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Introduction to British and American Culture

Class at Faculty of Arts |


OBJECTIVES 1. To acquaint students with modern views of culture, multiculturalism, ethnicity, nation and cultural region applied to the English-speaking countries, especially Britain and the U.S. 2. To promote the understanding of the diversity of the English-speaking countries, historical developments and contemporary dynamics of their cultures 3. To outline relationships between literature and communication technologies (writing, printing press).

Individual Topics:

- Introductory: Concepts and Forms of Culture, Understanding Culture in Britain and in the U.S.

- Nation / State

- Culture and Communication

- Culture and Politics in the UK

- Culture and Politics in the UK

- Cultural Diversity of the English Speaking Countries: England vs. Britain

- Cultural Diversity of the English Speaking Countries: Celtic Cultures

- Cultural Diversity of the English Speaking Countries: Commonwealth Countries

- Cultural Diversity of the English Speaking Countries: Cultural Regions in the U.S.

- Multiculturalism and Ethnicity: "New Britain" problems of national and cultural identity

- Multiculturalism and Ethnicity in the U.S.



Study materials available to the students who have signed up for the course (i.e. ppt presentations of lectures) on moodle.

Recommended reading:

Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities (London: Verso, 1991)

Matthew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy and Other Writings, ed. Raymond Geuss, Quentin Skinner (Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press, 1993)

Sacvan Bercovitch, The Rites of Assent: Transformation of the Symbolic Construction of America (New York: Routledge, 1993)

Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994)

Joe Cleary and Claire Connolly, The Cambridge Companion to Modern

Irish Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005)

Charles Crow (ed.), A Companion to the Regional Literatures of America (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2003)

Mike Davis, Dead Cities and Other Tales (New York: The New Press 2002)

Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature (1975), trans. Dana Polan (Minneapolis: University of

Minnesota Press, 1986)

Alison Donnell, Sarah Lawson Welsh (eds.), Reader in Caribbean Literature (London: Routledge, 1996)

Henry Louis Gates, The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African American Literary Criticism (New York: Oxford University

Press, 1989)

Stuart Hall, Paul du Gay (eds.), Questions of Cultural Identity (London: Sage, 1997)

Gary J. Hausladen (ed.), Western Places, American Myths: How We Think about the West (Reno and Las Vegas:

University of Nevada Press, 2003)

Eric Hobsbawm, Terence Ranger (eds.), The Invention of Tradition (1978) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992)

John Koch (ed.), Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopaedia (Santa Barbara: ABC CLIO, 2006)

P.J. Marshall (ed.), British Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996)

Marshall McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1962)

Eugene Moehring, Urbanism and Empire in the Far West (Reno and Las Vegas: University of Nevada Press, 2004)

Francis Mulhern, Culture/Metaculture (London: Routledge, 2000)

Liza Nicholas, Elaine M. Bapis, Thomas J. Harvey (eds.), Imagining the Big Open: Nature, Identity and Play in the New West

(Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press, 2003)

John Oakland, British Civilization (London: Routledge, 1998)

Walter Ong, Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word (London: Methuen, 1982)

Kwesi Owusu (ed.), Black British Culture and Society (London: Routledge, 2000)

Martin Procházka (ed.), After History (Praha: Litteraria Pragensia, 2006)

Edward Said, Orientalism (London and New York: Routledge, 1978)

Anthony D. Smith, The Nation in History: Historiographical Debates about Ethnicity and Nationalism (Hanover: University

Press of New England, 2000)

Richard Sennett, Flesh and Stone: the Body and the City in the Western Civilization (New York and London: W.W. Norton and Co., 1994)

Werner Sollors, Beyond Ethnicity: Consent and Descent in American Culture (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986)

Graeme Turner, British Cultural Studies (London: Routledge,1996)


Credits will be given on the basis of a final test - multiple choice (pass limit 60 per cent; three dates: December, January/February, May/June, two resits).