In the age of social media, pithy critiques and quick reads circulate quickly. Whether on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Reddit, the Internet provides a space for everyone to share their opinions on popular culture and current events. This course asks us to slow down and rewind a bit to consider what scholars in cultural studies might teach us when it comes to writing about culture. We will ask the following: What is culture? What can culture teach us about the powerful structures and ideologies that shape our worlds? How might this understanding of culture help us fashion our selves and imagine new realities and ways of being?
To address these questions, students will read theory alongside contemporary cultural criticism both for content and for style and method of analysis. In addition to reading and discussion, students will practice writing about culture through multiple lenses, discovering and developing their own writerly values in order to produce a publishable piece of cultural criticism to be submitted to a publication of their choice by the end of the semester.