Course Schedule

Course Schedule At A Glance

WEEK 1 — Why Study Popular Culture?
WEEK 2 — Mass Culture Theory and Popular Culture
WEEK 3 — Marxism, Althusser, and Gramsci
WEEK 4 — Movie Week! — The Lego Movie
WEEK 5 — Psychonalaysis
WEEK 6 — Postmodernism
WEEK 7 — Feminism & Post-Feminism
WEEK 8 — Gender Construction in Popular Media
WEEK 9 — Midterm
WEEK 10 — Race, Racism, and Representation
WEEK 11 — Advertising, Consumer Culture, and Branding
WEEK 13 — Audiences and Fandom
WEEK 14 — Thanksgiving Break
WEEK 15 — Taste and Popular Culture
WEEK 16 — Wrap Up and Review

WEEK 1
Wednesday (8/24)
Class overview

Friday (8/26)
Why Study Pop Culture?
Linda Holmes: A Few Thoughts About Pop Culture Writing
bell hooks – Cultural Criticism and Transformation (transcript)

WEEK 2 – Mass Culture Theory and Popular Culture
Monday (8/29)
Williams, Raymond. The Analysis of Culture. Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A Reader, 48.
Macdonald, Dwight. A Theory of Mass Culture. Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A Reader.

Wednesday (8/31)
Maloney, Courtney (1999). The Faces in Lonesome’s Crowd: Imagining the Mass Audience in A Face In The Crowd. JNT: The Journal of Narrative Theory. 29.3.
I’m A Culture Critic: Help! Get Me Out Of Here! – James Wolcott, Vanity Fair 2009

Idiocracy Is A Cruel Movie, And You Should Be Ashamed For Liking It – Matt Novak, Gizmodo 2014.

Marxism and the Frankfurt School
Friday (9/2)
John Storey CTPC, Ch. 4
Theodor Adorno & Max Horkhiemer, “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception”

WEEK 3
Monday (9/5)
NO CLASS

Ideology and Hegemony
Wednesday (9/7)
Louis Althusser, “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses”

Friday (9/9)
Tony Bennett, “Popular Culture and the ‘turn to Gramsci’”

WEEK 4 – Movie Week!
Monday (9/12)
The Lego Movie pt. 1

Wednesday (9/14)
The Lego Movie pt. 2
First Blog Assignment Due at 11:59pm

Friday (9/16)
The Lego Movie Discussion
Review Adorno & Horkheimer’s “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment As Mass Deception”

WEEK 5
Psychoanalysis
Monday (9/19)
John Storey CTPC, Ch. 5: Psychoanalysis

Wednesday (9/21)
Laura Mulvey, Visual Pleasure in Narrative Cinema
Sean Nixon, “Psychonalalysis and Subjectivity,” from Stuart Hall’s Representations (pp. 312-313).
Sean Nixon, “Spectatorship,” from Stuart Hall’s Representations (pp. 314-315).

Friday (9/23)
Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window [excerpt]

WEEK 6 – Postmodernism
Monday (9/26)
John Storey, Ch. 9
Fredric Jameson, “Postmodernism & Consumer Society”

Wednesday (9/28)
Jean Baudrillard “The Precession of Simulacra”

Friday (9/30)
The Wachowski Siblings’ The Matrix [excerpt]

WEEK 7 – Feminism and Post-Feminism
Monday (10/3)
John Storey, Ch. 7
Lana Rakow, “Feminist Approaches to Popular Culture”
Second Blog Assignment Due at 11:59pm

Wednesday (10/5)
Jessalynn Keller, “Fiercely Real? Tyra Banks’ Body Politics and Post-Feminist Branding”
Sarah Banet-Weiser & Laura Portwood-Stacer, “‘I just want to be me again!’
Beauty pageants, reality television and post-feminism”

Friday (10/7)
SCREENING: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Season 1, Episode 1

WEEK 8 – Gender Construction in Popular Culture
Monday (10/10)
Masculinity
Messner, Michael A., & Montez de Oca, Jeffrey. (2005). The male consumer as loser: Beer and liquor ads in mega sports media events. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 30(3), 1879-1909.
Hains, Rebecca. Target Will Stop Labeling Toys For Boys and Girls. Good. The Washington Post. August 13, 2015.

