Drexel University

 Introduction to Cultural Studies

 

 

Course Number:    CCM 510/ANTH T380

Credit:                       3 credits

Course Schedule:  Wednesdays 3:00-5:50PM

Term: Spring 2016-17

Instructor:    Dr. Wesley Shumar

Email: shumarw@drexel.edu, shumarw@gmail.com

Office Hours: Wednesdays 2-3PM and by Appointment

Office Location:      PSA 117

 

Course Purpose/Description:     This course is an introduction to cultural studies and theory. We will discuss current trends and discussions in cultural studies, and raise questions about culture, politics, subalternity, sexuality, gender, feminism, urban studies, revolutions, ethnicity, and multiculturalism, among others.  Students will apply the theoretical approaches and methodologies of cultural studies to the analysis of various aspects of material culture found in contemporary society from products to media. Lectures and discussions will be particularly concerned with the following questions: 1) How do understandings and ideas about culture emerge from historical as well as

theoretical perspectives? 2) What arguments have historically been used to distinguish between high art and mass culture? 3) How are race, gender, and class produced and consumed in the mass market?

 

Required Text:

During, Simon. The Cultural Studies Reader, 2nd edition.  New York, London: Routledge, 1993.

Other readings in the course will be in Blackboard Learn unless otherwise noted.

*Additional readings may be assigned throughout the course.

 

 

Course Learning Objectives:  Students will demonstrate a robust understanding of the theories and methods of cultural studies.  They will show the development of their critical thinking by linking the different readings to each other, the classroom lectures and discussions, and elements of the contemporary culture all around them.  These skills will be demonstrated through the writing of critical thinking essays.

 

 

Topical Outline and Assignment Due Dates:

 

WEEK ONE                           WHAT IS CULTURAL STUDIES?

Readings:

1) “Introduction.” The Cultural Studies Reader. Simon During (ed). New York, London: Routlege, 1993, 1-25.

2) Eagleton, Terry. After Theory. New York: Basic Books, 2003. (Selection)

 

 

WEEK TWO                          THEORY AND METHOD

Readings:

1) Adorno, Theodor and Max Horkheimer. “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception.” The Cultural Studies Reader. Simon During (ed). New York, London:

Routlege, 1993, 29-43.

2) Agamben, Giorgio. “What is an apparatus?” What is an Apparatus and Other Essays. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2009, 1-24. (Selection).

3) Hall, Stuart. "Cultural Studies and its Theoretical Legacies." The Cultural Studies Reader. Simon During (ed). New York, London: Routlege, 1993, 97-109.

4) Barthes, Roland. "Dominici, or the Triumph of Literature." The Cultural Studies Reader. Simon During (ed). New York, London: Routlege, 1993, 42-45.

 

 

WEEK THREE                      SPACE, TIME, CITIES

Readings:

1) Soja, Edward. “History: geography: modernity.” The Cultural Studies Reader. Simon During (ed). New York, London: Routlege, 1993, 135-150.

2) De Certeau, Michel. ”Walking in the city.” The Cultural Studies Reader. Simon During (ed). New York, London: Routlege, 1993, 151-160.

3) Foucault, Michel. “Space, power and knowledge.” The Cultural Studies Reader. Simon During (ed). New York, London: Routlege, 1993, 161-169.

4) Lefebvre, Henri. The production of space. Oxford, OX, UK ; Cambridge, Mass., USA :Blackwell, 1991, Chapter 2, Social Space.

5) Harvey, David. Space as a Keyword.

 

 

Critical Thinking Paper 1

 

 

WEEK FOUR                        SPACE, TIME, CITIES

Readings:

1) David Harvey.  Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution. London: Verso, 2012. (Selection)

2) Lefebvre, Henri. The production of space. Oxford, OX, UK ; Cambridge, Mass., USA :Blackwell, 1991, Chapter 2, Social Space.

 

 

WEEK FIVE                           THE POPULAR

Readings:

1) Bourdieu, Pierre.  “Distinction & the Aristocracy of Culture”

2) De Certeau, Michel“The Practice of Everyday Life” (Reader)

3) Fiske, John.  “The Popular Economy”

4) Schudson, Michael.  “The New Validation of Popular Culture”

5) Hall, Stuart. Encoding and Decoding.

 

 

WEEK SIX                             LEISURE, CULTURE:

Readings:

1) Bourdieu, Pierre. Distinction: a Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1984, 1-34.

2) Hebdige, Dick. “From Culture to Hegemony.” The Cultural Studies Reader. Simon During (ed). New York, London: Routlege, 1993. 357-367.

3) Chow, Rey. “Listening otherwise, music miniaturized: a different type of question about revolution.” The Cultural Studies Reader. Simon During (ed). New York, London: Routlege, 1993, 382-399.

 

 

Critical Thinking Paper 2

 

 

WEEK SEVEN                      ETHNICITY AND MULTICULTURALISM

Readings:

1) Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty and Sneja Gunew. “Questions of multiculturalism.” The Cultural Studies Reader. Simon During (ed). New York, London: Routlege, 1993, 193- 202.

2) West, Cornel. “The New Cultural Politics of Difference.” The Cultural Studies Reader. Simon During (ed). New York, London: Routlege, 1993, 203-217.

3) Wallace, Michele. “Negative Images: Towards a Black Feminist Cultural Criticism.” The Cultural Studies Reader. Simon During (ed). New York, London: Routlege, 1993, 118-131.

