ENGL 117 Spring 2014 Introduction to Cultural Theory (W)

Also offered Fall 2013

Cross Listed as COMP117
This course has a clear purpose. If you had signed up for a course in biology, you would know that you were about to embark on the systematic study of living organisms. If you were registered for a course on the American Civil War, you would know that there had been an armed conflict between the northern and southern states in the 1860s. But if you decide you want to study "culture," what exactly is it that you are studying? The aim of this course is not to come up with handy and reassuring definitions for this word, but to show you why it is so hard to come up with such definitions. People fight about what the word "culture" means, and our main business will be to get an overview of that conceptual brawl. We will pay special attention to the conflict between those thinkers who see culture as a realm of freedom or equality or independence or critical thought and those thinkers who see culture as a special form of bondage, a prison without walls. The course will be organized around short theoretical readings by authors ranging from Matthew Arnold to Constance Penley, but we will also, in order to put our new ideas to the test, watch several films (Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Silence of the Lambs, The Lord of the Rings) and listen to a lot of rock & roll. Why do you think culture matters? Once you stop to pose that question, there's no turning back.
Class Format: discussion/seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: five short papers totaling about 20 pages, class attendance and participation
Additional Info:
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: first-year students who have not taken or placed out of a 100-level ENGL course
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Divisional Attributes: Division I,Writing Intensive
Other Attributes: AMST Critical and Cultural Theory Electives
Enrollment Limit: 19
Expected Enrollment: 19
Class Number: 3642
CLASSES ATTR INSTRUCTORS TIMES CLASS NUMBER
ENGL117-01(S) SEM Introduction Cultural Theory (W) Division 1: Languages and the ArtsWriting Intensive Cancelled 3642
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