Cultural Studies differs from traditional "Landeskunde" in a number of important ways. Although its starting point is usually an introductory course giving an overview of the area in question (Canada, the USA, the UK, etc.), Cultural Studies attempts to question clichés and stereotypes, to tackle controversial topics, and to encourage a critical approach. Its subject matter is "culture" in the widest possible sense, potentially including any activity or "product" of a society or group within a society. It is necessarily comparative and contrastive. It involves studying texts of all kinds, ranging from everyday conversation to works of literature.
This department has an integrated approach to Cultural Studies, which means that it not only offers general and specialized courses under this heading, but also includes aspects of Cultural Studies in the Language, Literature, Linguistics, and Teaching Methodology sections.
All students are recommended to attend at least one overview course (usually a lecture) early in their studies before taking more specialized courses (usually seminars).