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UNIVERSITE LIBRE DE BRUXELLES

GERMB550 LANGUE ET CULTURE DES CIVILISATIONS ANGLOPHONES II



Course Description
Language and Culture of English-Speaking Peoples II is a 5 ECTS course taught in English. The course is
devoted to the study of the language and cultures of a selection of countries where English is either
the home language, or a lingua franca among other official languages. The selection of countries in-
cludes Australia, India, Canada, and South Africa. The US and the UK are overrepresented in our
western media, yet events happening in other geographical areas increasingly matter in our global-
ized world and deserve our attention. Students will thus be exposed to the current realities and the
cultural history of the four countries listed above. Subjects such as identity, philosophy, society, poli-
tics, multiculturalism, art, and the media will be addressed within the frame of the course. Students
will also be exposed to academic texts that will help them expand their knowledge of the culture and
linguistic practices of these countries. Beside scientific references and media sources, the course also
rests on cultural artefacts such as film footage, movies, literary texts, as well as photography. The part
devoted to exercises will focus on the advanced usage of English, with special focus given to the
evolving status of English in the digital age. The topics explored will cover a range of subjects related
to the students orientations and include issues such as variations and regionalisms, World English,
Globish, and English for specific purposes, i.e. academic English and English used in professional
environments, such as journalism, political, and corporate communication.

Important: The course requires excellent proficiency in English (level C1) in terms of both receptive
and productive skills.

Course Objectives

The objective of the course is twofold. First, the course will provide students with references about
Australian, Indian, Canadian, and South African cultural history and social realities. Second, the
course aims at developing language-oriented skills, i.e. English for specific (professional) purposes,
both in writing and speaking.
By the end of the course, the students will:
Be able to carry out close readings of texts related to Australia, India, Canada, South Africa.
Be able to understand the position and evolution of the English language in these areas.
Be thoroughly familiar with concepts and references used in the scope of these countries.
Become critically attuned to the links between a language and its peoples.
Become familiar with some expressions, idioms, regionalisms and linguistic conventions char-
acteristic of the countries listed above.
Be able to independently express themselves on professional topics related to their field of ex-
pertise (major) both in writing and orally.
Be able to use academic English, as found in research and scientific articles.

Course Organisation


Theory, 2 ECTS (I. MEURET) will take place in the second term (Mondays, 6 to 8, room H.2215, starting
February 2 and finishing on May 11; no lecture on Monday 30 March).

Exercises, 2 ECTS (J. KEMLO) will take place in the second term (Thursdays, 10 to 12, room UD2.218a).
Note that 1 additional ECTS is allotted for the paper.

GERMB550 Langue et culture des civilisations anglophones II 1

Course Evaluation

Written exam on Thursday 28 May 2015, 11:00am 13:30pm, room S.K.1.501.


The written exam accounts for 70% of the total grade (40% culture; 30% language).
Assignment (30%): choice between two types of paper:
1) Research paper (20%); presentation and interaction (10%);
2) Essay paper (20%); presentation and interaction (10%).


1) There is no second chance for the assignments. The grade students will obtain at the June ses-
sion for their assignments cannot be improved and will be maintained as part of the final
grade (and also until September in case of a re-sit;
2) Deadlines are non-negotiable: failure to meet the deadline results in 00/20. Students must
hand in their papers in print on Monday 20 April (in class);
3) Students must choose one written assignment, i.e. the research paper or the essay paper. The
guidelines are the following:
- Research paper: the paper is on research in progress, i.e. students are expected to hand in ei-
ther a summary or one chapter of their MA thesis. Students must hand in an abstract (100-
150 words) + 5 to 10 keywords + a 2,000-word paper + a bibliography (MLA or other).
- Essay paper: the paper is a discussion of one particular artefact (film, book, painting, etc.),
person (artist, politician), or event (current issue, controversy) related to one of the coun-
tries under study. The point discussed in the paper must be clearly problematized. This
means that the paper should not simply be a descriptive portrait of a person, or factual ac-
count of an object or event. It must rest on a particular argument. In other words, the topic
must be approached critically. Students must hand in an abstract (100-150 words) + 5 to 10
keywords + a 2,000-word paper + a bibliography (MLA or other).
4) Students must prepare a presentation of their papers, to be delivered in small groups of five
students. A wide range of dates will be offered in May and June. Registrations will be opened
between April 20 and April 30. Students will be invited to sign up on a list posted on the no-
ticeboard, next to office DC11.106. Each session lasts two hours, with five students attending,
i.e. 10 minutes for each presentation followed by 10 minutes of interaction (questions & an-
swers). The presentation is a communication exercise; students are also evaluated on their ac-
tive participation and commitment to the other presentations in the small group.

Course Material
All slides, instructions, documents are available at http://uv.ulb.ac.be.

Academic Integrity
For plagiarism, cheating, falsification, and unapproved collaboration, please see the Facults general
policy at http://www.ulb.ac.be/facs/philo/etudes-reglements.html.

Teaching Methods
Both theory and exercises are organized as two-hour lectures. Students are nevertheless encouraged to
participate actively. Documents and other resources will be posted on the website, either as additional
documentation or as material to read and prepare prior to class.

Contacts

Isabelle MEURET (office DC11.106) imeuret@ulb.ac.be.


Justine KEMLO (office DC11.203) jkemlo@ulb.ac.be.

