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Popular Culture Studies

Popular Culture Studies focuses on the many ways in which mass culture and media both reflect and inform our daily lives. The courses that make up this interdisciplinary concentration examine the ways we work, define leisure, and become consumers. They cover a wide variety of topics such as movies, television, sports, music, comics, magazines, museums, folk art, memorabilia and collecting, celebratory events, as well as the cultural ramifications of technology and advertising. Students are encouraged to engage these popular subject matters not only within their personal lives, but in light of cultural and political contexts as well.

Courses for this concentration include

ART 1301 - Art, Technology and Civilization Hours: 3

ART 1301 - (ART 202) - This course examines the relationships between the visual arts and other expressions of human imagination and invention. Special attention is given to parallel developments in the histories of ideas, technology and art.

ART 304 - American Art and Architecture Hours: 3

A survey of all major visual art forms produced in America, including those by American Indians, from the period prior to colonization to the present. All the artworks will be examined in respect to their cultural, psychological, literary and philosophical contexts. Comparisons between select works of art will be made in respect to content, style, technique, composition and purpose.

ART 404 - Contemporary Issues Hours: 3

This course considers criticism,theory, styles, processes and other issues relevant to an understanding of contemporary art.

BAAS 409 - Global Technology and Society Hours: 3

This course is a comprehensive survey and analysis of societal and ethical implications of contemporary technological innovations. Special Emphasis is placed on cultural, social, economic, and environmental effects resulting from advances and future trends in science and technology on a global scale. Prerequisite Junior Standing.

CJ 360 - Mass Media and Crime Hours: 3

This course examines the media’s effects on perceptions of crime and justice in America. An examination is performed on media-generated crime and criminal justice policies. An example of media-generated crime would be when politicians/media “emphasize” a problem to essentially “create” a crime or crime wave. A discussion of the effect of social constructionism and the ability of the various types of media to create a new type of crime will occur. An investigation of the impact of various types of media (radio, television, motion pictures, records, and printed sources, etc.) on criminals, crime fighters and the courts will be conducted. An example of criminal topics to be discussed is the drug problem, sex offenders, murders, etc.

ENG 200 - Popular Literature and Culture Hours: 3

This course may cover a single popular medium, genre, author, or theme, such as science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, western, or horror, among others. This course may include popular literature in translation. Prerequisite Eng 102.

ENG 406 - Adolescent Literature Hours: 3

Introduces parents and prospective teachers of middle, junior high, and senior high schools to the major authors and genres of adolescent, or “young adult,” literature. Classroom applications are discussed, but the emphasis is on the interpretation and evaluation of the literature itself. Prerequisite Eng 1302.

ENG 432 - History and Aesthetics of Film
Hours: 3 Lecture Lab/ Clock Hours (2 lecture, 2 lab)

A historical and aesthetic survey of film from the late nineteenth century to the present. The interdependence of technology and art is examined through the study of significant motion pictures that continue to influence contemporary filmmakers and reflect changing social and cultural values. Prerequisite Eng 1302. Note Satisfies visual and performing arts option of University Studies.

HIST 264 - A Nation Divided: American History Hours: 3

America is a country characterized by diversity. Its history is the story of interactions between groups divided by race, ethnicity, language, income, religion, ideology, culture, and gender. This course explores the nature of encounters between social groups and the consequences such encounters had for American culture and politics. Topics such as Native American history, the Civil Rights Movement, and the labor movement may receive special attention. Note This course satisfies a Humanities requirement for University Studies.

JOUR 1307 - Mass Communication in Society Hours: 3

A discursive study of mass media organizations, how they operate and exert their influence on individuals and society, enabling students to become knowledgeable and self critical consumers of mass media content. The emphasis will be on those media engaged in news and public affairs reporting and commentary, especially the press and television.

JOUR 260 - Advertising Principles Hours: 3

A survey course in advertising as one aspect of promotion. Examines the historical background, social and economic environments, media channels, and other basics of the field as the beginning for further study in advertising. Prerequisite Jour 1307 or consent of the instructor.

JOUR 335 - Media History Hours: 3

A survey of the origins and development of journalism and the mass media from their beginnings in Germany and England to the present time. Emphasis on the ideas, economic forces, and cultural realities touching the development of American journalism. Prerequisite Jour 114 or consent of instructor.

JOUR 445 - Ethics in the Media Hours: 3

This is a course about ethical issues raised by contemporary mass media practices, especially those related to news, advertising, and public relations. Students will learn to recognize and analyze problem situations in terms of a framework of ethical principles in a societal context shaped by the libertarian traditions of Enlightenment thought. Communitarian challenges to those traditions will be studied and their impact on media ethics and practices explored. Prerequisite Junior or senior standing.

MKT 386 - Channels of Distribution Hours: 3

This course provides a study of the industrial aspects of marketing which includes physical distribution, industrial selling, purchasing, warehousing and wholesaling, and how efficiently each is integrated into the system. Value added industrial buying processes and government marketing are included.

MUS 1310 - Jazz; New Orleans to Jazz/Rock Hours: 3

This course is designed as an introduction to the history and music of jazz and its cross over into jazz rock. Particular emphasis will be placed on the evolution of various jazz styles as they developed in New Orleans, Chicago, and Kansas City, the big band era of the 30s and 40s and Be-Bop and cool jazz of the late 50s and 60s. Aspects of fusion jazz, new age and synthesized electronic music will be examined in the context of rock influences. Specific artists’ musical styles will be compared and contrasted in terms of rhythm, melody, harmony, and structural consideration. Emphasis will be placed on the performers contribution to the genre through extensive listening to recorded examples.

PSCI 488 - Contemporary Ideas Hours: 3

The course studies contemporary writing, mostly non-fiction, that is characterized by originality of topic, breadth of subject matter, clarity of expression and audacity. In reading logs, students make observations, take notes, and explore questions. In finished writings, they work out connections among ideas from various fields, moving from analysis to synthesis and fresh insights. Prerequisite Junior standing. Cross Listed/ Same As Same as Eng, Hist, and Phil 488

SPC 418 - Communication and Social Change Hours: 3

The study of the role of communication and mass media in social change. Emphasis is given to the mass media as a prime component for change, although community action and interpersonal approaches are included. Students investigate methods employed by opinion leaders and change agents to accomplish specific goals. Variables addressed include how media defines and disseminates information about issues, how advertising promotes or rejects issues, how lifestyles are portrayed with respect to issues, and how mass media ownership and regulatory policies affect the communication act.

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