We will work together to develop a definition of popular culture through critical readings which address this question, as well as through our own experiences with twentieth century culture. We will then focus on the issue of gender and its intersection with popular culture at several historical moments including the Classical period, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the contemporary period. We shall ask how women acted as cultural agents as both producers and consumers of culture, as well how popular culture contributed to the construction of their gender identity. Possible topics include mythology, the cult of the saints and mysticism, Renaissance drama, and contemporary genres (e.g. science and detective fiction, film, advertising, and comic books).