Comparative Literature | Culture and the Popular
C151 | 8188 | Ioana Patuleanu
TR 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm
Fulfills A&H and CS requirements
What is "popular" culture and what is its relationship with that
which appears to be its opposite, "high" culture? What does Oh
Brother, Where Art Thou? have to do with Homer? What does Bride and
Prejudice, or, for that matter, what do zombies have to do with Jane
Austen's Pride and Prejudice? How and why would popular culture
revisit ancient myths or canonical authors? In this course we will
try to answer these questions by pitting contemporary movies and
texts against ancient epics, Shakespeare's plays, and "established"
In order to define "popular" as well as "culture," we will be
exploring the strange and perplexing ways in which old tales are
retooled in order to tell new stories about facing adulthood in
contemporary America: the expectations, fears, and responsibilities
that various "popular" characters need to give a voice to.
Course requirements: one exam, one presentation, two papers and
several short assignments. This course will require your presence
for several film screenings in the evening.