Comparative Literature | Introduction to Popular Culture
C151 | 3203 | Dunkelberger, D

This course satisfies A & H requirment & carries Culture Studies

1:00-2:15 TR   BH 134

The goal of this course will be to examine the role of dance in
contemporary popular culture by looking at such diverse genres as
popular movies and novels, as well as dance instruction manuals and
paintings of dancers. We will start by reading several essays that
attempt to question and construct a definition of pop culture, as
well as a several writings on dance and performance theory. From
there, we will look at how national dances represent a country's
character, on the one hand, and how the carnivalesque and primal
expression of dance, on the other hand, occasionally breaks through
the mesh of commonly held values that help shape national dentities.
As we progress to the more intimate world of the dancer, we will
probe such issues as the cultivation, restriction and denial of the
body's basic needs in the name of dance and the obsession with
weight that is so salient in popular culture today. Towards the end
of the semester, we will begin to push the definition of "dance" by
looking at such "feminine" and "masculine" physical expressions
as stripping and fighting. Regular attendance, participation, a
midterm and a final exam, as well as several short writing
ssignments will all be assessed for a final grade.