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Cultural Studies

ENGL 295.301
TR 1:30-3
fulfills requirements:
Sector 1: Theory and Poetics of the Standard Major
Sector 2: Difference and Diaspora of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Elective Seminar of the Standard Major

This upper-level seminar will immerse students in the history and practice of thinking about literature in relation to something called “culture.”  We will begin with nineteenth-century definitions of culture and its value and then track changing understandings of culture through the rise of the entertainment industry in the early twentieth century, through mid-century ideas of working-class culture, and into late-century understandings of culture’s role in the formation and maintenance of the modern nation state.  In addition to reading cultural studies theorists and practitioners like Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Raymond Williams, Dick Hebdige, Stuart Hall, Paul Gilroy, and Janice Radway, students will learn to interpret a range of cultural texts, including films, popular fiction, news stories, and advertising images.  Course requirements include several short seminar papers and a long research paper.  There will be no final exam.