Culture and Society in the English-Speaking World


- Developing knowledge and building critical understandings of language, culture, and communication in the Englishspeaking world;
- analyzing and interpreting texts from a variety of contexts such as politics, human rights, environmental sustainability, history, religions, amongst others;
- developing an awareness of contemporary issues in English-speaking societies within a globalized world;
- building on a hermeneutic notion of understanding;
- acknowledging cultures as highly complex entities, subject to continuous change, and redefined by concrete people in specific contexts;
- identifying processes of communication, based on the continuous negotiation of meanings in specific contexts of interaction.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Ana Alexandra Gonçalves de Veloso e Matos


Weekly - 3

Total - 280

Teaching language





  • - Adichie, C. N. (2015). We Should All Be Feminists. London: Harper Collins
  • - Coe, J. (2019). Middle England. London: Penguin
  • - Hirsch, A. (2019). Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging. London: Vintage
  • - O’Gorman, D. & Robert Eaglestone (2019). The Routledge Companion to Twenty-first Century Literary Fiction. London & NY: Routledge
  • - Roy, A. (1997). The God of Small Things. London: Flamingo
  • - Said, E. (1993). Culture and Imperialism. London: Vintage
  • - Shukla, N. (ed) (2016) The Good Immigrant. London: Unbound
  • - Shukla, N.& C. Suleyman (eds) (2019). The Good Immigrant USA: 26 Writers Reflect on America. London: Dialogue Books
  • - Smith, Z. (2019) Feel Free: Essays. London: Penguin

Teaching method

The course will combine theoretical and practical classes, including presentation, demonstration, practical exercises, group discussion and reflection on the topics studied. Classes will favour the practical implementation of theory, interaction and students’ active participation both individually and in a group.

Evaluation method

Continuous assessment - A written test in class(40%), Regular and pertinent contribution during classes will be subject to assessment, students will carry out theoretical and practice assignments throughout the semester(60%)

Subject matter

Within the context of a contemporary, humanist and democratic education, this seminar explores what it means to be a language educator, a mediator of foreign cultures and of media representations of cultures and societies.
1. Literacy as socially-situated practice;
2. (Multi)literacy and critical cultural literacy:
2.1. Texts, representation and discourse (literary texts; media (news) sources; institutional reports; documentaries; podcasts...)
2.2. Visual culture (images, symbols, graphs, diagrams, artefacts, and other visual symbols).
3. The social and cultural impact of English as an international language
3.1. The ownership of English by non-native speakers
4. Contemporary issues
4.1. Identities; Englishness; Britishness;
4.2. The good immigrant? Immigrant and refugee experiences and voices in multicultural societies: the case of the UK and the USA;
4.3. Brexit and Trumpism;
4.4. Popular film and TV;
4.5 The (social) media & fake news;
4.6. Environmental sustainability.