Literature and Culture

  • Jeneen Naji
  • Ganakumaran Subramaniam
  • Goodith WhiteEmail author


Many theoretical approaches to literary studies assume that the relationship between literature and culture is an important one, in the sense that literature both reflects and is a means of reflecting on the culture in which it is produced. In defining culture, the writers describe the effects of global culture on what is read, and the notion that any literary text cannot help being a partial and biased representation of the culture it portrays. Students need to be supported in questioning the cultural assumptions made in texts and questioning stereotypes. The components of cultural awareness are explored and illustrated, and the chapter ends with a discussion of high and low culture as they apply to the texts students read.


  1. Appadurai, A. (1996). Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  2. Arnold, M. (1869). Culture and Anarchy. London: Smith, Elder.Google Scholar
  3. Bhabha, H. K. (1994). The Location of Culture. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Brighton, T. (2004). Hell Riders: The Truth About the Charge of the Light Brigade. New York: Viking.Google Scholar
  5. Castells, M. (2009). Communication Power. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Duffy, C. A. (2010). ‘Deportation’. In Love Poems. Basingstoke and Oxford: Picador.Google Scholar
  7. Greenblatt, S. (1990). Learning to Curse: Essays in Early Modern Culture. New York and London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Hall, G. (2015). Literature in Language Education. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kramsch, C. (1998). Language and Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Kramsch, C. (2014). The Challenge of Globalization for the Teaching of Foreign Languages and Cultures. Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 11(2), 249–254. Available at
  11. Lazar, G. (1993). Literature and Language Teaching: A Guide for Teachers and Trainers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Levy, A. (2004). Small Island. London: Hachette UK.Google Scholar
  13. Lim, C. (1998). The Teardrop Story Woman. New York, NJ: Overlook Press.Google Scholar
  14. Maitland, S. (2013). Gossip from the Forest: The Tangled Roots of Our Forests and Fairytales. London: Granta.Google Scholar
  15. Toibin, C. (2010). Brooklyn. New York: Scribner.Google Scholar
  16. Tomalin, B., & Stempleski, S. (1993). Cultural Awareness. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeneen Naji
    • 1
  • Ganakumaran Subramaniam
    • 2
  • Goodith White
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Media StudiesNational University of Ireland, MaynoothMaynoothIreland
  2. 2.School of EducationUniversity of Nottingham Malaysia CampusSemenyihMalaysia
  3. 3.School of EducationUniversity of Nottingham Malaysia CampusSemenyihMalaysia

Personalised recommendations