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Online course

Cultural Studies and Modern Languages: an Introduction

Explore the culture, language and national identity of eight countries through their books, images, slogans and monuments

Free:

  • Access to the course for its length + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps)
  • Access to quizzes and assignments
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps)
  • Access to quizzes and assignments
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Cultural Studies and Modern Languages: an Introduction

Why join the course?

Are you interested in other countries? Do you want to study and understand other cultures? This free online course will take you on a journey through a number of periods from the medieval to the modern day, from Russia to Europe and all the way to Latin America.

Explore eight countries

Together we’ll explore eight countries by looking at some of the slogans, books, monuments and images which emerged from them over different historical periods. You will learn about the following topics:

  • Slogans: Franco Basaglia’s La libertà è terapeutica; Dolores Ibárruri’s ¡No pasarán!; Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’s Proletarier aller Länder, vereinigt euch!

  • Books: Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables; Dante’s Inferno; Ladislav Fuks’s The Cremator

  • Monuments: The Holocaust Memorial; The Obelisk of Luxor; The Bronze Horseman

  • Images: Bouabdellah’s video artwork ‘Belly Dancing to the Marseillaise: French Identity in Video Art’; Shepherd’s map of the Habsburg Empire; The Quauhquechollan’s cloth painting

Learn with 12 cultural experts

You’ll learn with a team of 12 academics from the University of Bristol’s School of Modern Languages. They are experts on different countries and passionate about the study of culture.

They will offer you an understanding of how language and objects/artefacts can reveal insights into nations. You’ll get the chance to discuss these with other learners online, and enjoy further reading, writing and research opportunities.

This four-week course will give you a taste of the university’s BA in Modern Languages where cultural studies plays a key role in the degree alongside the study of foreign languages.

This course is partly funded by Routes into Languages. You can find out more about what to expect in Gloria Visintini’s post for the FutureLearn blog: “What do three slogans tell us about the cultures they come from?

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Skip to 0 minutes and 22 secondsHi! Are you interested in other countries? Do you want to learn how to understand and study other cultures?

Skip to 0 minutes and 30 secondsThen this free online course from the University of Bristol is for you. You will be taught by 12 academics from our School of Modern Languages.

Skip to 0 minutes and 41 secondsThey are experts on different countries and they are passionate about sharing what books, images, slogans and monuments can tell us about national cultures and national identities. Their highly diverse choice of topics will take you on a journey touching on a number of historical periods, from the Mediaeval to the modern day. And geographically, the journey will take you from Russia to Europe, and all of the way to Latin America. By the end of the course, you will have heard 12 examples about how language and artefacts contribute to culture formation and development. Collectively, these examples will introduce you to a methodology on how to understand and read cultures.

Skip to 1 minute and 34 seconds You will get the chance to discuss these examples with the other learners in our global online community and share insights from your home country or experience.

Skip to 1 minute and 47 secondsIn addition, you will also enjoy many reading, writing and research opportunities. Although materials will be available in their original languages, the course has been designed so English is the only language needed to join. As the lead educator, I am very excited about the cross-cultural connections we will be making together as the topics unfold. I have been teaching Italian in our School of Modern Languages for many years and know that speaking a foreign language is only one way to access other cultures. It is an important one, but to fully understand another country, one also needs to understand its culture. As such, I can't wait to introduce you to my colleagues and experts in Cultural Studies.

Skip to 2 minutes and 34 seconds They will offer you a taster of topics which, together with the study of foreign languages, play a key role in our degree in modern languages. So if you are interested in making sense of culture and understanding more about the world around us, come, sign up, and join us on this cultural adventure. I really look forward to meeting you all online. Ciao.

What topics will you cover?

Slogans: Franco Basaglia’s La libertà è terapeutica; Dolores Ibárruri’s ¡No pasarán!; Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’s Proletarier aller Länder, vereinigt euch!

Books: Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables; Dante’s Inferno; Ladislav Fuks’s The Cremator

Monuments: The Holocaust Memorial; The Obelisk of Luxor; The Bronze Horseman

Images: Bouabdellah’s video artwork ‘Belly Dancing to the Marseillaise: French Identity in Video Art’; Shepherd’s map of the Habsburg Empire; The Quauhquechollan’s cloth painting

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

  • Develop knowledge of several cultures
  • Acquire familiarity with different types of cultural sources
  • Gain a methodology on how to understand and read cultures
  • Improve research, analytical and writing skills
  • Enhance the ability to learn from peers
  • Collaborate and comment on peers' work

Who is the course for?

This course is ideal if you’re thinking about a degree in modern languages, although it is open to anyone. English is the only language needed.

Who will you learn with?

Gloria Visintini

Language Director (Technology Enhanced Learning) in the School of Modern Languages at the University of Bristol @gloriavisi (#FLculture)

Who developed the course?

Supporters

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Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate and transcript

You can buy a Certificate of Achievement for this course — a personalised certificate and transcript in both digital and printed formats, to prove what you’ve learnt. A Statement of Participation is also available for this course.

Certificate of Achievement + transcript £39.00

Statement of Participation £24.00

Estimate prices in preferred currency

Charges to your account will be made in GBP. Prices in local currency are provided as a convenience and are only an estimate based on current exchange rates.