This interdisciplinary course explores North-American popular culture and its effects on the world. The student’s perspective is that of a cultural researcher, an observer seeing the Northern way of life for the first time. Through a political study (gender, race, and class analyses) of film, television, computer technologies, music, and advertising, students learn connections between these media and their political, historical, social, and economic contexts. Also studied will be the idea of popular iconography, which is the idea that numerous icons and symbols have their own unique and powerful political, social, or ethical connotations and influences.
Computer access is essential to the completion of this course, since all readings are provided on-line (access is available in the St. James Learning Resource Center). With Internet access, students will contact the course’s exciting web site, and print out readings, assignments, and other resources. Students on-line will also be able to use Links to gain access to fascinating websites related to the course’s content. As a major icon essay constitutes a large portion of the course evaluation, good writing skills are essential.