Toby Slade

Toby Slade

Research & Teaching Website

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Course Outline

Week 1: Guidance
Week 2: What are manners for? 
Readings: ‘The Havamal’, ‘George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour’, ‘Fundamentals of Good Behaviour’ and ‘Culture & Civilisation’.
Week 3: Common Courtesies
Readings: ‘Introductions’, ‘Walking in the Street’, ‘Traveling’ and ‘Forms of Introduction’.
Week 4: Greetings & Small Talk
Readings: ‘Bow of a Woman of Charm’, ‘Phrases Avoided in Good Society’ and ‘Calling and Conversation’.
Week 5: Table Manners
Readings: ‘Leaving the Table’ and ‘Behaviour at Table’.
Week 6: Written Manners
Readings: ‘Letters of Introduction’ and ‘Proper Letters of Love or Affection’.
Week 7: Retail & Business Manners
Readings: ‘Business Manners and Class Hierarchy’.
Week 8: Clothing & Dress Etiquette
Readings: ‘Dress’ and ‘Clothes of a Gentleman’.
Week 9: Relationship Manners
Readings: ‘Asking for a Dance’, ‘Engagements’, ‘Dawn of the Date’ and ‘The Bride Wore Air’.
Week 10: Blowing One’s Nose & Michel Foucault 
Readings: ‘On Blowing One’s Nose’.
Week 11: Manners in the Digital Age
Readings: ‘Virtual Viciousness’ and ‘Shame and Repugnance’.
Week 12: Student Presentations
Week 13: Student Presentations


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All course readings are available in a course reader for ¥1000

Research a manner or custom of an English speaking nation and compare it to Japan. An observation, questionnaire or experiment about the manner or custom is encouraged. Present this research as a final presentation and companion summary paper at the end of the semester.


Present your ideas in a presentation. Use whatever visual aids you require. 

Summary paper:     

A summary paper of your presentation of around 500 words (although the word limit is loose) will be due in the last two weeks of class. The paper should briefly summarise your presentation. Proper citations of sources used are naturally required. 

30% Presentations (3-5 minutes)        
30% Presentation summary (500 words)   
40% Group discussions            


Course Selected Bibliography

George Washington, Rules of Civility & Decent Behavor in Company and Conversation, Ferry Farm, 1744.
Emily Post, Etiquette, New York, 1922.
Mark Caldwell, A Short History of Rudeness: Manners, Morals and Misbehavior in Modern America, Picador, New York, 1999.
Norbert Elias, The Civilizing Process, Volume 1: The History of Manners, Pantheon Books, New York, 1978.
Norbert Elias, The Civilizing Process, Volume 2: Power & Civility, Pantheon Books, New York, 1982. Stanley Ager and Fiona St. Aubyn, The Butler’s Guide to Running the Home and Other Graces, Potter, New York, 1980.
Charles MacPherson, The Butler Speaks, Random House, New York, 2013.
Josephine Ross, Jane Austen’s Guide to Good Manners: Compliments, Charades and Horrible Blunders, Bloomsbury, London, 2006.
Paul Belloni Du Chaillu, The Viking Age: The Early History, Manner & Customs of the Ancestors of the English-Speaking Nations, Elibron Classics, London, 1889.

Copyright © 2019, Toby Slade. All rights reserved.