UT Dallas Syllabus for ams3300.001 05f taught by Erin Smith (erins)

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Fall 2005 Tues. & Thurs. 2 – 3:15 p.m.

Dr. Erin Smith School of General Studies

AMS 3300 American Popular Culture (Collegium V Section)
This course examines the history of American culture through some of its most popular cultural forms —best-selling novels, magazines, advertising, television, sports, and popular music. These texts, important to large numbers of ordinary people, are key sources in the study of popular world-views, important windows on the culture of an age. What kinds of messages do these texts offer women and men, recent immigrants and the native-born, slaves and free, the rich and the working classes? Do ordinary readers/viewers uncritically consume these texts, or are they “resisting readers?” What is the relationship between popular texts and the institutions that produce, market, and distribute them? How do gender, race, and class shape what texts we read or watch and how we make sense of them? Texts May Include: Henry Jenkins, Textual Poachers: Televis ion Fans & Participatory Culture Hannah Foster, The Coquette (1797) Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) Horatio Alger, Ragged Dick (1866) Coursepack

Method of Evaluation:

Class attendance / participation Brief class presentation (10 min.) 2 short (2-3 page) papers Midterm and final exams Final project (5-7 pages)

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