MINOR IN
CULTURAL STUDIES


Academic Convenor
Prof. Chua Beng Huat



+ Minor in Cultural Studies
+ Requirements
+ Modules Offered
+ Modules Description
+ Timetable
+ FAQs



MODULES DESCRIPTION


| Level-1000 | Level-2000 | Level-3000 |

GEK1046 Introduction to Cultural Studies
Offered by Department of English Language and Literature

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-3-4
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

Nil

The course examines the import of "culture" for understanding human activity and the history of the emergence of Cultural Studies as a discipline within the university. Specifically it explores the theoretical and methodological tools that have defined the field, as well as the objects to which they are turned. The course addresses the following areas: theories and models of communication; the history of broadcasting and broadcasting institutions; current and future developments in media technology; and cyberspace. Starting with an introduction to key theoretical concepts, the course examines the production and consumption of a range of popular cultural forms including film, television, popular fiction, and music.

GEM1033 Religion and Film
Offered by Department of English Language and Literature

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-3-4
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

Nil

Cinematic and literary expression are often centred on religious topics. By studying the ways in which religion exists in these texts, we can see the vitality of cultural expression and learn about how religion exists in the public imagination. No prior training in artistic interpretation or religious history is required, though the course presumes a healthy curiosity about religious phenomena and cultural expression. The course trains students to think about why people sometimes enjoy seeing films about painful topics, what is the difference between “studying” and “practicing” religion is, and how we discuss whether an innovative vision is “authentic.”

| Level-1000 | Level-2000 | Level-3000 |

CH2292A Understanding Modern China Through Film
Offered by Department of Chinese Studies

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-2-5
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

CH2292

The aim of the course is to introduce students to twentieth-century Chinese history and society through the study of Chinese film. The focus of the course is on the aesthetic response of film to major historical crises and social changes. In this course, history is not presented as a mere backdrop to culture, but the motivating factor that shapes and determines it. Rather than giving a chronological overview, the course examines significant cultural phenomena through the lens of cinema. Target students are those who are interested in Chinese film and culture.

HY2232 From Samurai to Sony: History of Japan
Offered by Department of History

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-2-5
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

Nil

This module engages the last four centuries of Japanese history, asking how a relatively small and isolated island state in the northwest Pacific came to play such an ultimately global role in modern history. It will plumb the changing internal dynamics of Japanese culture and state on the one hand, and Japan's inter-action with / isolation from the surrounding world on the other. The twentieth century lectures will emphasize the country's complicated relations with the rest of East and South-East Asia and its contemporary identity as technology producer and trader. Although this is a history course, the module attracts students from across the university who share an interest in modern Japan.

HY2236 US Media in the 20th Century and Beyond
Offered by Department of History

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-2-5
Pre-requisite Nil
Preclusion AS2236

Cross-listing

AS2236

This module examines the part of the U.S. media in shaping American society and culture beginning with the New York Journal's advocacy of the Spanish-American War of 1898 through to the role played by CNN in the 1990s. The module will review the growth of mass circulated newspapers, magazines, radio and television and examine how new media forms, such as the Internet, shape and are shaped by society. Students will learn to critically evaluate media forms and media content in a historical context. This module is well suited for students interested in the USA or media.

HY2258 Passage to India: Modern Indian Society
Offered by Department of History

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-0-7
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

Nil

This module will introduce students to contemporary India through a study of society and culture. Taking a thematic approach, it will examine caste and class, religion and identity, language and region and popular forms of culture. It will assess the social and cultural change that India has undergone since 1947 and the remarkable continuity of its social institutions. Factors and processes that have held India together despite its diversity and cultural heterogeneity will be highlighted. This course is open to all students, interested in understanding the nature of socio‐cultural change in one of the world’s oldest civilizations and largest democracies.

JS2216 Postwar Japanese Film and Anime
Offered by Department of Japanese Studies

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-3-4
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

Nil

This module uses postwar Japanese films and animation (anime) as the principal texts and investigates their relationship with contemporary Japanese culture, society and politics. Students will be introduced to the various genre and representative film and anime, together with specific critical writings on these works. Focus of the module will be on the relationship between the films and the audience, the impact of the dominance of films and anime in present day Japan and worldwide, and the various social and cultural issues such as violence and globalization that are closely related to the movie industry.

