Media Arts and Culture

MAAC2021Popular Culture (Cross-Listed: CCS 2021)3 ch (3C) (W)

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 already completed MM 2021 for credit may not enrol in MAAC 2021.