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Course Description

Through the juxtaposition of iconic and current-day versions of standard Hollywood narratives, this course explores the many ways that popular culture profoundly affects how we view numerous aspects of American society. Beginning with a critical assessment of children’s popular culture, especially Disney movies and characters, we will examine how certain assumptions about our own and others’ identities are formed.

A cultural studies approach will be used to look critically at how gender, race and class intersect in popular visual texts, and to help in identifying common tropes and stereotypes associated with issues of representation and otherness. We will juxtapose past and present Hollywood trends in pairings such as The Stepford Wives and Westworld; The Godfather and The Sopranos; Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Jennifer Jones; Good Will Hunting and Proof; and Night of the Living Dead and Get Out.