Comparative Literature | Intro to Popular Culture
C151 | 6887 | U. Paleczek

3 cr
Meets TR 9:30-10:45 am
Fulfills A&H and CS Distribution Credit

What does it mean to be a woman? What does it mean to be a man? And
how are our gender roles shaped by popular culture? In this course,
we will focus on femininity and masculinity as they are represented
in movies, novels, plays, and personal essays to critically examine
the representation of gender in contemporary popular culture.

Since our identities are socially and culturally constructed in a
multitude of ways that often intersect, we will also pay attention
to how class and race inform gender roles. We will think critically
about the construction of identities and cultural reality through
the use of visual representation.

Whether focusing on Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw or Fight
Club's Tyler Durden, we will examine how the men and women of our
pop culture relate to contemporary social issues and tradition, how
they define love and beauty, and how they relate to nature and
violence. We will examine whether popular culture in the twenty
first century offers any new models for being a gendered being, and
arrive at a personal reflection to what extent it mediates our
contemporary identities.