FILM/JOURNALISM 4810 MEDIA AND POPULAR CULTURE
(Summer 2012; CRN 54229, 54230)M/W 10:55 TO 1:25 Classroom South 205
Instructor: Vanessa Ament-Gjenvick Email: email@example.com
Office:817B, One Park Place South Office Hours: M & W 2:00-3:30 PM
Mailbox: 6th Floor, One Park Place or by appointment
- U Learn will reflect updates to the course, changes in the syllabus, assignments, etc. Be sure to check regularly. The course syllabus provides a general plan for the course; deviations may be necessary.
- Your constructive assessment of this course plays an indispensable role in shaping education at Georgia State University. Upon completing the course, please take the time to fill out the online course evaluation
Course Description and Objectives
This class will examine the social consequences and political implications of mass mediated entertainment. The goals are:
- To develop the theoretical tools and critical perspectives to examine TV shows, commercials, films, books, songs, and web sites that surround us and can influence our lives.
- To question assumptions about the role of popular culture. Is it escapist? What are we trying to escape? Is it trivial? Crucial? What does it tell us about our society?
Required Readings and Screenings:
- Gail Dines, and Jean M. Humez, eds., Gender, Race, and Class in Media 3rd edition.
- Additional readings posted on U Learn.
- Additional screenings in and outside of class.
- Some screenings will occur in class to facilitate discussion. You will also be required to view some screenings outside class time. These screenings are an important contribution to class discussions, the midterm and final, and your final presentation.
My approach to this class will integrate lectures and class discussions in order to explore the principles discussed in the readings, screenings and lectures – you can’t participate if you’re not there. Each student will have one personal day during the summer term that will automatically be excused. These days may be used for any reason you choose and should include time out for illness, emergencies, religious holidays, and family obligations. Each unexcused absence after the initial one, will result in you to lose 1 point out of a possible 100 for the class. If you have an ongoing situation that requires special consideration, please discuss this with me before the end of the second class.
It is essential that you arrive to class on time and not leave early. We have a limited amount of time to cover a great deal of material. Your participation is a critical part of our class time together. Please make arrangements to get here, get parked, and get to class on time.
Read the assigned material prior to class in order to be engaged. Active Participation makes the class more enjoyable.
Issues and Disputes
If you need to discuss any personal issues or disputes, please arrange a meeting with me in private.
A+: 100-97 A: 96-94 A-: 93-90 B+: 89-87 B: 86-84 B-: 83-80
C+: 79-77 C: 76-74 C-: 73-70 D: 69-65 F: 65-0
Take Home Midterm 45 points
Take Home Final 45 points
Group presentation 10 points
*** With Only Seven Weeks of Class, it is necessary to compress the time between assignments. Please stay on top of your assignments. If you get behind, it will be harder to catch up than during a normal semester***
Assignments: There are three primary grade assessments for the term. We will talk about each in more detail in class.
- Take Home Midterm: This exam will have several prompts from which you will select three. Each prompt is worth 15 points. The prompts will be based on material covered up to the midterm. Upload to U Learn.
- Take Home Final: This exam will have several prompts from which you will select three. Each prompt is worth 15 points. The prompts will be based on material covered after the midterm. It is not cumulative. Upload to U Learn.
- Group presentation: Each of you will be assigned a group in which you will prepare a presentation for the class on the creators, economics, and audience contexts of a television show or video game. Each group will have 15 minutes to present. Time your presentation.
Both the midterm and final should be uploaded to U Learn. If you have issues with getting U Learn to work for you, please notify me before your exams are due. Allow yourself at least a day prior to the due date to work out glitches.
Policy on Late Work.
Late assignments will be reduced ½ point for each day overdue unless an extension is agreed upon before the due date for exceptional circumstances. “I ran out of paper,” “my printer wasn’t working,” “I couldn’t find a parking place,” are not ‘exceptional circumstances.’ No student will be allowed more than 1 extension over the seven weeks of class.
*** Check your syllabus every day if you are inclined to forget what is required of you.***
(I reserve the right to make alterations)
Mon. June 4 Introduction, Syllabus, Assignments
In Class Screening: The Century of the Self, part 1
A Cultural Studies Approach to Media
Wed. June 6 The Circuit of Culture:Theory
1.Douglas Kellner, “Cultural Studies, Multiculturalism, and Media Culture”
2.Dwayne Winseck, “The State of Media Ownership and Media Markets: Competition or Concentration and Why Should We Care?”
