Spring 2014 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Gu, Ming
Discipline and Number
HUSL 6315 Section 001
T Time 10:00 AM - 12:45 PM
Course Title
Cultural Studies

Description of Course:

This is an introduction to the theory and practice of cultural studies. It is offered for graduate students of arts and humanities, literary and social studies. Unlike other academic disciplines, cultural studies is a multidisciplinary academic field which has neither a well-defined methodology nor clearly demarcated fields for investigation, but it has a clear aim which is the study of culture, especially in its contemporary forms. While cultural studies may cover diverse subjects, our course is firmly grounded in areas of critical theory, literary and art criticism, and medium study fundamental to cultural studies. With a focus on how a particular text or medium relates to issues of politics, ideology, social class, nationality, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender, this course seeks to understand the ways in which meaning is generated, produced, disseminated, and consumed through various practices, beliefs, institutions, and social structures within a given cultural field in particular and within the larger context of globalization. As an introductory course, a special emphasis will be laid on understanding the chosen texts in the larger context of critical theory and literary criticism. No prior knowledge of cultural studies is required.

Required Texts:

• Simon During, ed., The Cultural Studies Reader, 3rd edition (London and New York: Routledge, 2007).
• Roland Barthes, Mythologies, the Complete Edition (New York: Hill and Wang (March 13, 2012) .
• Jean-Francois Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (University Of Minnesota Press, 1984).
• Raymond Williams, The Country and the City (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975).
• Michel Foucault, The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences (New York: Vintage, 1994).
• Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1990).
• Some handouts

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

• All students are required to attend class regularly, actively participate in classroom discussions, hand in summaries/reviews of assigned reading, give presentations on assigned materials, and write a final paper. The term paper may focus on a cultural theory or the application of chosen theoretical approaches to his or her own field of specialization. Midway through the course, each student needs to turn in a proposal for the final paper (1-2 pages) outlining the initial ideas, approaches and research materials for the final paper. The grading is based on the following:

• 1. Summaries/Presentations 15%
• 2. Preliminary proposal at midterm 10%
• 4. Attendance and Participation in discussion 10%
• 5. Term paper (15-18 pages) 65%
• Total: 100%

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