World Literature and Culture Studies

CCS2021Popular Culture (Cross-Listed: MAAC 2021)3 ch (3C) (W) (EL)

This course introduces historical and theoretical contexts for the study of mass-mediated popular culture, from movies and TV to comic books and video games. It also explores the reciprocal relationship between creative expression and economic constraints, between the mainstream, sub-cultures, and counter-cultures, as well as familiar designations of "high-brow" and "low-brow." Using specific media case studies, students will engage with contemporary debates about the impact of representations, the role of ideology, the agency of the audience, the meaning of fandom, and the politics of taste. While learning to analyze and evaluate their relative merits, students will learn to step back and think critically about the larger implications and the cumulative effects of our constant exposure to popular culture texts. Students who have taken MAAC 2021 may not attain credit for CCS 2021.