts with the aim of analysing and interpreting cultural expressions within these contexts;
- interpret reflective texts and essays from past to present, report findings through, amongst other things, group presentations, explicitly explain how they relate to cultural phenomena and, thus, acknowledge their own positions.
The word “culture” refers to the ways in which people give shape to society. Culture determines how people think and feel and what they believe in. However, culture does not only concern ideological matters, but also takes shape on a material level. Thus, culture is also about the techniques developed by people to deal with each other and their surroundings. More specifically, culture refers to artistic expressions. In the past 150 years, the term “culture” has come to include “low” culture. The course will emphasise culture as a dynamic phenomenon. In addition to the historical perspective, students will be introduced to the work of several key philosophers and theorists, including Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, and Fredric Jameson.|