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Gender and Popular Culture

ENGL 090.402
crosslisted as: COML 090, GSWS 090
TR 12-1:30
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

This course will consider representation of gender and sexuality in twentieth- and twenty-first-century American popular culture. Some of the questions we will address are: what are the distinctions between popular culture and its mass, elite, and subcultural counterparts? how does popular culture enforce intersecting gendered, racial, ethnic, sexual, and imperial norms? how does it incorporate oppositional politics? can the popular ever itself proclaim an oppositional or radical position in relation to dominant values? We will consider several forms and genres of popular entertainment: the sit-com, the melodrama, the road movie, the romantic comedy, the musical. We will read these cultural materials in relation to feminist and queer writing on race, sexuality, embodiment, imperialism, and capitalism.