Travis J Sands
B CUSP 104
Examines an important social issue such as ecology, art, political change, the power of media, educational reform, or the role of science in contemporary culture through interdisciplinary investigation, and the lens of the visual, literary, and performing arts. Offered: A.
"Low" Culture and Social Criticism
How does Honey Boo Boo disrupt normative understandings of gender, age and class? What does The Walking Dead have to do with the sub-prime mortgage crisis? Why have South Park episodes been linked to geopolitical unrest? In this course, we will focus on cultural forms that are often regarded as beyond the pale of serious academic inquiry in order to consider the high stakes of "low" culture. Working from the premise that low culture is critically important precisely because it is "accessible," this course will utilize silly, satirical, crass and otherwise debased popular texts as points of entry to critical conversations about such issues as nativism and state racism, sexual difference and social belonging, and debt and structural poverty.
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