Anglophone Cultures II

A.Y. 2015/2016
Overall hours
Learning objectives
Focusing on the literary and non-literary works, films, discourses, art forms and cultural practices of the Anglophone countries which are taken as case studies in the syllabus, this course aims to contextualize them against the complex political and cultural histories of these countries, rooted in the fraught, divisive experiences of colonization, empire, decolonization and globalized contemporaneity. The course aims to provide the students with an inter- and cross-cultural awareness, as well as to enhance their critical knowledge and understanding of these themes, which are increasingly relevant to our current experience of the global, with its claims and alterities, and enduring inequalities. These aims are pursued through the methodological and critical tools of cultural studies, which, combined here with postcolonial theory, privilege multicultural and interdisciplinary perspectives meant to develop an understanding of ideological, political and socio-spatial relations, and highlight the relations among culture(s), beliefs, literatures, genres, social and discursive practices and paradigms, and the production and consumption of cultural products. By fostering active participation from the students, the course aims to enhance their critical analytical skills, their ability to make independent judgements and organize their own work and study projects, and encourages an advanced ability to recognize differences and make thoughtful connections among divergent forms, genres, practices, identities and cultures.

Objectives include:

Knowledge and understanding - Students will gain knowledge and critical understanding of:
- a range of cultural practices, productions (visual art, films, writing, performances), and literary genres and texts, primarily in English
- selected Cultural Studies approaches to, and debates on, contemporary issues and contexts relevant to the themes of the course
- selected theoretical paradigms and current debates in Postcolonial Theory relevant to the topics at issue
- the contested legacies of colonisation and decolonisation, and their impact on non-Western paths to globalisation
- Postcolonial geographies, space and place

Depending on the specific focus of the programmes, a variety of other relevant notions and issues may be presented and analysed. These include, but not exclusively:
- notions of empire, post-empire, post-colonialism, and the language(s) of the empire
- notions of power, ideology, hegemony and the ways they are reflected in and across cultures
- the issues of indigeneity, identity, alterity, difference, hybridity
- the issues of race, ethnicity, multiculturalism, and cosmopolitanism
- the issues of borders, migration, exile, diaspora, memory, and representation
- the conditions of cultural production and consumption of cultural products
- the discourses and practices of dissent and resistance
- old and contemporary slaveries

Applying knowledge and understanding - Students will apply their acquired knowledge and understanding to:
- in-depth close reading and critical analysis of cultural productions and literary texts
- retrieve, select, synthesise, compare, evaluate and organize information
- debate and discuss relevant texts and issues in the class and in groups
- produce oral and written work, and PowerPoint presentations, consistent with the topics of the course

Making judgements - Students will acquire the following skills relevant to making judgements:
- adopt and transfer intercultural and plural perspectives of analysis
- develop comprehensive analytical and critical attitudes towards a diversity of cultural productions and literary texts
- draw comparisons and establish connections between the various contexts under scrutiny and their own situated experience
- demonstrate an awareness of different perspectives, and experiment with a diversity of approaches to selected issues consistent with the course

Communication skills - The course will enable students to:
- present their own work to an audience of peers
- organise and structure group work among peers
- use IT technology to support both academic work and networking

Learning skills -Through active participation and independent work, students will be able to:
- undertake further study with a higher degree of intellectual curiosity, autonomy, and ability to discriminate
- transfer the acquired skills to related fields of analysis
- apply multiple methodologies and a consistent approach to their dissertation and post-graduate research.
Expected learning outcomes
Acquired knowledge and skills will match the objectives of the course by allowing students to select, contextualise, critically analyse, evaluate and discuss the thematic threads, the cultural practices, discourses and productions of selected English-speaking countries showing an awareness of their historical, political, social and cultural backgrounds. This will be done from a variety of perspectives and using the methodological approaches of Cultural Studies and Postcolonial Theory.
The acquisition of these skills will be fostered by encouraging the students to form independent judgements and engage in active participation and dialogue, and by enabling them to draw comparisons and unravel the connections between a given Anglophone context, analysed in both its local and global dimensions, and their own culture and experiences, according to a cross-cultural perspective which will enhance their ability to compare and assess different histories, ideologies, claims, cultural practices, and the way they offer thoughtful responses to the main issues of the present.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Teaching Unit 1
L-LIN/10 - ENGLISH LITERATURE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Teaching Unit 2
L-LIN/10 - ENGLISH LITERATURE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours