Culture, Popularity and Politics
DozentIn: Jatin Wagle
Zeiten: Mo. 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 inquiries 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 course can ONLY be taken as a Cultural Studies [_Kulturwissenschaft_] course and is NOT being offered under Literary Studies. Moreover, 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 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, homework and active participation in classroom presentations and discussions. If you skip a session, it will be your responsibility to follow up on the course contents and allotted tasks.
2. ALL course participants MUST read EACH of the texts being discussed in the class carefully and prepare their notes or questions diligently.
3. A small group of participants will introduce the reading(s) allotted for the session in the form of a short presentation, while the rest of the participants will post a question/remark/comment on the relevant wiki set up for the purpose.
Requirements for grade: All of the above, and a seminar paper (approx. 4500 words). Further instructions in this regard will be provided after the first half of the course is over.
This course shares requirements and guidelines with the other American Studies courses taught at IfAA. The “American Studies Tool Kit” in the Stud.IP “Files” section outlines these requirements and guidelines. Please see the “Guidelines for Seminar Papers” for information on the formal requirements for the final paper. The “Abbreviations Key” and “Grading Rubric” are used in the grading and feedback process and will enable you to better judge your own paper even before handing it in.