NM2201 Intercultural Communication
Offered by Department of Communications and New Media

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-2-5
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

Nil

This module focuses on intercultural and inter-personal communication. Managing intercultural communication in the business context will be emphasised, exploring issues such as ethnocentrism, conflict and negotiation in intercultural settings and the impact of new media on intercultural communication.

NM2210 Interactive Media Design: Theory
Offered by Department of Communications and New Media

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-3-4
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

UAR2201

This module introduces students to interactive media design in the context of historical and contemporary trends and ideas. Drawing on digital humanities, critical design, philosophical, and cultural perspectives, the module will explore how relationships between human and machine, and society and technology, inform and inspire design strategies, and provide new ways to understand interactive media. Topics covered include aesthetics of interactivity, cognitive models of interactive systems, theories of play, embodiment, physical computing, the user experience, physical and biological systems, media in social and political dialogue, interactive media art, audience engagement, social interaction, and approaches to interpreting and critiquing interactive media.

SC2210 Sociology of Popular Culture
Offered by Department of Sociology

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-2-5
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

Nil

This module examines the spread of consumption and its link to popular culture in the context of global capitalism. Emphasis will be given on the relationship between mass production and mass consumption, and the role of mass media in creating and widening the sphere of popular culture. Relationship between class and popular culture will be explored in this module. Issues such as changing leisure patterns, fashions, consumerism, role of advertisements and symbolic protests will also be examined in this module. The course is mounted for students throughout NUS with interest in the study of popular culture.

SC2214 Mass Media and Culture
Offered by Department of Sociology

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-3-3
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

IF2214

Mass communications should be understood in the context of their production and consumption. In particular, we have to look at macro-structures like economy and politics as well as the legal framework in which mass media systems operate. This module analyses those relationships and looks at some key issues in media such as propaganda, media ethics, sociology of looking, celebrities and media stereotypes. This course is mounted for students throughout NUS with an interest in culture and politics, but some background in Sociology is important. It provides a good foundation for those who wish to read Ethnographic Analysis of Visual Media in the third year.

SC2215 The Sociology of Food
Offered by Department of Sociology

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-4-3
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

Nil

Food is a social phenomenon: what constitutes food and, therefore, what can be eaten; how it is to be prepared, presented, and consumed; with whom you eat and so forth express complex relationships to class, ethnicity and gender. This course will uncover the complexity behind an everyday life material that affects and effects multiple social networks, wherein food is both the material and symbol by which class, race/ethnicity, sex/gender are socially constructed. This module is mounted for all students throughout NUS with interest in food and society.

SC2217 Sociology of Tourism
Offered by Department of Sociology

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-3-4
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

Nil

This course looks at the development of tourism in the past and in the modern world. Looking at tourists as the "typical modern person", this course will explore what it means to be a tourist, the different kinds of tourist and the place of tourism in globalization. More importantly, it looks at the influence of tourists and tourism in various places of the world. What happens to culture and heritage when it becomes a tourism object? What happens to local communities and the relations between people because of tourism? This course is mounted for students interested in Sociology and Anthropology.

SC2220 Gender Studies
Offered by Department of Sociology

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-3-4
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

Nil

This course introduces the topic of gender by using basic concepts like biological sex, nature, nurture, roles, norms and culture. The meaning of gender categories is examined in relation to difference, exchange, reproduction, knowledge and social change. Although the main perspective is ethnographic, this course is intended to be an exercise in interdisciplinary thinking. Understanding gender provides a foundation to analyze social structures (power and inequality), social institutions (family, kinship, education, economy, the state, health) and cultural issues (science, food, emotions, popular culture).

SE2212 Cities and Urban Life in Southeast Asia
Offered by Department of Southeast Asian Studies

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-4-3
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

Nil

Are Southeast Asian urban models unique from those of the West? This module uses historical and emerging developments to re-evaluate debates on Southeast Asian urbanisation. The particularities of Southeast Asian urbanisation will be examined both in terms of its intertwined history with the rest of the world as well as the politics of time and space. The module aims at developing a critical understanding of the interaction between historical, political-economic, and cultural processes that constitute urbanization in Southeast Asia.

