Communication and Culture | Topics in Performance and Culture (Topic: Consumption, Media, and the Self)
C414 | 10572 | Lepselter, S.

TuTh, 9:30 AM-10:45 AM, KH 312

Meets with AMST-A 351

Fulfills College A&H Requirement

Instructor: Susan Lepselter
Office: C2 233
Phone: 856-3878

How do our habits of consumption become stories about who we are?
This class will explore the politics and poetics of consumption as
mediated cultural experiences.  We will be studying representations
of consumption as symbolic expressions of identity, looking at how
they help shape and express the ways that we understand gender,
race, class, embodiment and value. We will look at how practices
such as shopping, trading and eating come to seem normal or
disordered, how stories about these practices change over time and
how they vary in different social worlds.  This is an
interdisciplinary class that makes use of perspectives from
anthropology, literature, history and media studies.

We will study many mediated stories of consumption from both an
American and a global perspective. Topics to be covered include:
hoarding, makeover shows, global beauty pageants, Victorian eating
disorders, and the social life of commodities around the world.