GERMB550 Langue et culture des civilisations anglophones II 2

Tutorials
Students whose proficiency in English is low and who fear difficulties for their presentations and the
examination are advised to attend tables de conversation and tutorials (see schedules on the UV).

Calendar Spring 2014


Dates

THEORY I. MEURET (2 ECTS)


MONDAYS, 6 TO 8, H.2215

EXERCISES J. KEMLO (2 ECTS)


THURSDAYS, 10 TO 12, UD2.218A

Week 21 02.02.15

Australia: Down Under

World Englishes, language variations

Week 22 09.02.15

Australia: Multicultural Issues

World Englishes, language variations

Week 23 16.02.15

Australia: The Cultural Cringe

World Englishes, language variations

Week 24 23.02.15

India: The Partition

The aftermath of the NOW scandal: press


regulation and accountability

Week 25 02.03.15

India: A Society of Contrasts

The aftermath of the NOW scandal: press


regulation and accountability

Week 26 09.03.15

India: Orientalism and Hybridity

The aftermath of the NOW scandal: press


regulation and accountability

Week 27 16.03.15

Canada: A Multicultural Mosaic

Corporate communication in the digital


age: data collection, networking, and
rankings.

Week 28 23.03.15

Canada: On Language and Media

Corporate communication in the digital


age: data collection, networking, and
rankings.

Week 29 30.03.15

No lecture postponed May 11

Corporate communication in the digital


age: data collection, networking, and
rankings.

Week 30 and 31

SPRING BREAK

Week 32 20.04.15

Canada: Canadianness in the Arts


Deadline: research/essay paper (print)

Politics and the digital challenge: adver-


tising, propaganda, and hacktivism

Week 33 27.04.15

South Africa: The Rainbow Nation

Politics and the digital challenge: adver-


tising, propaganda, and hacktivism

Week 34 04.05.15

South Africa: Apartheid

Politics and the digital challenge: adver-


tising, propaganda, and hacktivism

Week 35 11.05.15

South Africa: Kwaito

No class: buffer week Ascension Day


Schedule and Content (Theory)

WEEK 21 AUSTRALIA DOWN UNDER


Presentation of the course guidelines (organization, evaluation, material, schedule, assignments). Brief
introduction to language and culture. Australia in the media and advertising. Key concepts and sym-
bols; institutions and major political figures of Australia (Rudd, Gillard, Abbott). Australian English.

GERMB550 Langue et culture des civilisations anglophones II 3

WEEK 22 AUSTRALIA MULTICULTURAL ISSUES


The Aborigines of Australia and Torres Islands (Stolen Generations, Mabo vs. Queenland, Council for
Reconciliation, Rabbit-Proof Fence). A colony of convicts. The coming of age of Australia (Gallipoli). The
White Australia policy and immigration (Immigration Acts and Programs, assimilation and multicul-
turalism). Boat people and the Pacific Solution.

WEEK 23 AUSTRALIA THE CULTURAL CRINGE

The cultural cringe (Phillips, Horne, Hume), in literature and cinema. Prominent theorists and practi-
tioners of postcolonial theory and literature (Ashcroft, Griffiths, Tiffin; White, Grenville). Australian
cinema (Luhrmann, Weir, Elliott) and Ozploitation (ocker comedies, Outback gothic).


WEEK 24 INDIA THE PARTITION

English domination (Mountbatten, Radcliffe); the Partition (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh); Mahatma
Gandhi (Quit India Movement, civil disobedience); Nehru and the non-alignment movement; political
parties (National Congress, BJP); Modi and the 2014 general elections.

WEEK 25 INDIA A SOCIETY OF CONTRASTS

India Interrupted: new tech, poverty, gendercide, rape; the caste system; religions.

WEEK 26 INDIA ORIENTALISM AND HYBRIDITY


Orientalism and postcolonial studies (Said, Bhabha, Spivak). Hybridity in language (Hinglish) and in
cinema (John and Jane; Bollywood, masala films).

WEEK 27 CANADA A MULTICULTURAL MOSAIC

Country background, symbols, institutions. First Nations; European explorations and immigration.
Multicultural mosaic and official multiculturalism. Reasonable accommodations in Quebec (Bouchard
and Taylor). Survivance and Quiet Revolution.

WEEK 28 CANADA ON LANGUAGE AND MEDIA

Bilingualism: English vs. French. Media and digital technology: Marshall McLuhan (The Medium is
the Message; Global Village); Glenn Gould (music and radio documentaries).

WEEK 32 CANADA CANADIANNESS IN THE ARTS

Canadian identity in literature (Margaret Atwood), cinema (David Cronenberg), and visual arts (Emi-
ly Carr).

WEEK 33 SOUTH AFRICA THE RAINBOW NATION


Boer Wars, Afrikaners, Cecil Rhodes, Great Trek, Zulu resistance. Language policies (Afrikaans, Eng-
lish). Political parties and leaders (ANC, IFP, DA, COPE, EFF, AWB).

WEEK 34 SOUTH AFRICA APARTHEID

Racial segregation, Sharpeville and Soweto massacres. Nelson Mandela and Steve Biko. Documenting
apartheid in texts (Nadine Gordimer, John Maxwell Coetzee) and images (Cry Freedom, Mandela: Long
Walk to Freedom, Invictus, Drum, The Bang Bang Club).

WEEK 35 SOUTH AFRICA KWAITO

Kwaito (township music). Spoek Mathambo; Die Antwoord. Conclusions.

GERMB550 Langue et culture des civilisations anglophones II 4