course description
introduction to cultural studies: 46-1100-01


columbia college chicago, dr. ann hetzel gunkel

This course introduces students to the terms, analytical techniques, and interpretive strategies commonly employed in Cultural Studies. Emphasis is on interdisciplinary approaches to exploring how cultural processes and artifacts are produced, shaped, distributed, consumed and responded to in diverse ways. Through discussion, research and writing, class members investigate these varied dimensions of culture; learn to understand them in their broader social, aesthetic, ethical, and political contexts; and thereby prepare for more advanced course work in Cultural Studies.

Our studies will investigate how cultures are shaped, as well as the diversity of human responses to culture. Do mass-marketed cultural products help to produce ideologies? How powerful are cultural images and practices and their accompanying narratives (the stories they tell) in manufacturing public consensus about controversial political events?

We will think about television, museums, pop stars, propaganda, racial stereotypes, photography, movies and dolls. From barbie to beethoven to punk, we will consider the variety of images and practices that are the focuses of Cultural Studies.