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Welcome from Gloria
Hi, everyone, and welcome to our course on Cultural Studies and Modern Languages.
I am Gloria and I will be your guide throughout the next four weeks. I am based in the
School of Modern Languages at the University of Bristol, where I asked some colleagues
of mine to join us on this cultural adventure.
They will tell us about several slogans, books, monuments and images which have
developed in different countries throughout history. The language of slogans and books
and the objects of monuments and images can reveal a lot about countries and their
cultures. By the end of the course, we will have learnt about twelve topics and gathered an
understanding of how the analysis of language and objects works in practice, and is an
effective means to access and understand social realities like national cultures.
The course begins this week with an analysis of three slogans. Some of these are more
widely known than others, but they were all coined by very charismatic people from
different countries and over different chronological periods.
Our journey will start with the slogan La libert terapeutica (Freedom is therapeutic). It
was coined by the psychiatrist Franco Basaglia and emerged in Italy in the 1960s. We will
then go to Spain and learn more about the slogan !No pasarn! (They shall not pass!) that
was popularised in 1936 at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War by the activist and
politician Dolores Ibrruri. We then end our week with the oldest slogan of the three:
Proletarier aller Lnder, vereinigt euch! (Workers of the world unite!), which was
invented by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848 in Germany.
My colleagues John, Sally-Ann and Mark are experts on Italy, Spain and Germany, and
have created three great videos to introduce you to these slogans. Together with some short
articles, the videos will explain under what circumstances the slogans emerged, their
impact at that time, how they were received, how they evolved over time, and many other
interesting facts.
By the end of the week, you will have learnt new information about the countries the
slogans developed in. You will have also gained a better understanding of the power of


language; in particular, how catchy one-liners like slogans can capture peoples
imagination and become very effective means of persuasion.
But enough from me. I hope you enjoy our first week together and our choice of slogans.
Remember, do not worry if you cannot complete all the activities; you can dip in and out of
our course to suit your time and preferences. Have fun!