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Concepts in Cultural Theory

Cultural Studies


GENG-7112.3 Topics in Cultural Theory: Concepts in Cultural Theory
Fall 2015

Thursday 8:30-11:15 a.m.
Professor B. Cornellier

This course examines some of the fundamental texts and concepts in cultural theory and contemporary cultural studies. It includes core readings in theory and criticism, each time complemented by class discussion about various cultural practices that have the potential to illuminate the political and radically contextual project of cultural studies as an academic field. The task of cultural studies is presented in this course as an archeology of the present for the future. The objective, as Lawrence Grossberg recently explained, is to map the organization and operations of power in the present, and when possible, to disarticulate and rearticulate these relations of power in order to affect change in the future. The theories and concepts under study are meant to provide graduate students with the conceptual tools necessary in their critical interactions with different cultural artifacts, ranging from “high” art to popular entertainment, from consumer culture to the museum as institution. These cultural artifacts will serve as textual anchors to our understanding of key concepts, including race, gender, and sexuality; colonialism, postcolonialism, and postmodernism; nationalism, biopolitics, and security; popular culture, mass culture, and the politics of taste.