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This module offers a general introduction to European culture from antiquity to the present day through an exploration of key texts of Western literature (and some aspects of non-Western literature). The texts on the course have been selected on the basis that they influence, directly or indirectly, the assumptions and contexts of Western Culture as it has evolved. The course emphasises the study of primary texts in their original contexts and the history of their subsequent transmission and reception. Students will consider key texts that have reflected on the evolving question of what it means to be a human being and explore influential ideas that define the Western worldview and govern the production and consumption of what we experience as literary texts. In addition to the concept of the great book, the module will also look at current ideas in popular, non-elite and non-literate contexts. Students will be able to explore the impact of ideas in a range of areas, such as economic and social conditions, power structures, individual desire, sexuality, gender, the unconscious, art, literature, science, and philosophy.