Fall 2010 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Reese, Venus
Discipline and Number
HUAS 7380 Section 001
T Time 10:00 AM - 12:45 PM
Course Title
Identity & Popular Media

Description of Course:


How do you know you are white? (what?) Black? (say it aint so?) Pretty? Ugly? How do you recognize yourself as “poor”, “rich”, straight, queer? (who you callin’ gay?!?) What tells you that you are “man” or “woman”? (you’ve got to be kidding me?) When do you feel fat or skinny? (Monique was right: skinny women are evil!) And what in the world does popular media have to do with how you see and relate to other people, yourself, and your place in the world? (urrrrr? scratches head) Hummmm… well, I have some ideas about the link between the two. Let’s explore…

Using media, identity, cultural discourse and speech act theory, the students will creatively demonstrate comprehension and application of the theories covered. Creative responses include but are not limited to: visual art, creative writing, art and technology, music, and performance. The student does not need to have a background in theory or the creative process to participate fully in this course.

This course is an examination and exploration of identity as a construct of language and popular media as the medium by which societal identities are disseminated and circulated as truth. These “truths” become the standard by which you and I measure or our sense of self and our place in the world. The student will: read theory, view movies and YouTube clips, magazines, music videos, listen to pop music, as well as participate in classroom discussions and in-class activities, weekly assignments based on the readings, and present a creative final.

Required Texts:

These are tentative titles. We will not be using all of these—I think...

1. Cultural Studies and Discourse Analysis: A Dialogue on Language and Identity - Dr Chris Barker
2. Language and Identities - Carmen Llamas
3. Identity Theory - Peter J. Burke
4. Media/Cultural Studies: Critical Approaches - Rhonda Hammer
5. Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Text-Reader - Gail Dines
6. Media, Gender and Identity: An Introduction - David Gauntlett
7. How to do Things with Words J. L. Austin
8. The Psychic Life of Power Judith Butler

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:


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