Course Details

050:259:01 - Popular Culture

  • Course ID: 050:259:01
  • Credits: 3
  • Instructor Name: Backes
  • Instructor (Core Faculty): Backes, Matt
  • SAS Core Curriculum Goals: AHo, AHp

This class explores the history and current dynamics of American popular culture. We will analyze and discuss a wide array of movies, music videos, songs, literature, and art in an effort to understand what makes popular culture popular, how it "works" (or does not work) in society, what kinds of meaning it generates, and how it is received by audiences. We will use a variety of scholarly models and theoretical literature to help make sense of cultural forms and productions that seem all too familiar but bear careful scrutiny. In addition the course will give special attention to the decades of the 1980s and 1990s as a critical juncture at which a new politics and aesthetics of popular culture emerged.