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Předmět, akademický rok 2022/2023
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Cultural Studies: An Introduction - JTB312
Anglický název: Cultural Studies: An Introduction
Zajišťuje: Katedra ruských a východoevropských studií (23-KRVS)
Fakulta: Fakulta sociálních věd
Platnost: od 2022
Semestr: zimní
E-Kredity: 6
Způsob provedení zkoušky: zimní s.:
Rozsah, examinace: zimní s.:1/1, Zk [HT]
Počet míst: 37 / neurčen (37)
Minimální obsazenost: neomezen
Virtuální mobilita / počet míst pro virtuální mobilitu: ne
Stav předmětu: vyučován
Jazyk výuky: angličtina
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Poznámka: předmět je možno zapsat mimo plán
povolen pro zápis po webu
Garant: doc. Maria Alina Asavei, D.Phil.
Vyučující: doc. Maria Alina Asavei, D.Phil.
Třída: Courses for incoming students
Neslučitelnost : JMMZ236
Soubory Komentář Kdo přidal
stáhnout JMMZ236 2015 outline.doc Course outline + reading lists + essay topics Mgr. Jan Váška, Ph.D.
Anotace - angličtina
Poslední úprava: doc. Maria Alina Asavei, D.Phil. (21.09.2023)
This introductory course attempts to illuminate and disentangle why we need a concept of culture and what kind of
concept of culture we need in order to understand and/or explain social and political phenomena. It introduces
students to various conceptions of culture, methods of analysis, analytical techniques, and interpretative strategies
through which we can understand our social and political world. Please note! This course attempts to engage the
theory, methodologies and interpretation of Cultural Studies. It is not a course about studying "other cultures" or
intercultural communication.

Office Hours: Thursday 10.30- 12.30 (please e-mail me by 11 a.m. at the latest on Wednesday to let me know when you are coming to consult with me. 98022179@fsv.cuni.cz).
Cíl předmětu - angličtina
Poslední úprava: doc. Maria Alina Asavei, D.Phil. (21.09.2023)
At the end of this course, students are expected to use interdisciplinary perspectives to explore cultural production from various regions and contexts. They will learn how to use various methodologies to inquire into Cultural Studies and to combine cultural and other approaches in their research papers. At the same time, students are expected (at the end of the course) to be familiar with Cultural Studies' terminology and concepts for a unique research problem (eg modernity - post-modernity, deconstruction, Marxism-ideology, power-agency, hegemony ) -resistance, identity-subjectivity, myth-symbol, high and popular culture, popular culture and populism and so on)
Podmínky zakončení předmětu - angličtina
Poslední úprava: doc. Maria Alina Asavei, D.Phil. (21.09.2023)

Class Requirements:

I am always available for consultations during office hours. Attendance to classes is mandatory. Class participation is also mandatory, as well as a 20-minute presentation based on the assigned readings. You are also expected to write a final paper (approximately 3000 words). For this final paper, you will choose a topic from our course material or something of interest to you. In this final research paper, you are expected to integrate both the theory and practice of Cultural Studies (theory and one or more case studies). 


Grading Policy:

Grades will be assessed according to the following scale:

Class participation: 20%

Class presentation / Response Papers: 30%

Final Paper: 50%




A - "excellent - A"


B - "excellent - B" - "excellent - B"


C - "very good - C" - "very good - C"


D - "very good - D" - "very good - D"


E - "good - E" - "good - E"


F - "failed - F" - "failed - F"


 Detailed Description of the Grades;


A - Excellent performance. The student has shown originality and displayed an exceptional grasp of the material and a deep analytical understanding of the subject.


B- Good performance. The student has mastered the material, understands the subject well and has shown some originality of thought and/or considerable effort.


C- Fair performance. The student has acquired an acceptable understanding of the material and essential subject matter of the course, but has not succeeded in translating this understanding into consistently creative or original work.


D- Poor. The student has shown some understanding of the material and subject matter covered during the course. The student's work, however, has not shown enough effort or understanding to allow for a passing grade in the School Required Courses. It does not qualify as a passing mark for General College Courses and Electives.


F - Fail. The student has not succeeded in mastering the subject matter covered in the course.


For more details on the evaluation system see Dean's provision   https://www.fsv.cuni.cz/opatreni-dekanky-c-172018aj  .


Metody výuky - angličtina
Poslední úprava: doc. Maria Alina Asavei, D.Phil. (21.09.2023)

We will attempt to integrate voices from multiple disciplines. The course explores how different artifacts and cultural processes are produced, disseminated, apprehended, and used. It also investigates the various dimensions of culture understood in their broader political, social, aesthetic and ethical contexts. We will explore the ways in which the concept of culture has been interpreted from a historical and political perspective. At the same time, we will combine cultural approaches with other approaches from Social Sciences and Humanities to answer and set questions: To what extent and how social and political cultures can be invented, manipulated by elites, transmitted, and dislodged? Is Culture Learned or Invented?Is culture an individual or social construct? Is culture a descriptive or evaluative concept? Is culture uniformly distributed among members of a group? To answer these questions, the course will employ micro-lectures and students' presentations followed by debates and inquiry-based instruction.

