American Studies 101AC: The Business of American Popular Culture: Race, Class, Ethnicity, and the Birth of Consumer Society
Summer Session A (5/22 - 6/30/17/17)
MTW 2-5, 141 McCone.
Class number: 15204.
Instructors: Kathleen Moran and Michael Cohen
This is a course about the way that forms of American popular culture (dime novels, spectacles, fairs, amusement parks, vaudeville, popular music, cinema) were foundational to the growth and development of consumer society. Our course will focus on the overlapping histories of African American, Native American and White (mainly working class) communities as they were represented in popular culture and used in the creation of consumer advertising and the language of persuasion. We will also discuss how people in these communities themselves produced popular culture. The course will be divided into four parts that overlap historically to build a picture of the way that regimes of representation and the practices of entertainment transformed popular culture into market commodities at the turn of the 20th century.