Once upon a time there were the mass media, and they were wicked, of course, and there was a guilty party. Then there were the virtuous voices that accused the criminals. And Art (ah, what luck!) offered alternatives, for those who were not prisoners of the mass media. . . . Well, it's all over. We have to start from the beginning, asking one another what's going on


-- Umberto Eco, Travels in Hyperreality

Time and place: Mondays, 0510-0810 pm, Lafayette L307

Instructor: Tom Streeter

Cultural studies is the center of a movement for a democratic approach to the humanities and social sciences, and has brought a distinctive set of approaches and subject matter to the study of culture. Less a discipline in its own right than a convergence of interests among scholars from fields as diverse as sociology, literature, anthropology and history, it tends to focus on the relations of cultural forms to social structures and of subjective experience to material life. This course will provide a general theoretical foundation in cultural studies, and an overview of key and recent work in the field.


  • Research paper: Each student will write and present to the class a research paper suitable for submission for review at a professional conference in their field. (55%)
  • Book overview/readings introduction: each student will present an overview of an assigned book, and use that overview to provide an introduction to the assigned readings for the week. (15%)
  • Review essays: Three times during the semester, each student will write a three- to five-page double-spaced essay reflecting on the assigned readings for a given week. (30%)