Section I: INTRODUCTION TO WRITING ABOUT POPULAR CULTURE.
1. The Pop Culture Zone.
2. Writing in the Pop Culture Zone.
Synthesis, Ben Strickland.
3. Defining Pop Culture.
The Oprah Effect, Carmen Wong Ulrich.
Section II: THE CONTENT ZONE.
4. Writing about Advertisements.
Sample Essay: Advertising: Keeping Sexism Alive, Cathy McBride. Reading Selections: The 70s. After the Blackout, Time Magazine. My Father’s Closet, John Seabrook. Reading Selections: The 80s. Marketing in Color: New Niches Flow into the Mainstream, Leon E. Wynter. Keep Ads Out of Books, Murray L. Bob. Reading Selections: The 90s. Profitability, Diversity, and Disability Images in Advertising in the United States and Great Britain, Beth A. Haller and Sue Ralph. Constructed Bodies, Deconstructing Ads: Sexism in Advertising, Anthony J. Cortese. Reading Selections: The 00s. Ads Ad Nauseum, Kathryn Balint. No Escape from Ads, Even in the Backseat, Lenore Skenazy. The Battle for Advertising: Internet Giants Get Ready for Full Combat, Iain S. Bruce. Reading Selections: Across the Decades. Defining Trade Characters and Their Role in American Popular Culture, Barbara J. Phillips. Merchandising Madness: Pills, Promises, and Better Living Through Chemistry, Lawrence C. Rubin.
5. Writing about Film.
Sample Essay: 1968 Resonates in 2004: 2001: A Space Odyssey and the Devolution of the Science Fiction Film, Chris Driver. Reading Selections: The 70s. May the Force Be With You, and You, and You…, Clive Thompson. What is the Godfather Saying?, Jay Cocks. The Pleasures of Disappointment: Sequels and the Godfather, Part II, Todd Berliner. Reading Selections: The 80s. John Hughes Goes Deep: The Unexpected Heaviosity of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Steve Almond. Reading Selections: The 90s. Revelations, Spike Lee. Reading Selections: A Case Study from the 00s. Fahrenheit 9/11: Review, Peter Travers. Movie Review: Fahrenheit 9/11, Michael Wilmington. Sub-par Propaganda, Glenn Lovell. Reading Selections: Across the Decades. Disney’s Dolls, Kathy Maio. Why I’m Not Bored, Stanley Kauffmann. Alfred Hitchcock: A Hank of Hair and a Piece of Bone, Alan Vanneman.
6. Writing about Groups, Spaces, and Places.
Sample Essay: You’re the Tops, Nika Hazelton. Reading Selections: The 70s. Disco Dance Introduction, Janet J. Jasek. The Ship Shape, David Sedaris. Reading Selections: The 80s. Mallingering, William Severini Kowinski. Reagan-Bush at 9: Passing on the Legacy of Shame, Ralph Nader and Mark Green. Reading Selections: The 90s. Black Sorority Boom: Ninety Years After the First Group Was Founded, Membership and Enthusiasm Are Thriving, Ebony. Bold New City or Built-Up ‘Burb’? Redefining Contemporary Suburbia, William Sharpe and Leonard Wallock. Reading Selections: The 00s. NASCAR Racing Fans: Cranking Up an Empirical Approach, M. Graham Spann. The National Storytelling Festival, Mike Caplanis. A Case Study. Paradise Ruined: A Guidebook Writer’s Lament, Joy Williams. Greetings from the Florida Keys and Key West, The Monroe County Tourist Development Council. Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffet. More Key West Hotels Going Offline, Cayo Dave. Reading Selections: Across the Decades. Hitler Did Fine, I Can Do Better, Shari Caudron. Ladies of the White Gloves: Riding with Pride, Dianna Baldwin. Job Corps, AmeriCorps, and Peace Corps: An Overview, Kevin M. McCarron.
7. Writing about Music.
Sample Essay: The Triple-Threat Folk Hero, David Cantwell. Reading Selections: The 70s. Bob Marley: Music Man with a Mission, Michael A. Stusser. Crossing the Border, Greil Marcus. Reading Selections: The 80s. Controversy, Kevin Phinney. Reading Selections: The 90s. Romancing the Record: The Vinyl De-Evolution and Sub-cultural Evolution, George Plasketes. Rap of the Ages: Tracking the Highs and Lows of Nearly 20 Years, Havelock Nelson and Gerrie E. Summers. Within You, Without You: The Guitarist’s Search for Spiritual Meaning, Chris Gill, James Rotondi, and Jas Obrecht. Reading Selections: The 00s. Static Minds, John Vandenberg. Technology and Music Piracy: Has the Recording Industry Lost Sales?, Don Cusic, Gregory K. Faulk, and Robert P. Lambert. Reading Selections: Across the Decades. The Writings of Lester Bangs Rise Again in ‘Psychotic Reactions,’ Gregory McNamee. Joe Strummer: 1952-2002, Theodore Matula. A Case Study. ‘Bitch’ and Lilith Fair: Resisting Anger, Celebrating Contradictions. Kalene Westmoreland. Bitch, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.