 

WEEK EIGHT                       SEXUALITY, GENDER STUDIES, FEMINISM

Readings:

1) Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge, 2006.

2) Butler, Judith. Bodies That Matter: on the Discursive Limits of “Sex.” New York: Routledge, 1993.

3) de Lauretis, Teresa. “Upping the anti [sic] in feminist theory.” The Cultural Studies Reader. Simon During (ed). New York, London: Routlege, 1993, 74-89.

4) Cixous, Hélène. “The Laugh of the Medusa.” Signs 1.4 (Summer 1976): 875-893.

 

 

WEEK NINE                          DIGITAL CULTURE

Readings:

1) Jenkins, Henry.  Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide New York: New York University, 2006. (Selection)

2) Katherine Hayles. How We Think. Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis. Chicago: Chicago UP, 2012. (Selection on Carmen)

3) Horst, Heather A. & Miller, Daniel (Eds.) Digital Anthropology. London, New York: Berg, 2012 (Selections).

 

 

WEEK TEN                           SUMMING UP

                                               

 

FINALS WEEK

FINAL EXAM

 

 

Please Note:  The instructor may make modifications to the syllabus and/or outline during the course.  Students will be notified of any changes.

 

 

Assessment and Grading Policy

 

Grade  

Score

A+

97-100

A

93-96

A-

90-92

B+

87-89

B

84-86

B-

80-83

C+

77-79

C

73-76

C-

70-72

D+

67-69

D

60-66

F

Below 60

 

EVALUATION

1. You are expected to do all of the reading for this course.

2. It is expected that you will attend all lectures and participate in discussions each week.

3. All papers (Exams, projects, etc.) are due on the dates listed in  the syllabus.

    

 Assuming that the above expectations are met, each assignment  will be weighted as follows:     

 

1.  Class Discussion (10% of the final grade).  A portion of the grade for the course will be based in the participation of weekly discussions around the readings.

 

2. Critical Thinking Exams (25% each, 50% combined percentage of the final grade).

Two critical thinking exams will be assigned in lieu of a midterm exam. The first assignment will cover the material through week three. The second assignment will be for the material in weeks 4-6.  The critical thinking assignments are designed specifically for students to reflect up the ideas developed in the texts and in class discussions. Further students will be asked to synthesis ideas across the texts, class discussions and the contemporary culture that the students are part of.  The critical thinking assignments are take-home essay exams.

 

3. Final Exam (40% of the final grade).

The final exam will be very similar to the two earlier critical thinking exams.  It will cover the material in the last four weeks of class but may draw upon ideas developed in an earlier portion of the term.  The exam will again be a take-home essay.

 

ACADEMIC HONESTY

Drexel University is committed to a learning environment that embraces academic honesty. In order to protect members of our community from results of dishonest conduct, the University has adopted policies to deal with cases of academic dishonesty. Please read, understand, and follow the academic policies on dishonesty located at http://www.drexel.edu/provost/policies/academic_dishonest.asp and  http://www.drexel.edu/studentlife/judicial/honesty.html.

 

 

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

In compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Drexel University’s policies and procedures, the University is committed to the non-discrimination of students with disabilities.

Students with disabilities requesting accommodations and services at Drexel University need to present a current accommodation verification letter (AVL) to faculty before accommodations can be made.  AVL’s are issued by the Office of Disability Services (ODS).  For additional information, contact ODS at http://www.edu/ods/student_reg.html,  215.895.1401 (V), or 215.895.2299 (TTY).

 

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that he/she is properly enrolled for the course. Students whose names do not appear in Banner at the time final grades are entered at the end of the term will not be entitled to a grade by the instructor.

If the student stops attending the class, she/he will not be automatically dropped from the course and she/he will receive a grade according to her/his overall performance which will include grades for completed and incomplete work. Incomplete work will be graded as no-credit. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure that she/he is properly enrolled or withdrawn from the course.

 

COURSE DROP/WITHDRAWAL POLICY

Once a student is registered, it is his/her responsibility to attend the course, drop the course, or withdraw from the course.  Dropping and withdrawing are distinct actions that impact your course enrollment status. Students should note the deadlines for add/drop/withdrawal noted in the University’s Academic Calendar on the Drexel University website.

http://www.drexel.edu/provost/calendars/quarter/ .

 

Last day to Add/Drop a course with Academic Advisor assistance

Last day to Withdraw from a course

 

 

For more information about the course drop policy, please see http://www.drexel.edu/provost/policies/course_drop.asp, http://www.drexel.edu/provost/policies/course_withdrawal_policy.asp

 

 

FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS

Students who do not satisfy financial obligations to Drexel University cannot be entitled to a grade by the instructor or the University.

 

 

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES/ SPECIAL REQUESTS

Please note that the instructor reserves the right to evaluate special requests or circumstances, determine if an alternate educational assignment is warranted, and what the content/process of that alternate assignment would consist of. No special consideration for alternate educational assignments will be given after the term has ended.

 

Technology Support

24/7 technology support is available to students by phone or online:

      olt@drexel.edu

      215-895-1224

      866-425-8410 (US Toll Free) 

Should you have questions about the functioning of any portion of the course, please do not hesitate to email the instructor for guidance and assistance.

 

 

Please Note:  The instructor may make modifications to the syllabus and/or outline during the course.  Students will be notified of any changes.

 

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