Cultural Studies: Origins, Ideas and New Approaches

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 1
Term 1
Module code
FHEQ Level
School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Module overview

This module is available as an Open Option in MA programmes that allow them.

This module offers a thorough grounding in the origins and development of Cultural Studies as a field, as well as an exploration of the various methodologies employed in the study of cultural production, the media, and the construction of every-day life. The works of key thinkers and practitioners in the field will be examined, alongside their use of critical lenses including identity, race, ideology, power, class, and representation, as well as questions of institutionalisation and disciplinarity. The module aims to test the applicability of these theories and approaches in the contexts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, as well as diasporic situations.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • demonstrate understanding of key Cultural Studies theories applied to the study of Africa and Asia, and show an awareness of the theoretical paradigms on which Cultural Studies is based;
  • acquire a comprehensive understanding of the variety of methodologies that these approaches offer to the students of the cultures of Asia and Africa and their diasporas;
  • evaluate and reflect on the use of Cultural Studies approaches and methodologies in the student’s areas of research;
  • demonstrate advanced communication skills.


This module will be taught over 10 weeks with 2 hours of classroom contact per week consisting of a 1 hour lecture and 1 hour seminar.

Scope and syllabus

Cultural studies theories, practices, and methodologies; Western epistemologies and their applicability in non-Western contexts; identity, race, class, power, ideology, representation

Method of assessment

  • 1 x reaction paper (800 words) due Term 1, Week 5, Monday (20%)
  • 1 x reaction paper (800 words) due Term 1, Week 8, Monday (20%)
  • 1 x essay (2,500 words) due Term 2, Week 1, Monday (60%)

Suggested reading

A full reading list will be made available at the start of the module.


Professor Rachel V Harrison


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules