Sydney F Lewis
Introduces cultural studies as an interdisciplinary field and practice. Explores multiple histories of the field with an emphasis on current issues and developments. Focuses on culture as a site of political and social debate and struggle. Offered: AWSp.
For AUTUMN 2007: Cultural Studies is, by its nature, interdisciplinary and diverse. It is comprised of literary theory, media studies, sociology, political economy, cultural anthropology, philosophy, and art history/criticism to study cultural phenomena in various societies. Cultural studies researchers often consider how a particular phenomenon relates to matters of ideology, race, ethnicity, nationality, social class, and/or gender. Given its inherent diversity, cultural studies can be regarded as a nebulous and “floating” discipline. This course will begin with an examination of the various modes of inquiry that comprise cultural studies. This examination is not in an effort to “pin down” the discipline, but to open up its various possibilities. Texts will particularly focus on critical whiteness studies, that is, how whiteness is socially constructed and rearticulated in order to maintain racist power structures within the United States. Texts will include critical theory, social commentary, film, fiction, and poetry. The course will close with an examination of new technologies for the maintenance of white supremacy and a meditation on whiteness and anti-racist strategizing.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
This class functions through a student-centered pedagogy. Active in-class participation is required and will comprise a substantial portion of your final grade. Lectures will be rare occurrences, and class time will mostly be comprised of focused discussions and classroom community activities.
Class assignments and grading
Expect hearty, and sometimes dense, reading and daily 1-2 page response papers. Your in-class participation, daily responses, a midterm exam/project and final exam/project will determine your course grade. Texts: Course Reader and books TBD (in and effort to facilitate financial accessibility cost will be a consideration in book selection)