English | Projects in Reading & Writing: Pulp Fictions: Reading Popular Texts in 20th Century America
W170 | 16044 | Beatty/Davis

•	16044		4:00-5:15p	TR		WH 114
•	16046		5:45-7:00p	TR		WH 114
In this course, students will develop critical reading and
analytical writing skills through the exploration of pulp fiction in
its historical and contemporary contexts.  This class will
investigate the increasing visibility of “pulp” influences on highly
successful films (Pulp Fiction, Sin City), comics (Spiderman,  X
Men, Sandman), and television series (Buffy the Vampire Slayer,
Angel, and X-Files).  We will begin by looking at stories from early
pulp magazines, examining  iconic figures like the hardboiled
detective, the femme fatale, and early superheroes like Doc Savage
and The Shadow.  Next we’ll look at how these iconic figures
reappear in comics, from the early days of Superman and Batman
through more recent underground comics like Sandman and Tank Girl.
We’ll end the class by interrogating how contemporary movies and TV
shows like Sin City and Buffy the Vampire Slayer use these “pulp”
characters and comic heroes in a contemporary context.

The class will be organized around answering the following
questions: What are the changing meanings of “pulp?”  How have
familiar stock characters like the detective, the femme fatale, and
the superhero changed though time?  What can the evolution of the
form tell us about contemporary culture? Students will investigate
these questions through analytical, argumentative academic essays
which examine pulp texts through the lens of social issues.