This course will be taught IN PERSON. 


Sylabus - angličtina
Poslední úprava: doc. Maria Alina Asavei, D.Phil. (03.11.2022)


1.       No readings. Introductory Lecture


2.       Different Conceptions of “Culture” and “Cultural Studies”

Cultural Studies with “C” or “c”? Why do we need a concept of culture and what kind of concept of culture do we need in order to understand and/or explain social and political phenomena?


Mandatory Readings:

Gayatri Spivak, "Scattered Specifications on the Question of Cultural Studies" in  The Cultural Studies Reader  , Simon During (ed.), Second Edition, London and New York: Routledge, 1999, pp. 169-189.

3. The        Frankfurt School of Critical Theory on Culture Industry

What is "Culture Industry"?

Mandatory Reading:

Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as a Mass Deception,”  The Cultural Studies  , Simon During (ed.), Pp. 31-42

Recommended Reading:

Angela McRobbie, "The Place of Walter Benjamin in Cultural Studies." The Cultural Studies  , Simon During (ed.), Pp.77-97.

Watch Youtube video “The Culture Industry”  : Tyler Stump and Christina Fairchild at the University of Maryland:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE6CGAK0kVY  .


4.        Theories of Popular Culture

Mandatory Reading:    John Storey, "What Is Popular Culture?" 1-16

 (eg pop culture: Mainstream Cinema, Advertisements, Fashion, TV Shows)


Case study: Nissim Otmazgin, "Japanese Popular Culture in East and Southeast Asia: Time for a Regional Paradigm?," The Asia-Pacific Journal , 6(2), 2008

5.     Hegemony and Culture

Reading: Antonio Gramsci,  Prison Notebooks

6.  Counter-Hegemonic Cultures

What is Resistance? What is Cultural Resistance? To what extent counter-hegemonic cultural movements can foster economic, political, social and epistemic justice?

Jocelyn A. Hollander and Rachel L. Einwohner, “Conceptualizing Resistance,”  Sociological Forum  , Vol. 19, No. 4, 2004, pp.  533-554. Stable URL:  http://www.jstor.org/stable/4148828 

Case Study 1  : Counter-cultural music on the US-Mexico border

Counter-Cultural Music Resisting Oppressions on the US-Mexico Borders,  http://hemisphericinstitute.org/hemi/pt/borders-fronteras/item/1131-su10-countercultural-music/1131-su10-countercultural-music

Case Study 2  : Resisting The Hegemonic Regimes of Representation: Critical Art by 'Roma Artists' from Eastern Europe

Maria-Alina Asavei, “Performing Approaches to Identity in Contemporary Roma Art”,  ARTmargins: Central and Eastern European Visual Studies  , MIT Press (online), 2013



7.  Cultural Nationalism and Cultural Identity

In the past, there was "a tendency to identify cultures with nation-states" (Michael Keating: 2008). More recently, culture is conceptualized and explored beyond national divisions in terms of fluid online and offline networks. Is National Culture Over the Advent of Globalization? To what extent can we talk about overcoming the national culture paradigm?

Mandatory Reading:

Gregory Jusdanis, "Beyond National Culture?"  Boundaries 2  , Vol. 22, No. 1 (Spring 1995), pp. 23-60. Stable URL:  http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/303661.pdf

8. Modernism versus Postmodernism

Mandatory Reading:  John Storey, “Postmodernism,” in  Theory and Popular Culture  , 2001  181-184  197-210.

9. Cultures in Exile

How can we understand, interpret and evaluate the formations of cultures beyond the national borders?

Mandatory Reading:  Hamid Naficy, “The Making of Exile Cultures: Iranian Television in Los Angeles,”  The Cultural Studies  , Simon During (ed.), Pp. 537-567.

10.  High Art and Mass Culture

What arguments have historically been used to distinguish between high art and mass culture?

Mandatory Reading:  Raymond Williams, "On High and Popular Culture," 1974, available online at:  https://newrepublic.com/article/79269/high-and-popular-culture

In Class Screening:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lz_UVfNdUV4  (High Art: Low Art)

11. Marxism and Culture

 Mandatory Reading:  John Storey, “Marxism,” in  Cultural Theory and Popular Culture  , 2001  59-88.

12. Recapitulation & discussion of the final papers (topics, arguments, sources and so on)


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