Course Descriptions -Undergraduate


Level I:

CLTR1050  Aspects of Brazilian Culture I:
This course is designed for the student with little or no background in Brazilian History and Culture. It approaches basic elements of Brazilian culture in order to understand the historical and cultural backgrounds and aspects of the “continental” country Brazil - the only Portuguese speaking country in the Americas. Different influences from Africa, Europe and Asia are critically analysed.

CLTR1501 Topics in African Cultural Traditions
This course explores the diversity of African cultural traditions. It begins with an exploration of African historiography and then turns to an examination of the dynamics of cultural change and development as a result of European imperialism and de-colonisation. The course will rely heavily on an array of regional case studies, African literature, film and music to further explore a range of cultural practices on the continent. We will be especially concerned with understanding the cultural significance of the performative and creative arts in the construction of African identities.

CLTR1505:  Cultural Studies and Caribbean Dance
The movement expressions of the Caribbean have often been problematically dubbed as “folk or ethnic dance”. Using conceptual frameworks provided by Cultural Studies this course explores the popular social dance forms of the Caribbean through a careful examination of the history and aesthetic principles that have guided their development and popularization. To this end, the course introduces students to a range of dance forms and later maps the stylisation process they undergo as they are moved from the streets into the studio and on to the stage.

CLTR1100:  Culture and Identity
This course introduces students to the debates surrounding the formation of cultural identities. The course will demonstrate that both culture and identity are contested entities as students are shown the ways in which various, and oft times contradictory narratives of culture, shape the construct of identities. It will address such issues as the relation between culture as lived experience and institutional or sanctioned versions of Culture. It will also examine the ways in which our sense of identity and belonging are formed as well as how new cultural texts emerge to subvert dominant ideologies.

Level II

CLTR2000: Thinking Culture Debates and Perspectives
This course introduces students to key concepts in the study of culture. Students will assess how culture is conceptualised and will analyse the approaches adopted by the various disciplines. Such concepts such as high and low culture, mass culture and subculture will be examined, as well as the perspective of culture as the ordinary, or lived experience. Emphasis will be placed on reading culture as a text as students examine how culture and cultural practices are manifested. Consequently, students will focus, for example, on key practices within youth culture and in the media as they assess how the narrative of identity is constructed 
through the cultural text. 

CLTR 2010: Global Media and Caribbean Culture
In this course students will explore the ways the media shapes ideas about Caribbean culture, particularly AngloCaribbean culture. Drawing from readings in communication and cultural studies, as well as examples from a variety of mass media, the course examines the mass mediated production of Caribbean culture under three broad headings: Representations of the Caribbean, Media Flows into the Caribbean, and The Caribbean on the World Stage. This course takes a critical approach to the study of production, content and consumption of mass mediated messages about the Caribbean.

CLTR2050: Aspects of Brazilian Culture II​
This course builds on CLTR1050 by providing students with a more in-depth examination of contemporary Brazilian culture and history. It foregrounds an analysis of popular cultural manifestations and examines how they intersect with broader issues of race, nation and gender. The different influences from Africa, Europe and Asia that have shaped the “continental” culture thadeveloped in Brazil will also be critically analysed.

CLTR2100 : Festivals, Rituals and Caribbean Society
In this course, students will examine the ways in whichCaribbean festivals and rituals provide roots/ routes to understanding Caribbean society and culture. Emphasiswill be placed on masquerade as students consider how it provides access to understanding the historical narrative in the Caribbean, as well as debates surroundingCaribbean identity/ties. A Pan-Caribbean approach will be adopted allowing students to analyse a variety of traditional, community, religious, and national festivals
within the region and the diaspora.

CLTR2401:  Popular Culture and Consciousness in 20th Century South Africa
This course examines the forms and institutions of popular culture in South Africa as these emerged in a context of political resistance.

CLTR2402: Caribbean Intellectual Traditions
This course introduces students to the study of CaribbeanIntellectual Traditions through a charting of itsintellectual history. It allows students to interrogate keytheories employed in the examination of Caribbeanculture, through the writings of cultural theorists,
philosophers, social theorists, historians, politicalthinkers, poets and novelists. These intellectual traditions are critically assessed in order to illustrate how Caribbean thinkers ideas about their region and the world.

