WesMaps - Wesleyan University Catalog 2019-2020       Summer Session       Winter Session       Home       Archive       Search
AMST 240
Spring 2020 not offered
Crosslisting: ANTH 240

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, OR 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."
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS AMST
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(ANTH)

Last Updated on JUL-20-2024
Contact wesmaps@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. Please include a url, course title, faculty name or other page reference in your email ? Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459