Counter Cultures

Module Leader:
Ádám Kornél Havas
2020-2021 Summer
Immersion 2
Arts and Humanities

Until the 1960s, the notion of “culture” in social science and art history almost exclusively meant the culture of the Global West, more precisely the canonised noble artworks produced by distinguished individuals, or “geniuses” such as Mozart in music or Goethe in literature. The every-day culture of common people started to gain scholarly notice following the post-WWII era when cultural activities falling outside the sacred realm of “high art” started to be considered as engines of social change and political resistance. The module offers a multidisciplinary perspective on the various meaningful ways (sub)cultural practices both reflect and actively shape social and political processes. The geographical and thematic diversity serves the purpose of identifying key structural issues that operate and give a social meaning to these practices in various social contexts such as the hippie movement, British working class cultures, state-socialist underground scenes and post-colonial musical movements. The class discussions and the module’s sessions are structured according to three main pillars: theoretical concepts, case studies and the collective interpretation of the carefully selected audio-visual materials linked to the given topic of each session. The overall aim of this module made up of four thematic parts is to equip students with the interdisciplinary theoretical tools and methodological sensibility to critically engage with identity-, class-, place and race-based aspects of cultural resistance.

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