Greetings, students of popular culture!
This blog is meant to inform and enrich the work of students enrolled in the course English 313: Studies in Popular Culture, as taught in Fall 2010 by me, Prof. Charles Hatfield, in the Department of English at California State University, Northridge. Of course I hope it will also prove interesting and useful to those who are not enrolled in English 313 but are engaged in the critical study of popular culture.
Here’s what the CSU Northridge catalog copy says about English 313 in general:
Cultural studies course focusing on the interpretation of American popular culture. Course methodology may include Marxist, psychoanalytic, semiotic, or culturally eclectic scholarly points of view. Designed for students who may want to enter the fields of entertainment or advertising, or future teachers who may want to use popular culture in their classrooms, this course will survey the products of popular culture as signifiers of larger cultural forces and realities.
And here are the specific objectives for this, my version of 313:
1. Ability to analyze critically the production, consumption, and interpretation of popular culture, including texts in various media, consumer products, advertising and publicity, performance, events, and rituals.
2. Ability to analyze the social and ideological influences on and impact of popular culture.
3. Understanding of audience studies, including fandom studies.
4. Understanding of and ability to engage critically with various theories and methodologies in popular culture studies.
That should give a pretty good idea of what the class is about. Over the course of the semester, I’ll use this blog as both a link hub for online resources and a forum for postings on topics relevant to popular culture studies.
I recommend visiting the “Outside Blogs of Interest” listed in our sidebar! Ah, food for thought (munch munch)…