Theories of Culture – A Survey of Critical Theories

Course information


Theories of Culture – A Survey of Critical Theories


Dr. Peter Bocsor

Course code





Auditorium Maximum or Room Kristó


Friday 10 a.m.

Course description

Short description

This series of lectures offers an overview of various conceptualizations of culture from the beginning of the 20th Century up to the present. We examine how culture emerges as a concept in the course of theorizing it from a multiplicity of viewpoints. The approach of semiotics will serve as a basis for discussing means of subjectivity and meaning production within systems of ideologies. It takes us to more recent critical formulations addressing the political and the social. We shall explore the vested interests of feminism, post-colonialism, and anti-consumerism in culture as an issue.


I Introduction – The Working Hypothesis

II Sign & Language

III Ideology & The Subject

IV Authorship & Authority

V Gender & Race

VI Media & Politics


Fall 2018


Requirements to get the grade

Evaluations will be based upon a comprehensive exam.


Reading list

Eco: A Theory of Semiotics, Saussure: Course in General Linguistics, Jakobson: Linguistics and Poetics, Althusser: Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses, Žižek: The Sublime Object of Ideology, Holland: Unity Identity Text Self, Barthes: The Death of the Author, From Work to Text, Tong: Introduction: The Varieties of Feminist Thinking, Parry: Postcolonial Studies, McLuhan: The Medium is the Massage.

Suggested reading list

Raymond Carver/Gordon Lish: The Bath – A Small Good Thing, Eric Gandini: Surplus - Terrorized into Being Consumers, Adam Curtis: HyperNormalisation.