Popular Culture, Politics, and Heritage

Faculteit Godgeleerdheid en Godsdienstwetenschap
Jaar 2019/20
Vakcode THM-PCPH5
Vaknaam Popular Culture, Politics, and Heritage
Niveau(s) master
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester I b
Rooster rooster.rug.nl

Uitgebreide vaknaam Popular Culture, Politics, and Heritage
Leerdoelen Students will be able to:
  • Critically reflect on concepts such as ‘heritage’, ‘history', ‘appropriation’, 'medievalism' and 'banal medievalism'.
  • Analyse the construction of pasts.
  • Analyse the purpose of such constructions and link these to contemporary concerns in society, culture and politics.
  • Analyse the tensions in the various constructions of the past in scholarship and (popular) culture.
  • Analyse the specific role of the Middle Ages in contemporary Western culture
Omschrijving Nostalgia for a lost and better past has been a recurrent theme in Western culture since the Enlightenment. The Middle Ages in particular have become a focal point for popular appropriation, its expressions ranging from fantasy series such as Game of Thrones (2011-2019) to political uses by right- and left-wing politicians, claiming roots in the crusades or in supposedly better social conditions, as well as by feminists, who claim a specific female form of subjectivity, and those who describe themselves as being ‘spiritual’, both claiming an ancestry in medieval mystics – the list could be endless. In addition, taking China as case study of the Asian world, we see that the revival of Confucius and Confucian values (i.e., the bases of Chinese civilization) are proposed by governmental agencies and through media such as TV series. Moreover, since the beginning of the 21st century, many Chinese have searched for ‘spiritual happiness’ (related to traditional religious practices from the past) in reaction to the dissatisfying (modern) ‘material happiness’. This course module focuses on why and how such construed pasts are appropriated, in Europe and the USA as well as in China, particularly as these are reborn as sources of inspiration for creating or enhancing political and religious identities and spiritualities in the (post)modern age.
Uren per week
Onderwijsvorm lectures and seminars
Toetsvorm final paper
(The course will be assessed by two presentations (15 % of grade each), four blogs (20 %), and a final paper (50 %).)
Vaksoort master
Coördinator dr. M. van Dijk
Docent(en) dr. M. van Dijk
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs
Literature will be announced later.
Entreevoorwaarden BA in theology, religious studies, the humanities or social sciences
Opmerkingen Student workload: 21 hours in classes, 8 hours conference, 80 hours practicum, 31 hours selfstudy.
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
Exchange programme: mastermodules 1 semester I b keuzegroep
Ma Programme Religion and Cultural Heritage 1 semester I b keuzegroep
Ma Programme Theology and Religious Studies (Research) 2 semester I b keuzegroep
Ma Programme Theology and Religious Studies (Research) 1 semester I b keuzegroep