Popular Culture and the Culture Industry
DozentIn: Jatin Wagle, M.A.
Zeiten: Fr. 12:00 - 14:00 (wöchentlich)
Beschreibung: At first glance, the term “popular culture” suggests that it is of “the people”. But, is modern culture actually determined by the people who receive it, or is it predetermined for their consumption by the industry that manufactures it? In other words, what is the politics of popular culture in an industrial and postindustrial age? This course in English and American Studies intends to engage with these and related questions, as it seeks to acquaint students with the intellectual and political project of Cultural Studies, which first emerged in Britain in the 1960s to address what Raymond Williams had described as “ordinary culture.” Over the duration of this course, we will examine the varied manners in which modern culture has been characterized, such as, mass culture, or culture industry [_Kulturindustrie_], and get acquainted with a wide array of theoretical approaches that have shaped critical enquiries into the products and practices of modern mass media, such as cultural materialism, Marxism, feminism, semiotics, and gender studies.
In order to take and enjoy this class, you should be willing to read, analyze, and discuss theoretical and analytical texts. Please note that this seminar is recommended for fourth and fifth semester students of English and American Studies, since it builds upon students’ awareness and understanding of the basic tools and concepts of literary and cultural studies.
The required readings with a tentative schedule will be made available online on Stud.IP before our first class. Please check the course webpages on Stud.IP regularly for updates, announcements, and changes.
Prerequisites for participation: B1 module
1. Regular attendance and active participation in classroom discussions and group work. If you skip a session, it will be your responsibility to follow up on the course content and allotted tasks.
2. Please note that this course can only be taken as a Cultural Studies [_Kulturwissenschaft_] course and is not being offered under Literary Studies.
3. All course participants will need to read each of the texts being discussed in the class carefully and prepare their notes or answers diligently in terms of the relevant questions.
4. If you do not engage with the allotted texts and participate actively in our classroom discussions, you will be asked to sign out of the course.
Requirements for grade: All of the above, and a seminar paper (approx. 4000 words). Further instructions in this regard will be provided after the first half of the course is over.