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Course NameUnderstanding American and British Culture Ab
InstructorLidgley, Michael
MajorLiberal Arts Core Subjects
Course goalsThis course is a content-based communicative class that introduces British Culture through a sociocultural ‘tour' of the British Isles ? England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales ? via twelve feature films. We visit various people and places in order to gain an insight and understanding into the state of many social and cultural aspects of Britain today, and how and why these have developed in the ways that they have.
Course outlineWe start by visiting the court of Queen Elizabeth I in the 16th century, passing rapidly through the 19th century, into the major events of the 20th, and end up in the 21st. The people we meet include royalty, peasants, the poor, the rich, farmers, writers, artists, explorers, poets, politicians, fighters, activists and actors. One of the over-arching themes of the course is that progress, development and cultural change often come about through a process of struggle and conflict, both between individuals and social groups. 3. Students are expected to complete weekly homework tasks based on watching one film a week. The film will be introduced in class, with background cultural notes and explanations. The students will watch the first part of the film in class and discuss what they have seen. Students will then watch the rest of the film in the LL Tape Library (or online) for homework and complete a worksheet for homework. 4. Assessment is based on classroom participation, homework tasks, attendance, and mid-term and final tests.
Evaluation Scale and PoliciesAssessment will include 12 weekly homework assignments (60%), mid-term test (15%) and a final test (15%). Attendance and active participation also form an essential part of the course (10%). Plagiarism = FAIL 5 absences = FAIL 3 lates = 1 absence Late = arrival after the bell More than 10 minutes late = absent Sleep = absent
PrerequisitesStudents need a high level of English in order to be able to cope with the demands of this course.
Texts, materials, and suppliesThere is no textbook. Hand-outs will be provided by the teacher. DVDs are available in the LL Tape Library. All students, regardless of other commitments, are expected to find time to watch all 12 films, and complete all 12 homework assignments. The two tests are based on the previous six films.
Course Schedule/PlanWeek 1: Introductions. Explanation of assessment. Language placement test.
Only students with good English skills will be accepted on this course.

Week 2: Film 1: Elizabeth (1998). Dir. Shekhar Kapoor. The Elizabethan Age (1558 ? 1601). Protestants/Catholics. Sea Power. Beginnings of empire and colonialism. Rule Britannia. Shakespeare (1564 ? 1616).

Week 3: Film 2: Far from the Madding Crowd (1967). Dir. John Schlesinger. Victorian Era. 19th century. Rural life. Gender, class, poverty, and early feminism. Thomas Hardy (1840 ? 1928).

Week 4: Film 3: Oliver! (1968). Dir. Carol Reed. Victorian Era. 19th century. Urbanisation. Class, poverty, anti-semitism. Charles Dickens (1812 ? 1870).

Week 5: Film 4: A Passage to India (1984). Dir. David Lean. 1920s. Empire, colonialism, race. E. M. Forster (1879 ? 1970).

Week 6: Film 5: Chariots of Fire (1981). Dir. Hugh Hudson. 1920s. Sport, religion, class, race, nationality.

Week 7: Film 6: Another Country (1984). Dir. Marek Kanievska. 1930s, English public school system, class, gender, militarism

Week 8: Mid-term Test (Films 1 - 6)

Week 9: Film 7: The Battle of Britain (1969). Dir. Guy Hamilton. 1940s. The Second World War. Winston Churchill (1874 ? 1965). Nationality.

Week 10: Film 8: In the Name of the Father (1993). Dir. Jim Sheridan. 1970s. Ireland, nationality, terrorism, British judicial system.

Week 11: Film 9: Billy Elliot (2000). Dir. Stephen Daldry. 1980s. Margaret Thatcher (1925 ? 2013), working class, politics, the miner's strike, gender.

Week 12: Film 10: High Hopes (1988). Dir. Mike Leigh. 1980s. London, class, politics.

Week 13: Film 11: Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994). Dir. Mike Newell. 1990s. Middle and upper class, gender, nationality.

Week 14: Film 12: Bend it like Beckham (2002). Dir. Gurinder Chadha. 2000s. Immigration, race, sport, gender.

Week 15: Final Test (Films 7 -12)