Focusing on the literary and non-literary works, films, discourses, art forms and cultural products and 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, and in line with the avowed educational and vocational objectives of our Master Degree Course, privilege multicultural and interdisciplinary exchanges and perspectives. By fostering active participation from the students, and providing opportunities for advancing spoken English skills, the course sets out to enhance the students' 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, in line with the overall mission of Lingue e Culture per la Comunicazione e la Cooperazione Internazionale.
- 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 in English, relevant to the main themes of the course, which they will approach through the lens of selected Cultural Studies practices and theories. Selected theoretical paradigms and current debates in Postcolonial Theory, as well as the contested legacies of colonisation and decolonisation, and their impact on non-Western paths to globalisation will be also important elements of the course.
- Applying knowledge and understanding - Students will have the opportunity to apply their acquired knowledge and understanding to in-depth close reading and critical analysis of cultural productions and literary texts; to improving their ability to retrieve, select, synthesise, compare, evaluate and organize relevant information and materials; to debating and discussing relevant texts and issues in the class and in groups and producing oral and written work in English, and PowerPoint presentations, consistent with the topics of the course.
- Making judgements - Students will acquire the following skills relevant to making informed and autonomous judgements: by acquiring and developing comprehensive analytical and critical attitudes towards a diversity of cultural productions and literary texts, they will be better equipped to embrace and transfer intercultural and plural perspectives of analysis. The ability to draw comparisons and establish connections between the various contexts under scrutiny and their own situated experience, and the habit to experiment with a diversity of approaches to selected issues consistent with the course will also be major assets in developing judgements skills.
· Communication skills - The course will enable students to enhance their ability to discuss selected topics, present their own work to an audience of peers and engage the audience in fruitful debates, use IT technology to support both academic study, research and networking.
- Learning skills -Through active participation and independent work, students will develop skills which will help them undertake further study with a higher degree of intellectual curiosity, autonomy, and ability to discriminate, transfer the acquired skills to related fields of analysis and apply multiple methodologies and a consistent intercultural 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 enable the students 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, in line with the overall objectives of Lingue e Culture per la Comunicazione e la Cooperazione Internazionale, 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.