3.James Lull, “Hegemony”
4.Janice Radaway, “Women Read the Romance: The Interaction of Text and Context”
Reading Media Texts Critically
Mon. June 11 Methods
1.Lisa M. Cuklanz and Sujata Moorti, “Television’s ‘New’ Feminism: Prime-Time Representations of Women and Victimization”
2.Marlo David Azikwe, “More Than Baby Mamas: Black Mothers and Hip-Hop Feminism”
3.Jamie Warner, “Political Culture Jamming: The Dissident Humor of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart”
Outside Screening: The Century of the Self, part 2
Wed. June 13 Methods, Continued
1. Gilad Padva, “Educating The Simpsons: Teaching Queer Representations in Contemporary Visual Media
2. Kathleen LeBesco, “Disability, Gender, and Difference in The Sopranos”
3. Stuart Hall, “Encoding, Decoding” (U Learn)
Mon. June 18 Gender, Race, and Class
1. Jane Gerhard, “Sex and the City: Carrie Bradshaw’s Queer Postfeminism”
2. Stuart Hall, “The Whites of Their Eyes: Racist Ideologies and the Media” 3.Jennifer Exposito, “What Does Race Have to Do With Ugly Betty?
4. Richard Butsch, “Ralph, Fred, Archie, Homer, and the King of Queens: Why Television Keeps Re-Creating the Male Working-Class Buffoon”
Outside Screening: The Century of the Self, part 3
In Class Screening: Sex and the City
Wed. June 20 Sexuality
1. Gail Dines, “White Man’s Burden: Gonzo Pornography and the Construction of Black Masculinity”
2. Tricia Rose, “There are Bitches and Hoes”
3. Jay Clarkson, “The Limitations of the Discourse of Norms: Gay Visibility and Degrees of Transgression”
4. Marnie Pratt, “’This is the Way We Live…and Love!’: Feeding on and Still Hungering for Lesbian Representation on The L Word”
Assignment: Take Home Midterm (Due June 27, 6 PM U Learn)
Mon. June 25 Advertising
1.Sut Jhally, “Image-Based Culture: Advertising and Popular Culture”
2. Juliet Schor, “The New Politics of Consumption: Why Americans Want So Much More Than They Need”
3. Gloria Steinem, “Sex, Lies, and Advertising”
4. Jackson Katz, “Advertising and the Construction of Violent White Masculinity: From BMWs to Bud Light”
Outside Screening: The Century of the Self, part 4
In Class Screening: Mad Men
Wed. June 27 Films
1. Thomas Schatz, “New Hollywood, New Millennium” (U Learn)
2.Chris Anderson, “The Long Tail” (U Learn)
In Class Screening: The Devil Wears Prada
Midterm (Due 6 PM U Learn)
******** LAST DAY TO WITHDRAW, JUNE 29**********
Mon. July 2 The Millennials: Growing Up With Media
1. Dafna Lemish, “The Future of Childhood in the Global Television Market”
2. Karen Goldman, “La Princesa Plastica: Hegemonic and Oppositional Representations of Latinidad in Hispanic Barbie”
3. Lee Artz, “Monarchs, Monsters, and Multiculturalism: Disney’s Menu for Global Hierarchy”
Outside Screening: Watch a Disney animated film you watched as a kid. Be prepared to discuss it in class.
Gaming, Social Networks, and Comics
Mon. July 9 Game Studies
1. John Sanbonmatsu, “Video Games and Machine Dreams of Domination”
2. Kevin Schut, Strategic Simulations and Our Past: The Bias of Computer Games in the Presentation of History”
3.Ted Friedman, “The Play Paradigm: What Media Studies Can Learn from Game Studies” ( U Learn)
Outside Assignment: Play World of Warcraft, Farmville, or any other game of your choice. Be prepared to discuss your experience.
Wed. July 11 Social Media and Comics
1. Danah Boyd, “Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life”
2. Kathryn C. Montgomery, “Born to Be Wired”
3.Emily Nussbam, “Say Everything” ( U Learn)
4.Scott McCloud, “Understanding Comics” (U Learn)
Reality TV and Activism
Mon. July 16 Reality TV
1. Chris Jordan, “Marketing ‘Reality” to the World: Survivor, Post-Fordism, and Reality Television”
2. Andrew Ross, “The Political Economy of Amateurism
3. Sharon Sharp, “Disciplining the Housewife, in Desperate Housewives and Domestic Reality Television”
4. Sue Tait, “ Television and the Domestication of Cosmetic Surgery”
In Class Screening: Sarah Palin’s Alaska, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
Assignment: Take Home Final Assigned (Due July 25, Noon, U Learn)
Wed. July 18 Activism, Fandom, and Citizenship
1. Henry Jenkins III, “Pop Cosmopolitanism: Mapping Cultural Flows in an Age of Convergence”
2. Eve Ng, “Reading the Romance of Fan Cultural Production: Music Videos of a Television Lesbian Couple”
In Class Screening: Addicted to Risk (Naomi Klein)
Mon. July 23 Group Presentations
Wed. July 25 Take Home Final Due Noon, U Learn (NO LATE EXAMS)
Go Have Some Fun!!!
***Please contact me for an appointment if you need to discuss any aspect of this course that pertains to you personally.***