American Idols: Blackness and the Culture of Celebrity|
Spring 2008 not offered
A NEWSWEEK cover story declared this "the best time ever to be black in America." This judgment is based on the status of the black middle class and the extent to which the country's popular imagination "freely celebrates the appeal and accomplishments of African-Americans. Michael Jordon, Lauryn Hill, Colin Powell - pick your icon," the article invites: "if you are touched at all by American culture your idol is likely to be black" (June 7, 1999). Using contemporary figures such as Oprah Winfrey, Halle Berry, Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, Kobe Bryant, O. J. Simpson, Toni Morrison, and Henry Louis Gates Jr., this seminar examines the culture of celebrity as it both embraces and excludes African Americans. Why are some blacks picked to click as all-American icons by the dominant culture, while others can only be imagined as "low other"? What is mass media's role in both making and breaking black superstars?
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Boyd, AM I BLACK ENOUGH FOR YOU: POPULAR CULTURE FORM THE HOOD AND BEYOND
Jewell, FROM MAMMY TO MISS AMERICA AND BEYOND
Neal, SOUL BABIES: BLACK POPULAR CULTURE AND THE POST-SOUL AESTHEIC
Schickel, INTIMATE STRANGERS: THE CULTURE OF CELEBRITY
Selected essays, articles, and reviews, as well as films, videos, toys, games, and other ┐non-verbal┐ texts.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Short essays, weekly book/film/video reviews, oral presentations, and a final project.
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