ENGL 342
Advanced Topics in Cultural Theory
Last Offered Spring 2023
Division I
This course is not offered in the current catalog

Class Details

Many people these days have views about the politics of pop culture. Audiences show up at superhero movies already asking questions about how Marvel has opted to represent this or that group. Fans don’t need to be told that hip-hop in the US involves questions of power. So what are the questions we ask next? Can we get more precise about the role of politics in culture? Or about the role of culture in politics? Is there, for instance, a right way to represent injustices? And how exactly could culture and the media be made more democratic? Can the arts help us imagine better ways of organizing our societies? Does all political struggle have to involve the media? And what is the fate of art in societies in which everything is for sale? Readings will include Antonio Gramsci, Raymond Williams, Fredric Jameson, Theodor Adorno, Ernst Bloch, and others.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 15
Class#: 3828
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: one 6- to 8-page paper, one 10- to 12-page paper, informal weekly writing assignments, and active seminar participation
Prerequisites: a 100-level ENGL course, or a score of 5 on the AP English Literature exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level IB English exam. If you are interested in taking the course without the prereq, do contact Prof. Thorne.
Enrollment Preferences: Preference given to students who have taken ENGL/COMP 117 and to English majors.
Distributions: Division I
Attributes: ENGL Criticism Courses

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