Wednesday (10/12)
Femininity
Kearney, Mary Celeste. (2010). Pink Technology: Mediamaking Gear for Girls. Camera Obscura 74.
Maglaty, Jeanne. When did Girls Start Wearing Pink? Smithsonian.Com. April 7, 2011.

Friday (10/14)
SCREENING: The Simpsons, “Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy”

WEEK 9
Monday (10/17)
Midterm Review

Wednesday (10/19)
Midterm

Race and Representation
Friday (10/21)
John Storey CTPC, Ch. 8
On Diversity, Popular Culture and the Media
Linda Holmes on Gender Scarcity and The Avengers
A Manifesto on Diversity in Public Media – Al Letson
What is a “Good Muslim” Anyways? – All Things Considered
Why It’s So Hard for Us To Agree About Dong from “Unbreakable Kimmi Schmidt.” –Kat Chow

WEEK 10 – Race, Racism, and Representation
Monday (10/24)
Dyer, R. (1997). “The matter of whiteness.” In White (pp. 1-30). New York, NY: Routledge.

Wednesday (10/26)
Boylorn, R. M. (2008). As seen on TV: An autoethnographic reflection on race and reality television. Critical Studies in Media Communication25(4), 413-433.

Friday (10/28)
SCREENING: Spike Lee’s Bamboozled [excerpt]

WEEK 11 – Advertising, Consumer Cultures, and Branding
Monday (10/31)
Bamboozled Film Review
Sturken, M. & Cartwright, L.. (2009). Advertising, consumer cultures, and desire. In Practices of looking: An introduction to visual culturepp. 265-289 (on compass)

Wednesday (11/2)
SCREENING: Mad Men, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
Third Blog Assignment – Due at 11:59pm on Thursday, November 3rd.

Friday (11/4)
The Diamond Industry’s First Campaign In 5 Years Encourages Millennials To Make A Real Commitment
Sturken, M. & Cartwrigh, L. (2009). Sturken & Cartwright. (2009). Advertising, consumer cultures, and desire. In Practices of looking: An introduction to visual culture. pp. 289-300.

WEEK 12 – Branding
Monday (11/7)
How To Build Your Personal Brand
Investing in a brilliant new YOU™: the rise and tyranny of the ‘personal brand’
Banet-Weiser, S. (2011). “Branding the Post-Feminist Self: Girls’ Video Production and YouTube”

Wednesday (11/9)
SCREENING: Barak Goodman’s The Merchants of Cool

Friday (11/11)
Banet-Weiser, S. (2007). The Nickelodeon brand: Buying and selling the audience. Nickelodeon and Consumer Citizenship.
Recommended: Hawkins, R. (2011). ‘One Pack = One Vaccine” = one global motherhood? A feminist analysis of ethical consumption, gender, gender, place and culture. A Journal of Feminist Geography

WEEK 13 – Audiences and Fandom
Monday (11/14)
Sturken, M. & Cartwright, L. (2009). Viewers make meaning. In Practices of looking: An introduction to visual culture. pp. 52-62; 72-89.
Stuart Hall, “Encoding, Decoding”
Jacqueline Bobo, “Black Women As Cultural Readers”

Wednesday (11/16)
SCREENING: Susan Stern’s Barbie Nation: An Unauthorized Tour

Friday (11/18) – Fandom
De Kosnik, A. (2013). Fandom As Free Labor. Digital Labor: The Internet As Factory and Playground

WEEK 14
—————————– THANKSGIVING!! ——————————

WEEK 15 – Taste and Popular Culture
Monday (11/28) – Taste & Distinction
Pierre Bourdieu, “Distinction & The Aristocracy of Culture”
Lisa Bode, “Transitional tastes: Teen girls and genre in the critical reception of Twilight
Paper Proposal Due at 11:59PM

Wednesday (11/30) – “Bad” Taste
Andrew Ross, “Uses of Camp” pp. 135-156
Fourth Assignment Due at 11:59PM

Friday (12/2)
SCREENING: John Waters’ Pink Flamingoes

WEEK 16 – Wrap Up and Review
Monday (12/5)
Wrap Up

Wednesday (12/7)
Last Day of Classes

WEEK 16 – Finals Week
Final Exam: Wednesday, December 14th, 7-10PM, Armory 331
Final Paper Due: Friday, December 16th by 5PM at my mailbox at Greg Hall 119

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