How does popular culture connect us and how does it shape the way we think? Is popular culture only a negative force or can it have a positive impact on people? What are those impacts (may they be positive or negative)? More precisely, why do people consume popular culture? And what do they consume exactly? In other words, what is popular culture? What do people talk about when they talk about popular culture? More importantly, who controls it? Is it the fans, the cultural industries or both?
These questions will be at the center of our concerns as I will attempt, during this course, to challenge your perspective on popular culture in order for you to have a better understanding of the major functions served by popular culture in contemporary societies. At the end of this course, you will possess a set of theoretical and methodological tools you can use to analyze and evaluate forms of popular culture you consume in order to form your own informed judgment and opinion.
After successfully completing this course, students will:
- be able to identify what makes an element of culture part of popular culture.
- when encountering a new element of popular culture for the first time, be able to decode what it is trying to say about the world, and what are the limitations and possibilities of that perspective on the world (analytical thinking).
- identify particular ways in which popular culture of various times and places in history reflect the representation (who can speak and be heard in society and who cannot) of those times and places.
- become more sensitive to and aware how the global circulation of culture changes the way they think about the world, their place in it and ultimately their own identity.
- identify how other individuals use popular forms and practices to construct identities and social affiliations that are different than theirs.
- be able to identify several resources (books, scholarly journals, websites) available to help them continue learning about the variety of strategies used by commercial industries for popular culture to enter the media stream, as technologies/new media are evolving.
20% - Self-Assessment Quizzes x 10 (2%x10)
2% - Participation
48% - Mastery Questions (16% x 3 )
30% - Final Project
**Evaluation Subject to Change**
Textbook and Materials
ASO reserves the right to make changes to the required material list as received by the instructor before the course starts. Please refer to the Campus Bookstore website at http://www.campusbookstore.com/Textbooks/Search-Engine to obtain the most up-to-date list of required materials for this course before purchasing them.
- All required readings will be available within onQ.
Students can expect to spend approximately 108 hours per term in study/practice and online activity for FILM 240.
I must shout this; I TRULY ENJOYED THIS COURSE!
It was my favourite class because of how wonderful the professor was throughout the entirety of the course. At first, I was hesitant to take this course since it was a subject matter I knew little about. However, professor Gauthier’s teaching method allows students to enjoy themselves while learning a great amount. I would recommend this course for all students who are looking for a laid-back atmosphere, but who are also willing to put in the work to further their knowledge on a subject they either are already well-informed on or know little about. I found that this course can be beneficial to students from varies fields. While the bonus is that this course has one of the kindest, funniest, and in my very strong opinion, a very knowledgeable professor. In addition, he is very accommodating when students require accommodations and he is a very passionate teacher. He is always there to help and answers all questions that students have, and his style of teaching (from my experience) really benefits and supports the student as it keeps them constantly engaged and interested throughout the course. He is truly concerned with helping his students excel and succeed in the course.
There are so many great things I could say about this course and about professor Gauthier. However, I will leave you all with this, I hope the few things I have mentioned are enough to encourage other students who see this review to take this class, trust me you won’t regret it!
- Janice Halabi (Winter 2019)