INTRODUCTION TO CULTURAL STUDIES

(lecturer: Rafael Martín calvo)

Course description

Cultural Studies investigates the ways in which "culture” creates and transforms individual experiences, everyday life, social relations and power. In this course, we will explore different sides of our culture at large:

-how cultural ideas, objects and actions are created, and how they interact and arrange the way we percieve our own world (and that of others)

-how our everyday actions (and non-actions) have a wide-ranging set of meanings

-how the different elements of reality can be coded and read as "text”

-how ideas create products and these, in return, affect behaviour

-what sort of relations are established among different categories of people, objects, ideas, etc.


The course requires active participation from the students, as it is based on in-class discussion of the proposed audio-visual materials, and team work. Attendance is mandatory. In addition to class participation, each student will be required to prepare a research paper or multimedia presentation on a particular topic, due at the end of the semester. 


CULTURAL STUDIES: overview of topics

1. The concept of Culture

2. Discourse: culture, power and inequality

3. Binary opposites

4. Representation and visibility

5. The grounds of inequality

1)Race and ethnicity

2)Gender

3)Physical and/or intellectual difference

4)Age

6. The body as site of culture

7. The media and the culture industry

8. Ways of empowerment