ENGL-265 Introduction to Cultural Studies
Fall for 2015-2016
Faculty:
In the first half, to familiarize ourselves with the new science of Cultural Studies as practiced in the US and UK today by reading canonical and newer works in the field. We will see that cultural studies emphasizes critical interpretation of cultural objects to observe the interlocking categories of class, race, gender, nation and sexuality to produce a "cultural ensemble of power." We will discuss the history and theoretical contours of the field from the formation of the Birmingham School to the present and chart its main influences in 1960s Marxism and decolonization, 1970s feminism, and 1980s postmodernism. Overall, cultural studies is the critical analysis of contemporary culture for the purpose of changing it.
The special emphasis of the second half will be to examine what practical difference we can make in society by practicing culture as forms of expression and dissent. Our attention will be geared partially to events on campus such as those organized by the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice and to the Program on Justice and Peace. We will also study campus activism such as the Fossil Fuel divestment
campaign and the diversity drive. Students will develop independent research projects.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
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