American Popular Cultures Minor

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Provides students with the opportunity to critically analyze popular culture, its production, and its consumption from an interdisciplinary perspective. Coursework broadly explores how popular culture reflects and challenges American cultural values, practices and norms, and institutions. In addition, courses focus on the study of technologies and material culture, production of popular culture, consumption practices, and the role of popular culture in creating and disseminating ideologies. The two foundational courses, respectively, introduce cultural studies and provide a concluding experience with the minor through acquisition and application of key concepts and theories. Students in the minor will design and complete a project in the last foundation course. Students will acquire the skills to analyze popular culture artifacts in contexts related to public life, media, cultural history, and industry production (film, music, toys/games, literature, fashion, food, etc.) as well as individualized practices. Students graduating with a minor in American Popular Culture Studies will be well-suited to think critically about the complex role of popular culture in our lives. This minor will serve students who have an interest in pursuing graduate school, teaching, writing, or working in creative industries (game design, film and television, etc.). 

Student Learning Objectives

With the American Popular Culture Studies Minor, students will:

  • Demonstrate an ability to critically analyze popular culture texts and artifacts in social and political contexts
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the production and reception of popular culture
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how cultural meaning is created, and how studying popular culture can provide us with multiple ways of making power visible
  • Analyze and synthesize material from primary and secondary sources in order to create a coherent, evidence-based argument
  • Employ methodologies from the humanities and the social sciences to analyze a variety of historical, cultural, social and political questions.

Requirements

25 credits, 15 credits must be upper division - 15 credits must be taken outside major requirements.

Foundational American Popular Culture Coursework (10 credits)

Topical Coursework in American Popular Culture Studies (15 Credits)