8. Writing about Popular Literature.
Sample Essay: Rewriting the Romance, Lev Grossman. Reading Selections: The 70s. Love and Sex in the Romance Magazines, David Sonenschein. The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston. Reading Selections: The 80s. Inherited Haunts: Stephen King’s Terrible Children, Tony Magistrale. Mystery Fiction: Lesbian, Sally R. Munt. Reading Selections: The 90s. Life after Goosebumps: In the Wake of R.L. Stine’s Sizzling Chiller Series, the Kids’ Horror Genre Assumes Monstrous Proportions, Sally Lodge. The Ten Most Important Comic Books of the 1990s, Andy Smith. Reading Selections: The 00s. Taking Writing “Seriously” (Or How Fan Fiction Taught Me to Write), Hillary Robson. A Case Study. In Defense of Book Burning, Will Manley. Witch Hunt: Why the Religious Right is Crusading to Exorcise Harry Potter Books from Public Schools and Libraries, Rob Boston. Reading Selections: Across the Decades. A Walk on the Far Side: The Life and Times of Gary Larson, Kelly Ferguson. Reading: A Love Story (How It Begins), Vince Passaro. A Case Study. Mass Market Romance: Pornography for Women Is Different, Ann Barr Snitow. Women Read the Romance: The Interaction of Text and Context, Janice Radway. The Secret Life of Chikc Lit (Food Porn), Susan Wise Bauer.
9. Writing about Sports and Leisure.
Sample Essay: History at the Plate: The Value of Baseball in American Culture, Nicholas X. Bush. Reading Selections: The 70s. The Joy of Reprogramming Sport, Roger Kahn. Bille Jean Won for All Women, Larry Schwartz. Reading Selections: The 80s. How America Has Run Out of Time, Nancy Gibbs. Reading Selections: The 90s. ‘92 Loss to Duke Proved UK Could Win Again, Pat Forde. Skateboard Art, Steven Brower and John Gall. Reading Selections: A Case Study from the 00s. Caminiti Comes Clean: Ex-MVP Says He Won Award While Using Steroids, Sports Illustrated. Bats and Bodies: Both are Juiced, and It’s Just Another Black Eye for Baseball, Frank Deford. Bush Calls for Anti-doping Effort, CNN.COM. FDA Begins Crackdown on Supplement Andro, CNN.COM. Baseball Has A Day of Reckoning in Congress: McGuire Remains Evasive During Steroid Testimony, Dave Sheinin. Barry Bonds Took Steroids, Reports Everyone Who Has Ever Watched Baseball, The Onion. Reading Selections: Across the Decades. Fabic of Our Lives, Amei Wallach. How High Can You Go? Kevin Conley. A Wider World of Sports, Karl Taro Greenfeld.
10. Writing about Television.
Sample Essay: Timing is Everything: The Success of Dawson’s Creek and the Failure of My SO-Called Life, Andrew Coomes. Reading Selections: The 70s. The Black Scholar Forum: A Symposium on Roots. Roots: Melodrama of the Black Experience by Robert Staples. Roots: A Modern Minstrel Show by Clyde Taylor. Roots: Urban Renewal of the American Dream by Chinweizu. Roots: An Electronic Orgy in White Guilt by Chuck Stone. Roots: Rebirth of the Slave Mentality by Robert Chrisman. Reading Selections: The 80s. Roseanne: Unruly Woman as Domestic Goddess, Kathleen K. Rowe. Television Shapes the Soul, Michael Novak. Reading Selection: The 90s. Beavis and Butt-Head: No Future for Postmodern Youth, Douglas Kellner. Reading Selections: The 00s. The New Soaps? Laguna Beach, The Hills, and the Gendered Politics of Reality “Drama,” Elana Levine. Class Act, Rebecca Traister. Reading Selections: Across the Decades. A Case Study. Letter D Pulls Sponsorship from Sesame Street, The Onion. TV’s Coming-out Party, James Poniewozik and Jeanne McDowell. Sorry Situation, Mark Harris. Ralph, Fred, Archie, and Homer: Why Television Keeps Re-creating the White Male Working-Class Buffoon, Richard Butsch. Osama bin Laden Meets the South Park Kids, Lynn Spigel. Cartoons (Seriously) Can Teach Us About Faith, Mark I. Pinsky.
Section III: THE RESEARCH ZONE.
11. Researching and Documenting in the Pop Culture Zone.