4AAU9009 Objects Icons Events
Credit value: 15 credits
Teaching: One hour lecture and one hour seminar, weekly plus 4 hours of screenings
Assessment: Seminar participation,10% of final mark; essay 1 (2,500 words) due after Reading Week, 25% of final mark; essay 2 (2,500 words) due after Christmas Break, 65% of final mark
This course is designed to introduce students to the study of visual, material and popular cultures, to the methods of analysis appropriate to these areas, and to some of the critical debates which have shaped our understanding of them.
Since the icons, objects and events that we look at derive from American culture, this module also acts as an introduction to American Studies, a field that has characteristically linked and high and popular cultural forms together. Past examples of events include the assassination of JFK, and the progress of a famous boxing match fight by Jack Dempsey in the 1920s. We have studied iconic objects such as the car, and figures such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and General George Custer.
This is an interdisciplinary course which will give students an introduction to cultural arguments in a dynamic way. By grounding theoretical questions in concrete examples, students will be able to take away not only subject knowledge specific to the American context but also skills of analysis and theoretical knowledge applicable to subjects across the humanities.