Approaches to Society and Culture: Aspects of Nation and Identity



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BMNAN02400 Approaches to Society and Culture

Spring 2015




Approaches to Society and Culture: Aspects of Nation and Identity
Lecturers: Karáth Tamás PhD (tamas.karath@gmail.com) and Pintér Károly PhD (pinter.karoly@btk.ppke.hu)

Classes: Tue 10:15-11:45 am and 12.30-14:00 pm, Sophianum Csapody


Welcome to the lecture surveying English-speaking societies and cultures. The focus of this course will be nation and identity. We will start out from approaches to the concept of nation, and will seek to understand the ways in which some major factors have shaped the sense of a nation and national identities in Britain and the US.
Organization of the course

This is a lecture course in which the presentation of theoretical material will alternate with text discussion classes. The course will conclude with a mini-conference on 12 May, where the course participants will present their research projects. A few tutorials are inserted in the schedule where the project plans and the subsequent stages of the project will be discussed individually.


Requirements and assessment of the course

  • Attendance of the course.

  • Reading the assigned texts for the discussion classes.

  • Submitting a seminar paper of 10-15 pages analysing an aspect of the research project. The seminar papers have to be written according to the formal and editorial standards of the MA thesis guidelines of the Department:

https://btk.ppke.hu/uploads/articles/15981/file/Guidelines%20to%20the%20MA%20Thesis%20on%20Literary%20and%20Cultural%20topics%281%29.pdf

The submission deadline of the first draft papers is 21 April.



  • The ppt presentation of research project at the mini-conference of the last session (12 May). The projects have to be related to issues of nation and national identity in the British/American context. The deadlines of the internal phases of the project in progress (submission of project plan, submission of the outline of the presentation and submission of a draft) will be indicated in the schedule below.



  • The assessment of the ppt presentation will be based on the following parameters:




Aspects of assessment

Maximum point

I. Project

20

1.1 Presenting research question and outlining the problem, thesis

5

1.2 Structure

5

1.3 Methods and use of scholarly literature

4

1.4 Relevance

3

1.5 Conclusions

3

II. Oral Delivery

10

2.1 Fluency, pace, pauses, emphases

4

2.2 Grammar and appropriacy

4

2.3 Audience involvement (contact)

2

III. PPT Design

10

3.1 Esthetic

2

3.2 Visibility of text

2

3.3 Balance of text and images

2

3.4 ppt text (spelling, grammar, style)

4

IV. PPT Structure and Use of Quotes

10

4.1 Cover and contents pages

4

4.2 List of sources

2

4.3 Overall organization

2

4.4 Correct use of sources (indication of the source of quotes, correct quotation marks)

2

total

50




  • The final result will be the average of the seminar paper grade and the presentation result. Active participation in the class discussions and the responses to the assigned readings will also be considered.

Schedule

Feb 10

10.15 (am)

Presentation of the course and the requirements, introductory discussion of an expository text (Julian Barnes: England, England, excerpts)

12.30 (pm)

Lecture: The problem of the Nation in British and US Contexts

Feb 17

10.15 (am)

Discussion of assigned reading: Anthony D. Smith, National Identity. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1991, Chapter 1: “National and Other Identities,” pp. 1-18; Chapter 2: “The Ethnic Basis of National Identity,” pp. 19-42.

12.30 (pm)

First discussion of individual projects

Feb 24

10.15 (am)

Lecture: American Identity: Historical Roots and Contemporary Challenges

12.30 (pm)

Discussion of assigned reading: Samuel Huntington, Who Are We? Simon & Schuster, 2004. Ch. 1. “The Crisis of National Identity” and Ch. 3. “Components of American Identity”

March 3

10.15 (am)

Lecture: The Discourse of the Crisis of British Identity

12.30 (pm)

Discussion of assigned reading: Linda Colley, “Britishness and Otherness: An Argument,” Journal of British Studies 31 (1992): 309-29 (JSTOR)

March 10

10.15 (am)

Lecture: British National Identity and Devolution

12.30 (pm)

Second discussion of individual projects - first outlines

March 17

10.15 (am)

Lecture: Americans and Immigrants: The Boundaries of National Identity

12.30 (pm)

Discussion of assigned text: to be announced

March 24

10.15 (am)

Lecture: British National Identity and Immigration

12.30 (pm)

Discussion of assigned reading: Salman Rushdie, “The New Empire within Britain,” in Salman Rushdie, Imaginary Homelands

http://www.english.ccsu.edu/hegglund/206/rushdie_empire.htm

March 31 and April 7 Spring Break




April 14

10.15 (am)

Lecture: Race and America

12.30 (pm)

Third discussion of individual projects – work-in-progress

April 21

10.15 (am)

Lecture: British National Identity and Religion

12.30 (pm)

Discussion of assigned reading: Steve Bruce, “Religious Culture in Contemporary Britain,” in David Morley and Kevins Robins, eds., British Cultural Studies. Oxford: OUP, 2001, pp. 195-206.

April 28

10.15 (am)

Multiculturalism in Britain v. USA

Discussion of assigned readings:

(1) Egedy Gergely, “A multikulturalizmus dilemmái: Nagy-Britannia példája,” Polgári Szemle 2/6 (2006);

http://epa.oszk.hu/00800/00890/00016/EPA00890_Polgari_Szemle_111.html

(2) Diana Owen, “American Identity, Citizenship, and Multiculturalism” (2005)

http://www.civiced.org/pdfs/germanPaper0905/DianaOwen2005.pdf



12.30 (pm)

Individual discussion of seminar papers

May 5

10.15 (am)

Lecture: The American Civil Religion: Myth or Reality?

12.30 (pm)

Discussion of assigned reading: Richard V. Pierard, “The Role of Civil Religion in American Society” in Derek H. Davis, The Oxford Handbook of Church and State in the United States. OUP 2010, pp. 479–496.

May 12

10.15 (am)

Mini-conference

12.30 (pm)

Mini-conference


Enjoy the course!



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