Writing about Popular Culture: Rhetoric in American Media

Course Description

This small, activity-based writing course requires students to think critically about how television, films, video games, and online media both shape and reflect common social and political beliefs. For instance, our inquiry will open up conversations pertaining to how different television shows, from The Adams Family to The Brady Bunch to The Simpsons to Modern Family have forced us to imagine and reimagine the “American family.” We will ask difficult questions about the trajectory of racial and ethnic inclusion in American media thinking about shows like The Walking Dead, and the casting of Glenn, and the new(er) Netflix original series, Luke Cage, about a Black superhero. Apart from family structures and race/ethnicity in American media, we may also consider how social satire/commentary like South Park or BoJack Horseman urge viewers to think about social and political issues. Although our class focus will be on television, students are able to also address films, video games, and online media in their own research. Our discussions will culminate in several writing assignments where students will demonstrate their ability to rhetorically analyze a piece of media and to engage with college-level researched writing.

Course Details

  • Grading Basis: Letter Grade or Credit/No Credit
  • Limited Enrollment Details: Offered only to High School Summer College students.

Syllabus Link

None available.
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