LTCS 100 - THEORIES AND METHODS IN CULTURAL STUDIES
Visual Culture Studies
Instructor: Fatima El-Tayeb
This course offers an introduction to Visual Culture Studies. We will read a number of key theoretical texts to understand how visual texts are coded and how we might decode them. Then we will look at a variety of these texts - images, commercials, newscasts. TV shows - and the ways in which they shape our perception of the world, including naturalized notions of gender, race and sexuality.
LTTH 150 (A00) - TOPICS IN CRITICAL THEORY
Culture, ethnicity, aesthetics, and ideology, often powerfully combined in the concept "subculture," play a crucial role in the development of American identities. This course explores how and why culture is performed as a means by which to define, express, and maintain social identity. Subcultures, such as Beats, hippies, slam poets, bikers, punks, Goths, activists, surfers, skaters, drag kings, bodybuilders, strippers, modern dancers, hip-hop enthusiasts, and gangstas, etc., have importantly formed and thrived in the United States. Our focus will be less on subcultural affiliations - "community cultures" - based on ethnic/national differences and origins (African-, Italian-, Chinese-, Irish-American, etc.) than on the aesthetics, ideology, politics, desire, affect, and consumerism reciprocally informed by "alternative" or "counter" cultural formations (not dominant in any standard demographic or regional registrar). We will engage various theories of culture, subjectivity, identity, aesthetics, and consumerism from a range of disciplines, though there will be emphasis on approaches from performance studies, cognitive science, cultural studies, and social semiology, as we explore the value and influence of American subcultures, especially as they are fetishized, commodified, and - most importantly - performed.
LTWL 114 - CHILDREN'S LITERATURE
The Golden Age of children’s literature began in the mid-nineteenth century and ended with World War I. What followed was a period of continued innovation through the 1930s, followed by the flourishing Silver Age of the mid-twentieth century. Since then children’s literature has become a major genre, both literarily and commercially. This course will trace its history over the past 75 years, a period that begins with Mary Poppins and ends with Harry Potter. We will read works of realism and fantasy, and discuss not only their literary values but their insights into developmental issues and the social construction of childhood in the modern age.
LTWL 124 - SCIENCE FICTION
Although works we now consider science fiction existed by the onset of the twentieth century, the genre only received its name at the beginning of World War II. At that point its Golden Age began, running through the 1940s and 50s, the era that produced writers Bradbury, Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein, among others. In the 1960s and 70s, science fiction was caught up in the spirit of radical experimentation and social change, leading to the New Wave movement that brought a new emphasis on literary values to the genre. This course will examine classic science fiction through readings that, while published in the first three-quarters of the twentieth century, span the frontiers of space, time, and consciousness. We will explore their literary values and historical context, and discuss what they suggest about scientism, modernity, and the human condition.