Welcome to U75184 Subject to Culture: Individuality and Identity, an undergraduate module that was taught by Tom Tyler at Oxford Brookes University UK between 2005-06 and 2014-15. This website was a resource for those registered for the module, to help with their studies. Everyone is welcome to browse round the site, of course: you may find the Gallery the most interesting section to start.
This advanced level double honours module is designed to encourage you to think carefully and critically about your own use and consumption of the objects and artefacts of contemporary culture. Specifically, the module examines a series of different theories concerning how cultural factors contribute to our values, our identities, our sense of self. What is it that makes us each a distinct individual, with our own ideas and beliefs, a unique 'self' differentiated from everyone else? Are we, in fact, all unique and different, or are we subject to a variety of social and cultural pressures to which we must submit? The theories at which we look will provide you with new and challenging ways of thinking about your own place within society and culture, and about how society and culture place themselves within you.
Subject to Culture is a two semester, seminar-based module. Each week we will discuss in detail--both in class and online--the concepts and theories contained in one or more key readings, before thinking about their utility and application to culture, individuality, identity and to ourselves. The texts engage with a wide variety of themes and theories, discussing mind-viruses, religion, gender, subversive sexualities, technology, narcissism, aardvarks, apes, plague, prisons, cyborgs, Frankenstein, castrati, writers, race, 1980s New York clubbing, ancient Greek practices of self-mastery, and much more besides.
I hope that you find the module interesting, challenging and enjoyable.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed within these pages are personal and should not be construed as reflecting the views and opinions of Oxford Brookes University.