The purpose of this course is to analyze literature and learn to examine popular culture (television, film, music, etc.) in the same way we study literature. While studying work from various eras, students will explore how authors utilize different genres to convey similar themes. This class combines class discussion, analysis, and research.
- To use literature to help make sense of the world
- To vocalize your own interpretation of a text
- To examine the role of “popular culture” in American society
- To analyze the degree to which “popular culture” reflects and/or shapes the lifestyles, values, and concerns of American society
- To think critically about popular culture and its messages
We will examine literature and culture through the lens of the following themes:
INTRODUCTION TO POP CULTURE Essential questions: What is pop culture? How does it differ from high culture? How has popular culture changed over generations?
IDENTITY Essential question: What factors influence the development of one’s identity? Texts include poetry and short stories. Film: The Breakfast Club.
FAMILY Essential Question: How are families represented in literature and culture? Texts include poetry, essays, and short stories. Television: family sitcoms. Film: Little Miss Sunshine.
LOVE Essential questions: How is romantic love defined in American culture and literature? How does love affect individuals? Texts include poetry, short stories, and song lyrics. Film: Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
WAR Essential questions: How is war portrayed in American literature and culture? Is there such a thing as a “good war”? Texts include poetry, short stories, and song lyrics. Film: TBA.