Popular Culture

Identity in the Internet Age

Instructor: 
Jennifer MacGregor
Meeting Days/Times: 
Meeting Days/Times: Tuesday and Thursday 12:00 p.m. – 2:10 p.m.
Also Counts: 
This course also fulfills the SS general education requirement

The old adage commands: To thine own self be true. Do we have a Self to be true to? In this course we will explore historical and cultural conceptions of identity and identity development. Using sociological, philosophical, psychological and feminist ideas and methodologies, we’ll explore how technological advances and shifts in intellectual thought in the past century have caused a major re-evaluation of what it means to address the question, “Who am I?

Exploring the Beat Generation and Beyond: A Study of Counterculture

Instructor: 
Kate Spencer
Meeting Days/Times: 
Tuesday and Thursday 12:00 p.m. – 2:10 p.m.
Also Counts: 
This course also fulfills the HU general education requirement

In the 1950s, a counterculture emerged that defied the norms of a conventional and consumerist society. A precursor to the Hippie movement of the 1960s, the Beats brought attention to issues of sexuality, class, race, and gender in ways considered provocative and unorthodox. The result was a cultural movement that left a lasting impact on the modern Western world. We will examine a variety of works including texts, film, and music that exemplify the historical, political and social implications of the time.

This is Your Brain on Facebook: Knowing in the Digital Age

Instructor: 
Matthew Lavin
Meeting Days/Times: 
Tuesday and Thursday 12:00 p.m. – 2:10 p.m.
Also Counts: 
This course also fulfills the HU general education requirement

Is the Internet making us stupid? In this course, we will join some of the greatest minds of our time in considering this question. We will look closely at the impact of digital communication and consumption on our thoughts, our worldviews, and the ways we read and interpret texts. Examining a range of topics from the unique qualities of media that originate in a digital form, to what it means to be a digital native, to the ubiquity of mobile devices, we will think critically about how digital technology is affecting how we relate to the world and to what we think we know.

Reporter as Revolutionary: Narratives of Graphic Journalism

Instructor: 
Sid Sondergard
Meeting Days/Times: 
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.
Also Counts: 
This course also fulfills the HU general education requirement

The classic conflict of objectivity versus subjectivity, of simply reporting facts versus shaping them rhetorically, has been the subject of a wide range of recent graphic novels that employ either the perspectives of contemporary investigative journalism applied to real events or the figure of the investigative journalist as the protagonist in fictional narratives.

Rebels and Outcasts: American Individualism in Film

Instructor: 
Kathleen Stein
Meeting Days/Times: 
Tuesday 10:10-11:40 a.m. and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-1:10 p.m.
Also Counts: 
This course also counts as AAH/FILM 248 and fulfills the ARTS general education requirement

The United States was formed around Enlightenment ideas of freedom and the rights of the individual.  However, from the beginning, “freedom” has had many definitions and has been put to many uses in American political and social discourse; tension between the individual and the community has been central to Americans’ self-image in a way that has not been true of other nations.  From its inception, American film has been fascinated with rebellious loners and social outcasts: characters whose individualism is not only “front-and-center” but often “in your face.”  In thi

The Roots and the Real: Authenticity and American Popular Music

Instructor: 
Larry Boyette
Meeting Days/Times: 
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.
Also Counts: 
This course also fulfills the ARTS general education requirement

Is it street? Is it roots? Is it real? This seminar will combine reading, listening, research and performance to explore the way our culture understands and evaluates its popular music. We will explore the defining standards of the many branches of American popular music: blues, jazz, country, gospel, bluegrass, rock and roll, soul, hip hop and beyond. Our particular focus will be on understanding the role of the concept of “authenticity” in our culture’s evaluation of the merit of popular music and the tensions between the mandates of authenticity and of commercial success.

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