This course combines readings, viewings and discussion of various forms of contemporary culture, (such as popular films and music, design and fashion, architecture, magazines, art, television and digital technologies), from the early 1900s to the present day with a specific focus on the post war, cold war era. American forms of culture are emphasized, however, they are analyzed alongside four other forms of contemporary culture - Japanese, African, French, Italian, British, South Asian and Middle Eastern. Topics include avant-garde, popular and mass culture; high and low aesthetics; stereotypes; cultural hierarchy; identity, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity and American concepts of age and class. The course includes anthropological, historical, geographical and critical perspectives and is taught by a sociologist who also works as an audio and visual producer and writer. Therefore assignments are both academic and, at times, creative.
- Teacher: Audrey Sprenger