Apr 22, 2018  
2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

INST 4002 - What’s Hot, What’s Not: American Popular Culture Since World War II

Hours: 4
The course will explore the following questions and determine what characteristics distinguish the phenomena of popular culture from those of high culture. What makes something popular and why? Do trends in the media, literature, art and music parallel/mirror societal changes and innovations? How is the aesthetic for popular culture similar to/different from the aesthetic criteria for high art? Is pop culture by definition at odds with the avant-garde in literature, art, music and cinema? Why or why not? If so, in what ways? What issues are raised when discussing these concerns, including questions of quality, purpose, cultural value, and ethics? Analyzing, interpreting and critiquing salient aspects of American pop culture will be emphasized. Through critical reading, thinking, and writing, students will explore ways in which popular culture upholds and/or counteracts traditional values of Western society. Criteria for what dictates taste and an analysis of particular forms of music, literature and the media in American pop culture will be addressed. Readings will provide a historical and theoretical foundation through documentation of pop culture products and related considerations. (Paired with INST 3502 to fulfill the dyad requirement.)