Gray M Kochhar-Lindgren
Explores the interaction between consumer culture and popular culture emphasizing literature, history, and theory. Stresses diverse interpretive approaches within American Studies.
WINTER 2006 In this course, we will explore the many meanings of money in American culture, especially in the 19th-21st centuries, with the rise of industrialization, the globalization of capital, the emergence of alternative economies, and the electronic revolution that is currently changing the nature of exchange at a pace faster than we can follow. From a number of different perspectives, we will examine the significance of "money" in our own symbolic world. How, for example, does it create meaning and lack of meaning? Is money an object or something like a metaphor, a myth? How are the economy, ecology, and entertainment related? What is the relationship between money's circulation, at the speed of computer circuitry, and the circulation of ethical value?
Selected Learning Outcomes:
To become more accomplished critical and creative readers, writers, researchers, and producers of knowledge
To become more aware of the presence and function of money as it has changed historically and as it exists in 21st century society
To develop a collaborative research project around the riddle of money that deepens our understanding and can make an intervention, however modest, in the social fabric
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class discussion, film, a variety of writing, individual and group research (with attention to different methodologies).
No prerequisites. Think as much as you can about money before the first class! You will also need to be a disciplined and imaginative reader, writer, participant, and researcher in order to succeed at the highest level.
Class assignments and grading
In and out of class writing Reading on a consistent basis Research methods and a research project
Participation Writing Exams Research Project