This course will focus on the contemporary hipster subculture after examining a critical genealogy and racial history of the origins of the concept. From black jazz artists and zoot-suitors in the 1940s who defined "hip" and "cool," to the post-World War II burgeoning literary scene of the Beat Generation that codified the figure of the hipster as an American bohemian strangled by social conformity, there has been a cultural politics of being "in the know." Derived from the term used to describe these earlier movements, the term "hipster" reappeared in the 1990s and became especially conspicuous in the 2000s to the present. Today's hipsters are generally associated with whiteness, indie music, a vintage fashion sensibility, liberal political views, organic and artisanal foods, as well as racial gentrification in urban neighborhoods in Brooklyn and select cities such as Portland and San Francisco. Perhaps curiously, members of this subculture typically disassociate themselves from this cultural category, as outsiders often use the term hipster as a pejorative. In an attempt to understand why hipsters differentiate their actions from the hipster stigma, students will study the contemporary discourse about hipsters, along with a historical analysis of the term and its use in popular culture to get a better understanding of race, class, gender, and the commodification of style. Other topics for exploration include stereotypes, authenticity debates, hipster racism, so-called "blipsters," the death of irony, hipster chic, "hipster run-off," the resentment of hipsters, and forecasts of "the end of the hipster."
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(ANTH)
||Past Enrollment Probability: Less than 50%
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
John Leland, HIP: THE HISTORY
Ehrlich and Andrea Bartz, STUFF HIPSTERS HATE: A FIELD GUIDE TO THE PASSIONATE OPINIONS OF THE INDIFFERENT
Robert, Ianham, THE HIPSTER HANDBOOK
Soppy Bot, HIPSTER EFFECT: HOW THE RISING TIDE OF INDIVIDUALITY IS CHANGING EVERYTHING WE KNOW ABOUT LIFE, WORK AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
|Examination and Assignments: |
Assignments include: weekly Moodle posts on the course readings, films, and guess speakers; two 5-page papers; a research proposal; and a final research paper.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Note that this course will be reading and writing intensive.
|Instructor(s): Kauanui,J. Kehaulani Times: .M.W... 01:20PM-02:40PM; Location: TBA|
|Total Enrollment Limit: 16||SR major: 8||JR major: 8|| || |
|Seats Available: 2||GRAD: X||SR non-major: 0||JR non-major: 0||SO: 0||FR: X|