IDIS 304/3.0 British Studies I
An interdisciplinary introduction to the broad development of British life and culture, focusing on British national identity. The course usually combines British art history, history, literature and geography.
IDIS 304 is an interdisciplinary course that offers a critical overview of British history, culture and politics. Looking at themes such as pop culture, London, British heroes, stereotypes, Britain and the world, national dishes, the royal family and the second world war, it tackles the most famous of British myths, analysing the ingredients of our postcard images of Britishness. At the same time it invites students to think how their own national identities are formed and how their personal experience of Britain develops along the way.
Different theories on identity-making will frame the course, while its material will be derived from history, politics, current affairs, literature, art and popular culture. Particular effort is made to ensure that the course requirements are accessible to those who don’t have background in one or more of the course’s disciplines.
By the end of the course students will have knowledge of:
- British modern history, culture, politics and ideologies
- All contemporary debates on the future of 21st century Britain
- What makes a nation, and how national identities are formed and constantly re-imagined
Students will also have developed their skills in:
- thinking critically about their own identities
- engaging critically with all different types of primary sources
- comparative analysis across national cultures
- imaginative approaches to presenting their research findings
Experiential Learning Opportunities
Potential VELOs for this course include special guest speakers who will present and share research and insight into topics relevant to course content. Examples of previous ELOs for this course include: a walking tour London, from the river Thames and the Houses of Parliament to Downing Street and Trafalgar Square, exploring how identities are projected and how they are experienced by the public and a trip to the Mass Obersvation Archive - the most important archive on modern British popular opinion and everyday life.