Topics & British

American Culture

Spring semester information for online classes and coronavirus related policies.

  The Korean government and the Chungnam National University administration have decided that the best policy for now is to hold all of our classes as online. That is why you will be required to access the cyber lecture system for the entire semester, unless things dramatically improve.  Of course we are all hoping that physical lectures will start again, but that is a best-case scenario.  Until then please follow the instructions below.

    Some other professors will have slightly different approaches to the cyber lectures they organize, but you are to follow my instructions for the classes that I teach.

  All cyber lecture content will be available through the CNU portal where you can login with your ID and access the class. The content will include written instructions from the professor about studying, homework and assignments, links to videos and audio that you were expected to watch and listen to.

All of the information will be hosted through my website and you will be able to scroll through what you were expected to do week by week. The uploaded content will not be taken down so if you need to refer to something you can simply scroll back to week one or week too and look at it again later.

  You will be able to login and access each week’s lecture content from Tuesday morning to Monday night at midnight each week. This is both to make it easier to make time for studying and because any students who become ill will need the flexibility.

***This is very important: You are required to be logged in and to access the page for a minimum of one hour to get credit for your attendance. If you do not do so you will not get credit for the attendance and you will fail the course. So it is highly recommended not to delay until the last minute. For example, do not wait until Monday night each week to log on, in case something goes wrong.   In addition, this is the required textbook for the class.   This book is essential, especially this semester, with all the online content and lack of personal interaction.  If you read the textbook and understand the content, I can guarantee you will get a good grade.  If you have trouble with it, that is alright- there are slides and this website to supplement the information from the lectures.  Also, you can email me any questions you have to:

Here are links to  two websites which sell the book, please get a copy ASAP:

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Now for the disclaimer: this section of the website is dedicated to British and American Culture for the duration of the CNU Spring semester 2021.  The regular podcast posts and other pages on this site are unrelated to the course and do not need to be visited, except for the sake of interest. Students continue onward and follow the instructions that are given; for any outside visitors, feel free to browse the content here as you would the Korean Heroes Podcast pages.

So getting into the concept of the course itself; the idea of “Britishness” by connecting it to people, places, events and historical moments in British culture, is the main object of the class.  Try to keep in mind the purpose, the perspective and the use of the symbol you learn about and examine.  Is it a positive or negative image of Britain?  Does it represent all British culture or just a part of it?  These are all questions to consider as we examine the United Kingdom of Great Britain as it was, as it is and how it came to be that way.  Click on the link below to listen to a classic British patriotic song which is based on the poem by James Thomson and put to music by the composer Thomas Arne in 1740:

Rule Britannia! Britannia Rule the waves!

As well as the official National Anthem of the United Kingdom of Great Britain adopted in 1745:

God Save the Queen

All the slides that are used in class are in PPT format have been compiled in a single .pdf.  There are 320 of them, but not all of them will be covered in class, so it is up to each student to attend each week’s lecture and pay attention to which slides are emphasized; to see which are included and which are not included on the tests.

To download the slides  simply click on the link below:

B&A Supplementary Slides PDF

Related and follow-up information for the rest of the term:

In class we discussed a method of breaking down the symbols that we went over, using historical, cultural and social contexts, so let us clarify the categorical headings here.  Due to technical difficulties the information provided on the board in class was incomplete.  In particular, the word “milieu” derived from the French word for middle was used to describe the cultural context, but it is more appropriate to use it in the social context.  There is also a term called “cultural milieu,” but the social milieu provides a clearer definition and a connection to the environment and surroundings.  The representative cultural thing is physically somewhere and interacts with its surroundings.  That is social context. For example, Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth II.

Cultural context is more about ideology, traditions and values.  The cultural milieu describes the relationship between these cultural forces and the symbol.  These contexts are not limited to people only, many of them are objects or places.  For example, The Union Jack and The Star-spangled banner.

Historical context is connected to the events that occurred during the period the symbol existed, whether it be a person, place or object.  It may, in fact, no longer exist in reality, but still be remembered as an important symbol with strong residual meaning. It is related to the “big picture” and takes into account national or international effects.  A perfect example of this is any deceased person.  For example, George Washington or Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson.

Visit the following website for a short summary similar to my description of the method:

Contexts for Cultural Symbols

 Quizzes: There will be six quizzes conducted online using Google forms.  Your top five quiz scores will count toward your final grade and will be worth 3% each (5×3%) for a total of 15% of your final grade. 

*The first quiz will correspond to the first chapter in the textbook.

The Midterm:  It will also be an online test and will use Google forms to collect students’ answers. 

Holidays: There will be no break for any holidays as you have one week to complete you lectures and homework.  The extra days at the end of the semester can be used for exam studying and preparation or to discuss the term with the Professor.

The Slides are there as a supplement, not a primary resource.  So, you should look at them AFTER you listen to my lectures and read the textbook.  The summaries are quite useful and most of the slides run in parallel with the course, as they were created for a previous version of British and American Culture several years ago.  Ignore the sections that are not included in lecture or in the text.

***As an example of a slide to skip: Beowulf was not discussed in lecture or in the textbook.

***On the other hand, the slide on King Arthur (slide 29) is a great resource and shows some pictures to give you a visual to go along with what you hear and read. 

Week 1: Orientation

Week 1: Introduction to British Culture

Week 2: The First Millenium

Week 2: Ancient Kings and Queens

Week 3: The Conquest

Week 3: Medieval Life

The first quiz is at 10:00AM Friday 09/24 (FINISH BEFORE 10:10AM!)

Week 4: Life Under the Normans

Week 4: Class Updates

Week 4: Edward, Scots & Plagues

The Battle of Stirling Bridge – Braveheart (Hollywood’s Scottish War of Independance)

Week 5: To the Early Modern

Week 5: The Reformation

The second quiz is at 10:00AM Friday 10/08 (FINISH BEFORE 10:10AM!)

Week 6: The English Renaissance

Week 6: Elizabethan England

First Assignment due on Friday 10/15

Week 7: The Stuarts and the Civil War

Week 7: Intellectual Giants

The third quiz is at 10:00 AM Friday 10/ 22

Week 8: Midterm Review

Week 8: Extra Review: Areas of Tension (5 + 1)

Week 9 – The Glorious New Beginning

Matt Cooke – 2nd Amendment Remedy

Week 9 – First Contact

Week 10 – British Control

Week 10 – Reasons to Revolt

Week 11 – The Revolution

Week 11 – Imperialism

Fourth Quiz at 10:00 AM Friday 11/12

Week 12 – Industrialization

Week 12 – Expansion

Fifth Quiz at 10:00 AM Friday 11/19

Week 13 – The 19th Century

Week 13 – The American Century

Sixth Quiz at 10:00 AM Friday 11/26

Week 14 – That’s Hollywood

Week 14 – Final Exam Review

The Second Assignment due on Friday 12/03

***The Final Exam Schedule will be posted on the Cybercampus under Notice Boards. It will be written in rooms 124 & 465 on June 11th at 10:00 AM. Check the list for your examination room.