SN2274 South Asian Cultures: An Introduction
Offered by South Asian Studies Programme

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-2-5
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

Nil

Popular culture as an academic subject provides a compelling lens to analyse a vast range of topics from family life and urbanisation to leisure and ethics. This module focuses on the different patterns of culture and their mutual exchange in South Asia, through study of a variety of media like art, theatre, TV, advertising, and cinema, in order to arrive at a general understanding of the cultural situation in contemporary South Asia, and to gain deeper insight into emerging trends and fashions.

| Level-1000 | Level-2000 | Level-3000 |

EN3235 Representations of Asian in the US
Offered by Department of English Language and Literature

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-3-4
Pre-requisite Nil
Preclusion AS3235

Cross-listing

AS3235

This module works in a critical, interdisciplinary fashion to examine the nature of the relationship between representation, identity formation and meaning creation. Students will consider the myriad ways in which visual and discursive representations are not simply reflective of reality but constitutive of it. The module examines several topics: how representations of Asians tell us about mainstream US identity formation anxieties and desires; the historical and cultural contingency of such representations; and the economics of representation and their operation - using a variety of media: literature, opera, film, drama, cartoons, and academia. The module is for EN majors/CFM and ISM students.

EN3245 Feminism: Text and Theory
Offered by Department of English Language and Literature

Modular Credits 4
Workload 3-0-0-4-3
Pre-requisite EN1101E or EN2101E or GEK1000, or a minimum of 12 MCs of EL modules.

Preclusion

Nil

The module aims to introduce students to central concepts in feminism, and apply these to the analysis of literary texts, to arrive at an understanding of gender dichotomies that influence the writing and reading of texts. A range of feminist texts, from Virginia Woolf, Simone De Beauvoir, Kate Millett etc, to contemporary feminist critics, will be explored. These theoretical concepts will be used to analyse texts from different genres including short stories, plays, novels, visual texts etc. Students will be expected to engage with feminism as both an ideology and a literary tool of analysis.

EN3249 Introduction to Visual Culture: Art, Film and Media
Offered by Department of English Language and Literature

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-0-7
Pre-requisite EN1101E or EN2101E or GEK1000

Preclusion

Nil

This module offers an introduction to the study of art, film and media culture. It explores the changing role of visual media across the centuries, from pre‐modern societies through to today’s digital, networked cultures. How have technological and economic changes generated new visual media? How have these media in turn shaped social and economic life? A range of case studies will be drawn from art history, film, popular culture and online media. What are the differences between art, film and other visual culture, and are these differences still relevant in the ‘convergent’ world of digital media culture?

EN3262 Postcolonial/Postmodern Writing
Offered by Department of English Language and Literature

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-2-5
Pre-requisite EN1101E or EN2101E or GEK1000

Preclusion

Nil

This module provides an introduction to interactions between postcolonial literatures and “postmodern” writing strategies. It proceeds through a series of case-studies attentive to how specific texts represent complex interactions in the global literature of the later half of the twentieth century between the influence of and reactions to colonialism in the field of political history and modernism in the field of literature and the arts. In addition to a close reading of representative texts, the module will also provide an opportunity for an assessment of the significance of “postcolonial” and “postmodern” to contemporary societies and cultures.

GE3206 Gender, Space and Place
Offered by Department of Geography

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-3-4
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

Nil

This module examines the impact of feminism on human geography, from the call to insert women into geographical analyses and take into account gender relations in rethinking dominant definitions of space, place, landscape and nature to more recent debates on diversity and difference. It also explores the politics and practice of doing feminist research in geography. Drawing on case studies in both developed and developing countries, the gendering of specific sites (ranging from the home to the nation) and processes (e.g. migration) is explicated in the module. The module is targeted at all students interested in gender issues.

GE3224 Cultural Landscapes
Offered by Department of Geography

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-3-4
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

Nil

This module examines the contribution of cultural geography to an understanding of interrelations of landscape, space and culture. After charting the development of the concept of 'landscape', the module explores cultural landscapes in a variety of historical and geographical settings. Cultural Landscapes works through four key themes: imaginative geographies of exploration and representation; landscape and national identity; moral geographies of environmental conduct and belonging; and issues of cultural deterritorialisation associated with processes of globalisation. The module will be of interest to students across the university seeking to develop critical perspectives on cultural landscape formations at a variety of scales.

