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Aneeka A. Henderson (Section 01)
We will examine some of the most challenging issues about women and gender in our contemporary postmodern world, through the lens of popular culture. We will investigate representations of women in popular and material culture in the U.S. through music, television, blogs, fiction, and advertisements. As we interrogate some of the major theories in cultural criticism, we will use our own expertise as consumers of popular culture as an entryway for exploring the diverse roles mass-mediated popular culture plays in our lives. Several questions shape the syllabus and provide a framework for approaching the course materials: How do familiar aspects of popular culture reveal broader cultural concerns about women and gender? In what ways does popular culture blur the boundaries between the highbrow and the lowbrow? What kinds of fears or anxieties about women and gender does popular culture elicit and how do we negotiate those anxieties? Expectations include diligent reading, active participation, one presentation, two exams, and two writing projects.
Limited to 25 students. Fall semester. Visiting Professor Henderson.