School-wide modules

School-wide modules cover themes across languages and cultures, bringing together research expertise from around the school.

Jessop West in the sun.

These modules give you the opportunity to broaden your horizons by setting your study of individual languages and cultures into wider cross-national contexts. By looking at sub-disciplines such as film or linguistics across our different languages and cultures you can develop a comparative approach right from the start of your degree.

The modules listed are examples from languages and cultures programmes from previous years. We are constantly reviewing our programmes and module choices may change. For the very latest information, check with the department direct. If you are studying a dual honours programme you will take the core and optional modules for your language(s) up to a total value of 60 credits.

These modules can be taken as part of your optional module/wider University choices for this year.

Title Credits Core/Optional

Understanding Spanish and Latin American Culture

This course examines the literature and film of modern Spain and modern Spanish-speaking Latin America. In each semester, three cultural products from one of these two areas are studied: poetry, film and narrative fiction. We will build up a picture of the cultural history of Spain and Latin America, as well as looking at key themes to emerge from their literary and filmic outputs. By focusing on three different genres in each semester, you will be able to explore different types of cultural product and to build up analytical skills gradually by moving from shorter or visual pieces to a larger body of writing. The knowledge and skills acquired here will underpin the optional modules at level 2 and beyond.

20 Optional

Activism and Social Change

This modules examines how people, individually and collectively, attempt to enact social and political change in society through a number of case studies which will focus on the countries which historically belonged to the Spanish and Portuguese Empires. The module will introduce students to theories of social movements and social change and will critically assess the different strategies which people adopted at different historical moments and in different geographical locations and the success and failure of their activism. Case studies may differ each year but topics may include the following: activism and social change movements in Brazil, climate activism, women’s rights and indigenous people's movements in Latin America, the role of literature/film/music in social activism movements and/or the use of symbols, slogans, the media and new technologies/the internet in order to inspire followers and maintain activist momentum;  the concept of ‘fake news’, the growing belief that the general public no longer give credit to facts or expert opinions and the role of academic research in social change.

20 Optional

The Soviet Union 1917-1991

This module provides an overview of the historical changes affected the territories of the former Russian Empire from the Revolutions of 1917. This includes the dramatic economic, political, demographic, institutional and ideological changes that occurred in the period. Attention will also be paid to the multinational dimension of the USSR and to the international context within which the USSR rose and declined as a power. You will be introduced to some of the various theoretical approaches to the history of the USSR and will be encouraged to develop a critical approach to received categories. 

20 Optional

Introduction to European Cinema

An overview of the theory and practice of Cinema in European languages other than English from its origins to the present day. The module will provide an introduction to film analysis and a general introduction to cinematic technique and history from early silent cinema to contemporary film. Attention will be given to technical developments, questions of genre and artistic movements, and the relationship between cinema and socio-political developments. Topics will include the Russian avant-garde, German expressionism, the French New Wave and Latin American Cinema.
20 Optional

The Czechs in Central European History

This core content module will introduce you to salient aspects of the country's history, society, politics and culture through the study of a range of key texts and media. It will focus on key historical events, the values and ideas that inform these societies today and enable you to learn the interpretative methodologies specific to a range of cultural forms.
20 Optional

French Critical Contexts

This module will focus on two important French texts per semester (with `text¿ taken in its largest sense of book, film, art work, piece of music, cultural product, etc.). Each text will form the basis for a close reading, followed by analyses using French cultural, historical, literary and critical theory approaches as well as adaptations into other media (such as film, art and music) where appropriate. The module will be taught and assessed in English, but the materials will be made available in both French and English, with French students required to use and cite the French materials. The aim of the module is to introduce you to significant French texts and to illustrate and explore a range of possible critical approaches to them, including cross-media or intermedial reinterpretations.
20 Optional

Visions of Germany

Explore the unfolding of German history over the past 100 years through images and film: Expressionist classics of silent film and abstract art, innovation and poverty in the turbulent Weimar era, National Socialist visual propaganda, state-building and reconstruction in East and West after 1945, memorials and changing cityscapes, protest art, as well as recent films about terrorism, the collapse of the GDR, multiculturalism and the “Berlin Republic”.

Open to all, taught in English 

20 Optional

Born out of Revolt & Consensus: the making of contemporary Netherlands & Belgium

The Low Countries have a long history of revolt and rebellion, discussion and debate, but also of consensus and compromise. This turbulent history has led to two of the most progressive societies in Europe, in which debate and protest still thrives. Against the backdrop of battles and mariage politics, we will focus on Low Countries Culture in visual arts, architecture and cinema, as well as on contemprary issues. In the second semester you will pick your own topic to concentrate on. This is a module for everybody with an interest in history, culture, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Full year, taught in English

20 Optional

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Information last updated: 4 February 2021


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