Shirley J. Yee
Introduction to critical examination of gender, race/ethnicity, and sexuality in music, film, television, and the internet. Explores cultural meanings and social uses of popular culture by various communities in local and global contexts. Analysis of commercial and independent pop culture. Examination of popular culture forms varies depending on instructor.
This quarter we will link the historical to the contemporary, analyzing the ways in which gendered forms of "the popular" in the United States emerged between the late 19th century and the 21st century. A continuous theme will be the relationship between technology and consumerism. Topics will include mass entertainment, such as the circus and wild west shows, television, and film industries, sports, transportation, and foodways.
Student learning goals
To historicize contemporary forms of popular culture by comparing and contrasting historical and current lived experiences
To understand the ways in which popular culture reflects cultural norms regarding gender, race, class, and sexuality
To understand the ways in which popular cultural forms reflect the development of individual, community, and national identities
To develop critical thinking skills by learning how to analyze how popular cultural forms are produced in everyday life.
To understand the power of the popular in shaping societal views about gender, race, sexuality and class.
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
Students will submit short response papers to films and 3-5 mini-research papers on topics related to course material. Students will also take an in-class written midterm exam and comprehensive final exam.
Grades will be based upon the timely completion of assignments and thestudents' ability to articulate the major themes covered in class clearly and precisely with evidence from readings, lectures, and films to support their arguments.