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2007/08 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CULT2006 Popular Culture

20 creditsClass Size: 31

Module manager: Dr Claudia Sternberg
Email: c.sternberg@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2007/08

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module provides an introduction to popular culture and an overview of the history of its analysis. It will attempt to understand the nature of popular culture and will analyse it using range of critical strategies, including semiotic, feminist, Marxist, postcolonial and other approaches. Lectures will be divided between discussing the history of the analysis of popular culture, exploring theoretical approaches to popular culture, and analysing instances of popular culture (such as music, popular literature, film, television, sport and so on). Seminars will concentrate on the analysis of specific instances of popular culture alongside the exploration of important texts from the canon of cultural studies. The module will relate the history of cultural studies to the emergence of popular cultural as a unique object of study. Theorists discussed may include: Theodor Adorno, Raymond Williams, Roland Barthes, Stuart Hall, Dick Hebdige, Paul Willis, Angela McRobbie, Henry Jenkins, Jean Baudrillard, Pierre Bourdieu.Assessment: 1 x 3,000-word essay (60%) and 1 x group poster presentation and individual written summary (40%) [Unaccounted absences at the group presentation will be penalised; the mark of the written summary will only be counted at 20%. Other absences will require the student to expand his or her written summary.]

Objectives

On completion of this module students should have an understanding of the history of the study of popular culture. Students should be able to discuss popular culture in terms of race, gender, class, ideology and economy, using Marxist, structuralist, feminist, postcolonial and further strategies. They should be able to analyse popular artefacts and practices relating to television, music, advertising, fashion, web communities, body modification, fan culture, celebrity culture etc. They should be able to identify and discuss the work of theorists such as Matthew Arnold, Theodor Adorno, Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard, Antonio Gramsci, Stuart Hall, Dick Hebdige, Henry Jenkins, Angela McRobbie, Paul Willis and others. In an autoethnographic exercise, students will have researched their own engagement with aspects of popular culture. They should have acquired a sense of self in context and sharpened their observational skills for their environment and the implications of their cultural practices.

Skills outcomes
Engagement with various text types, audiovisual material and complex theoretical texts.
Verbal and written fluency in constructing a logical and coherent argument.
Participation in discussions.
Team work and project management.
Oral presentation.
Design of scientific poster.


Syllabus

This module will provide an introduction to popular culture and an over-view of the history of its analysis. It will attempt to understand the nature of popular culture and will analyse it in terms of a range of critical strategies, including Feminist, Marxist, Post-Colonial, and deconstructive approaches. Lectures will be divided between discussing the history of the analysis of popular culture, exploring theoretical approaches to popular culture, and analysing instances of popular culture (such as music, popular literature, film, television, sport and so on).Seminars will concentrate on the analysis of specific instances of popular culture (such as a particular musical form or a film genre) alongside the exploration of important texts from the canon of cultural studies. The module will relate the history of cultural studies to the emergence of the popular cultural as a unique object of study. Theorists discussed may include: Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Walter Benjamin, Raymond Williams, Richard Hoggart, Stuart Hall, Dick Hebdige, Angela MacRobbie, Jean Baudrillard, Pierre Bourdieu, Rachel Bowlby and so on. Specific instances of popular culture discussed will provide an over-view of a range of cultural practices, they may include: punk, reggae, fashion, detective fiction, horror films, test match cricket, shopping etc.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Workshop12.002.00
Seminar102.0020.00
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

178 hours - reading, essay preparation and writting, class preparation

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Record of attendance kept.
Team project/preparation for presentations.
Participation in seminar discussions.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Presentation1 x group poster presentation and individual written summary (If presentations need to be archived, they could be video recorded. Unaccounted absences at the group presentation will be penalised; the mark of the written summary will only be counted at 20%. Other absenses will require the student to expand his or her written summary)40.00
Essay1 x 3,000 word essay60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 23/04/2010

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