Comparative Literature | Intro to Popular Culture
C151 | 17650 | K. Jallatyan


3 cr
Meets TR 4:00-5:15 pm
Fulfills A&H and CS Distribution Requirements

Is colonialism a phenomenon of the past? If that is the case, then
how do you explain the creation of the film Avatar (2009)? But wait,
what does colonization mean in the 21st century?

This course will explore depictions of empire and colonization in
contemporary popular culture. Since only a century ago the world was
colonized by a handful of empires, popular culture certainly is a
space in which this reality plays out in its fullest. Hence, we will
draw parallels with the various forms and characteristics of early
20th century and contemporary representations of empire and
colonization in popular culture.

One example of what we might consider would be in what ways do
Joseph Conrad's iconic novel Heart of Darkness (1902) and its
reincarnation in Francis Ford Coppola's cinematic adaptation,
Apocalypse Now (1979), depict and transform the concept of empire?
What do they reveal and most intriguingly what elements do they
leave unsaid about the process and effects of colonization that we
could find out from our perspective? We will pursue other such
questions by analyzing works of popular culture in cinema,
documentary, TV programs, drama, music albums, newspaper articles,
essays and novels.