Culture, Politics and the University (942Q3A)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

We live, work and study in the midst of the large-scale transformation of education at local, national and international levels. A related (but not identicial) development is the growing, although certainly not new, 'crisis' of the humanities characterised by myriad explanations of just what it is that we do and by contentious justifications for just why do we do it. As students and scholars of literature and culture, we may wonder how these two interrelated phenomena came into being and what exactly the study of literatures and cultures can contribute to their resolution. This module will take on these questions through a range of approaches. We will consider the origins of the European research university and its connections to moral philosophy, the relatively recent development of the study of 'English' in the UK and its former colonies, the relationship between higher education and the 20th century welfare state, the uses of literary and cultural study as parts of social movements within and outside of the University, and contemporary debates about the privatisation and market-rationalisation of education.


100%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Portfolio)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 278 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2022/23. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.