GE3241 Geographies of Social Life
Offered by Department of Geography

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-2-5
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

GE2224

This module explores debates in geography about social issues. It emphasises the relationship between social identity and social space, and how different places reflect and shape diverse ways of life. The module examines the role of space in the interplay of different social groups (e.g. ethnic groups, men/women), and in relation to different aspects of daily life (e.g. housing, leisure). Its emphasis, however, is on how to think about these issues in different scales/contexts (streets, public spaces, global cities). The course is intended for geography majors, and students throughout NUS with an interest in the relationship between society and space.

JS3216 Japanese Film and Literature
Offered by Department of Japanese Studies

Modular Credits 4
Workload 0-3-0-3-4
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

Nil

Many Japanese literary works have been adapted into films, often with new interpretations. Students will do comparative readings/viewings of these works, paying special attention to the unique characteristics of each genre, and their thematic concerns. One of the key concerns in these works is the ascription and representation of gender (often female, occasionally male) roles. Works with prominent gender themes including Abe Kobo's Women in the Dunes will be studied as a means to critically examine the gender discourse in modern Japan, as well as other pertinent issues such as alienation, identity, and history which are often part of the discursive construction of gender.

JS3225 Japanese Mass Media
Offered by Department of Japanese Studies

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-3-4
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

Nil

This course aims to deepen student's knowledge of Japanese society and history through a study of its mass media. It will cover the rise of the major media industries in postwar Japan, trace the development of particular TV and news genres in response to societal changes; identify broad cultural and linguistic patterns in media texts; and interrogate notions of transnational cultural flow using Japan's popular media as a case study. Lectures will draw on materials from TV archives, magazines, comics, news articles and film footage, and other media-related sources. Tutorials will be conducted in "workshop" style in which students will be expected to work with first hand Japanese media materials.

PH3220 Philosophy of Culture
Offered by Department of Philosophy

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-3-4
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

Nil

Through a historical study and conceptual analysis of the idea, this module aims to achieve a clearer understanding of what we and others mean by culture, how the term operates differently in different discourses. It will explore various philosophical views regarding the possibility, preconditions, and methods for intercultural encounters and understanding, and the relevance of culture for philosophizing. Selected issues in specific philosophical areas, in which culture plays a major role, may also be included.

SC3224 Theory and Practice in Cultural Studies
Offered by Department of Sociology

Modular Credits 4
Workload 3-0-0-4-3
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

XD3101

The course is intended as a 'capstone' to unify and ground the Cultural Studies Minor. As such, it explores the critical tradition from which Cultural Studies emerged and examines some of the directions that this critical tradition went as it encountered and modified institutions and institutional practice in the 20th and 21st centuries. Students gain additional coverage and depth as they work the theoretical terrain underpinning all courses in the minor while also generating essays and projects that reveal this critical ground in an applied fashion.

SN3261 Exile, Indenture, IT: Global South Asians
Offered by South Asian Studies Programme

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-2-5
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

Nil

This module studies the background leading to the mass migration of the South Asians to Southeast Asia in the nineteenth century, and examines their economic, political and cultural contributions towards the development of the Southeast Asian countries in the twentieth century. It will also examine the roles played by South Asian communities living outside the region in the globalisation of South Asian economies.

SN3274 South Asian Cinema
Offered by South Asian Studies Programme

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-2-5
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

Nil

This module begins with a historical overview of cinema in South Asia. It then focuses on the regional production centres and their specific specialisations. Other topics covered are 'Genres of SA Cinema' and their stylistic elements, and 'Cinema and Local Politics in South Asia'. Important films will be viewed and discussed as case studies.

SN3279 Language, Culture and Identity in India
Offered by South Asian Studies Programme

Modular Credits 4
Workload 2-1-0-2-5
Pre-requisite Nil

Preclusion

Nil

This module focuses on the relationship between language, culture and identity in India. It looks at the roles that languages, cultures, and literatures play in regional identities in India. Through case studies of Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati, Punjabi, Marathi and Bengali it investigates the significance of language in regional identities. It also addresses the issue of how language and culture have been arenas in which contending notions of Indian identity have been developed. The module introduces students to the importance of understanding cultural diversity in India in relation to the rise of India as a contemporary world power.