CLTR2405: Religion and Ritual in Contemporary Africa
This course is designed to introduce students to Africanreligious practices. The purpose is to examine initiationrites, ceremonies and rituals that mark the socialtransformation of individuals within specific Africansocieties. It further examines the ways in which religiouspractices serve to mediate the negotiations of traditionaland contemporary African life. Case studies and films from different regions will anchor discussions of the cultural, socio-political, psychological, historical and economic dimensions of rituals and religious life in Africa.

CLTR2500:  Introduction to Caribbean Cultural Studies
This course intends to introduce students to the main cultural practices in the Caribbean and to relate them tothe study of culture in general and the Caribbean inparticular. Students will be expected to analyse theimpact of race, class and gender experiences in Caribbeancultural practices, and to interpret cultural expression inits broadest political sense. Students will also be expectedto show familiarity with the leading intellectual interpretations of Caribbean culture.

Level III

CLTR3100: Theorising Caribbean Culture
This course allows students to interrogate key theories employed, in the examination of Caribbean culture.Theorists such as Benitez Rojo, Edouard Glissant, Kamau Brathwaite, Eudine Barriteau, Rhoda Reddock, ShalaniPuri, Rex Nettleford, Frantz Fanon and aureenWarner-Lewis will be examined. Students will analyse the writings of cultural theorists, sociologists, historians,political scientist, poets, novelists, calypsonians, reggaeand dancehall artists as they seek to understand howthese individuals have defined the Caribbean and have helped to shape our understanding of Caribbean culture and identity.

CLTR3101: Race, Nationalism and Culture
This course examines the idea of race and nationalismfrom a cultural studies perspective. Critical attention willbe given to the intersection between discourses of race and nationalism, and their linkages to global economicexploitation. The relationship between imperialism and understandings of cultural sovereignty fashioned by theanti-colonial intelligentsia is a key feature of the course. Close attention will be paid to the connection between the rise of both the modern state and the concept of race,as well as race as representation.

CLTR3102: Exhibiting Culture: Representation, Tourism and Heritage
This course examines processes and issues related to thepublic display of culture. It seeks to theorize the political economy of exhibiting and performing cultures across arange of diverse settings including: world fairs, museumvenues, cultural festivals, art galleries, tourist floor shows, trade fairs, and theme parks. Topics will include the history of such displays and associated nstitutions,the relationship between these institutions and their communities, the differences among the distinct exhibitionary frames, the patterns of consumption and production, and the diverse communicative processes involved in interpreting and experiencing the display and associated institutions,the relationship between these institutions and theircommunities, the differences among the distinct exhibitionary frames, the patterns of consumption and production, and the diverse communicative processes involved in interpreting and experiencing the display andassociated institutions,the relationship between these nstitutions and their communities, the differences among the distinct exhibitionary frames, the patterns of consumption and
production, and the diverse communicative processes involved in interpreting and experiencing the display and performance of culture.

CLTR3103: Black Popular Culture
This course examines ideas, performances anddepictions of black popular culture from the beginning of the twentieth century into the early twenty-firstcentury. Special emphasis will be placed on analysing key events and movements in the history of fricandiaspora popular culture. Additionally, public andtextual criticism, and audience reception of a variety ofAfrican diaspora images and representations in popular literature, music, film, television, and art will constitute the focus of the course.

CLTR3110: The Sacred Arts of the Black Atlantic
This course examines the aesthetics and performativedimensions of Black Atlantic sacred expressions. In itsinterdisciplinary treatment of the diverse Africanderivedritual traditions of the Caribbean, Brazil and theSouthern United States, emphasis is placed on the complex interplay of continuity and change in the forms,beliefs and iconography of syncretic performance-based religions.

CLTR3200: Brazilian Film​
The aim of this course is to provide a thoroughknowledge base of the Brazilian film production of thelast decades, inserting and understanding it in a contextwhere aspects of Brazilian History and Culture areconsidered at the same time. Topics will include a briefHistory of the Brazilian Film and an analysis of differenttendencies in Brazilian cinema, dividing the selected films into thematic groups.

CLTR3500: Discourses in Cultural Studies
The course is intended to introduce students to the expanse of the Cultural Studies disciplinary terrain, itsmethods of inquiry, its c contribution and essential nature. This will be achieved by close examination of theprocess of institutionalization and the spread of Cultural Studies throughout the northern and southern hemispheres.


Faculty of Humanities and Education
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