British Society, Culture and Literature

Credit points: 6
Contact hours: 60
Type: P, S

Main Instructor

dr. Nike Kocijančič Pokorn, Full Professor

Course Description

Objectives and competences

  1. 1. awareness of the complexity of the notion culture and British culture;
  2. 2. awareness of the plurality of British culture through the outline of British history;
  3. 3. awareness of the differences and similarities between Slovene and British societies;
  4. 4. ability to understand the function of literary texts in British society;
  5. 5. to develop the ability to understand the complex interconnectedness of literature and culture in the British Isles;
  6. 6. ability to recognise the canonized authors in the history of British literature;
  7. 7. ability to critically approach different aspects of the United Kingdom, i.e. from its political system, education, religious communities, lifestyle, holidays, to its customs and typical leisure activies.

Content (syllabus outline)

The course is divided into two units:

  1. a) British Literature
  2. b) British Society and Culture


British Literature: The course touches upon selected events in the history of Britain and focuses on the following periods and authors: Old English Literature (Caedmon, Bede, Beowulf), Middle English Period (Geoffrey Chaucer), Elizabethan and Jacobean drama (Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare); The Metaphysical Poets; John Milton; Restoration drama (William Congreve); English Classicism (Alexander Pope, Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding); English Romantic Poets (Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats); selected novels of the early 19th century (Austen, Scott); The Victorian Novel (Dickens, Thackeray, Charlotte and Emily Brontë, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy); Victorian poetry and drama (Tennyson, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Arnold, Hopkins).

British Society and Culture: Britain and Britishness, stereotypes; the nations of Britain (Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, England), English identity; 20th century history; post-colonialism and multicultural Britain; the political system: parliament, the electoral system, government, the monarchy; and judicial system, the legal profession, the police; education: values, the educational system, the curriculum, university; religion, the Church of England, world religions; the media, sport and the arts; home, family, social differences, daily life, leisure, food and drink.


  • Kocijančič Pokorn, Nike. 2005. British Literature: Selected Texts. Ljubljana: Filozofska fakulteta UL, Oddelek za prevajalstvo.
  • Limon, David. 2009. British society and culture: from a Slovene perspective. Ljubljana: Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete.  
  1. For their home reading students have to select at least 7 works from the reading list provided by the lecturer. 


  1. British Literature - rading list


  1. Enrollment in the first academic year of Interlingual Communication.


The final grade consists of the average from the two subjects (British literature & British society and culture). To pass, students must get a positive grade in both subjects.

  • British Society and Culture: written exam, (50% of the final grade).
  • British Literature: Written and oral exam (exam also covers home reading); (50% of the final grade).

Forms of marking: 6-10 or A-E (positive grade), 1-5 or F (negative grade). The assessment is in line with the Statute of the University of Ljubljana and the examination regulations of the Faculty of Arts.


Nike Kocijančič Pokorn