Lecture: International Cultural Studies

“Stories we tell ourselves about ourselves”

This quote by Clifford Geertz descibres the general theme of the English-language lecture Internationcal Cultural Studies, which focuses on key ideas, core concepts, and central theories that shape our cultures as well as the ways we act and think. In this weekly course, students will get to know some of the most influental ideas and philosophers of the last 250 years and discuss both the lives, theories, and modern implications of figures such as Rousseau, Gramsci or hooks.

Learning Objectives

  • Students know basic terms, theories, questions, problems, and methods of cultural studies with an international focus in English.
  • Students can explain and discuss historical and social topics in cultural studies and describe their connections in an international context in English.
  • Students extract the content of the English-language lecture and the English-language literature and systematically relate them to each other.
  • Students can apply the basic knowledge in cultural studies (concepts, theoretical approaches, and their relations) they have acquired in the written exam.

Contents of the lecture

  • Introduction to cultural studies with an international focus (ca. 1750-today)
  • Analysis of key terms and concepts (including ethnicity, gender, globalization, identity, ideologies, popular culture, post-colonialism), their meaning, and historical development within cultural studies
  • Introduction to influential thinkers, such as Rousseau, Du Bois, Beauvoir, or bell hooks
  • Overview of structural relationships within international cultural studies
  • Analysis of the subjects of cultural studies within social, ecological, economic, historical, and political structures and institutions
  • Practice in dealing with cultural studies texts as well as discussions in English
  • Familiarization with basic methods and theories of cultural studies