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Global Connections: Understanding Cultural Literacy (IL014)

Please note: this module is currently unavailable


This module is co-taught by a range of leading researchers from Warwick and its partner institution in Australia, Monash University. Through an innovative and research-led discussion format, this module encourages students to share insights as co-collaborators, rather than passive recipients. Through dialogic interrogations of cultural literacy and our many distinct and shared disciplines, students will work with researchers to produce an unique and multifaceted approach to the 'readability' of a range of cultures and cultural objects. The module thus examines questions of cultural literacy through a variety of approaches from different disciplines, and encourages students to integrate personal experiences and reflections with rigorous academic critical analysis. A rich and pluralistic appreciation of the challenges of understanding and acquiring cultural literacy will be relevant to all Warwick graduates in their personal and professional lives.

The module is designed via interdisciplinary study to enable students to make connections between their own discipline/s and the object of study, and so devise original research questions. The module encourages students to:

  • Investigate in detail the means by which different communities value, promote or impede the development of cultural literacy - as seen through the lenses of different disciplines;
  • Understand notions such as the nature of social inclusion/exclusion, citizenship, cultural 'belonging', linguistic, ethnic, and gender communities;
  • Reflect on the generative motivations and features of cultural signs and symbols, and be able to extrapolate the impact of those signs and symbols both synchronically and diachronically;
  • Develop an awareness of how their subject knowledge and disciplinary approach can be made accessible to wider audiences.

Module Structure:

This module consists of ten two-hour sessions, held over an intensive two-week period. Sessions mostly consist of 45-60 minute seminars focusing on a specific problem, concept, or text, and will be led by subject-specific experts from across Monash and Warwick. The rest of each session is devoted to interdisciplinary and student-led discussions and activities that reflect on the presented materials in the context of cultural literacy. The module facilitators guide student discussions in accordance with IATL’s Open Space Learning pedagogical philosophy, enabling students to engage in active discussion and reflection.

Indicative Session Plan (from 2016/2017)

Introductory session: Monday, February 20
Introduction to Culture and Cultural Literacy

Session 2: Tuesday, February 21
Cultural Literacy and Intercultural Competence (with Gabriel Garcia-Ochoa - Monash University)

Session 3: Thursday, February 23
Global Connections

Session 4: Friday, February 24
Interdisciplinary Approaches to Cultural Literacy: Research Methodologies (with Dr. Elena Riva, IATL)

Session 5: Monday, February 27
Reading and Understanding

Session 6: Tuesday, February 28
Global Politics of Eurovision (with Dr. Julie Kalman - Monash University)

Session 7: Thursday, March 2
Reading Cuba (with Dr. Carlos Uxo - Monash University)

Session 8: Friday, March 3
Brexitland (with Dr. Mike Finn, Liberal Arts)

Session 9: Monday, March 6
Reading the Past (with Dr. Gavin Schwartz-Leeper, Liberal Arts)

Final session: Tuesday, March 7

Taster session, recorded 4/6/2014

Module Leaders

Carolin Debray
Carolin Debray
Centre for Applied Linguistics, University of Warwick
E: c dot debray at warwick dot ac dot uk

Birgit Breidenbach
Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, Warwick
E: b dot breidenbach at warwick dot ac dot uk


This module is currently unavailable


This module is currently unavailable


For 15 CATS:

70% - project work (essay and presentation)
30% - reflective journal (2,500 words)

For 12 CATS:

70% - project work (essay and presentation)
30% - reflective journal (2,000 words)