Comparative Literature | Popular Culture: Culture and Modernity
C155 | 17972 | I. Patuleanu
Department of Comparative Literature Spring 2007
Popular Culture: Culture and Modernity
I. Patuleanu MW 4:00-5:15 BH148
This class meets A&H and Cultural Studies Requirements.
When did the vogue for passionate romance stories start? What kind
of media first fulfilled the need to spy on the lives of the rich
and famous? Who started the craze for autobiographies that we are
witnessing today? How did one book generate a major fashion
revolution and a series of copycat suicides? Where did the
fascination with titillating gothic stories first emerge, and what
does gothic mean?
At the end of the seventeenth century a new form of media – the
novel – enflames hearts, soothes the lonely, and keeps up all night
readers of all stripes and colors, who simply cannot put the book
down and blow out the candle. Focusing mainly on the eighteenth
century, the century that ushered in modernity, we will take a tour
of books that gained instant popularity in Western Europe upon
publication, and shaped popular culture as we know it.
We will read works by Madame de Lafayette, Daniel Defoe, Eliza
Heywood, Frances Burney, J.J. Rousseau, Goethe, Jane Austen, Matthew
Lewis, and others. Course requirements include two 4-5 page papers,
two exams, short assignments and attendance to movie screenings.