American Studies | U.S. Arts & Media / Topic: The Alien in American Popular Culture
A202 | 14130 | Laila Amine


(3 cr. hrs.) A & H
This class examines the trope of the alien in contemporary American
popular culture. The intersection between the non-human species and
the foreigner will introduce the dominant themes associated with the
trope of the alien. Among these recurrent themes are invasion,
subversion, and exoticism.
Representations of the alien in popular culture often require
knowing and controlling this figure. This class interrogates the
assumptions and meanings of these representations: Who or what are
aliens? What do they want? Can we live with them? What is their
social significance? How do they challenge our understanding of self
and the other?
By questioning the language, images, and attitudes presented in
film, songs, sitcoms, reality shows, literature, comic strips, and
newspaper clips, students learn to critique the signs and symbols of
the world they inhabit.