Popular Culture: An Interdisciplinary Perspective

Course Code: HUMA 2010

Academic Year: 2021-2022

Exactly what is popular culture? We all see it, hear it, watch it, read it, dance to it, and even play it. But where does it come from? What role does it fulfill? Is it worth studying more closely? Many scholars certainly think it is a worthwhile topic of study. This course will explore how popular culture intersects with other social aspects such as class, race, and gender, and how it shapes our social and culture history and participates in creating that and how we think about our world. By analyzing such areas as film, television, social media, and mobile media, we shall evaluate how popular culture formulates an important and often complex role in the cultural experience of our lives. Shall also examine how we can usefully apply the theoretical ideas of Marxism, structuralism, post-structuralism, psychoanalysis, and postmodernism to help analyze popular culture. For example, we still investigate the use if iPods and the creation of mash-ups examining how they embody both emancipatory and constraining possibilities, low at how dominant readings of race and racism are challenged and upheld through popular film, and examine how social media websites construct proper femininity. Finally, we shall investigate popular culture's relation to politics and consider the following questions: Are we simply foolish and ignorant consumers manipulated by the mass culture industries, or can we actually draw on popular culture as a form of individual expression and engage in a productive dialogue with others in society? Category and Level: Arts & Humanities, Lower Level Restrictions: None