At the end of the course, the student will be able to:
- comprehend and critically reflect on the complex interaction between American popular culture, ideology, and identity;
- deal with conceptual frameworks like intertextuality, genre, style and meaning;
- use a set of methods and tools for analysing textual, visual and spatial manifestations of popular culture;
- formulate a theoretically informed and methodologically sound research project that critically engages with the discussed material.
- Classes take the form of interactive seminars.
- The course uses Blackboard as its electronic learning environment.
- Students prepare class discussion and do their assignments individually.
In this course we critically engage with 20th and 21st-century American and British popular culture from a variety of theoretical and often interdisciplinary perspectives. By studying examples of popular films, TV series, music, themed environments, comedy, etc., you will expand your knowledge of internationally influential and often commercially successful British and American cultural products and practices. While the course mainly focuses on the US and UK, it is also possible (and encouraged!) to consider examples of popular culture from other Anglophone contexts (for example Ireland, Canada, or Australia).|
The aim of the course is to develop a set of critical tools – taken from the disciplines of literary studies, cultural studies, and sociolinguistics – for the academic analysis of instances of popular culture. The course will provide background and a theoretical basis through discussions of what popular culture is and what kind of topics, theoretical perspectives and methodologies are central to a discipline like popular culture studies; it will also consider how popular culture products and practices may be explained historically. Together with your peers, you will conduct research into an example of popular culture; you will present your findings in writing and during a presentation. The latter will be part of an interactive mini student conference at the end of the course. The course format is designed to aid in the training of your academic research and presentation skills.
Course 'Reading Literature' (English Language and Culture / American Studies B1), or a similar course.
- Portfolio with assignments
- Research project resulting resulting in presentation and written work