Theories of Culture IIIa

Faculteit Letteren
Jaar 2022/23
Vakcode LAX052B05
Vaknaam Theories of Culture IIIa
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester II a

Uitgebreide vaknaam Theories of Culture IIIa: Consumer Nation
Leerdoelen Upon successful completion of the course unit, students are able to:

1. Accurately define key terms from the philosophy, sociology, and history of capitalism (as introduced by course readings), and illustrate their understanding using historical or contemporary examples (degree program learning outcome 1c)
2. Compare and contrast features of U.S and European culture, in terms of economic realities and cultural values, in seminar discussion and online forum (1d, 3c)
3. Under test conditions, apply concepts from course readings to the analysis of examples from U.S. popular and literary culture (2b, 3b)
4. Under test conditions, write a clearly structured essay that advances an argument in response to a theoretical prompt (4a, 4b)
Omschrijving Theories of Culture III is a two-course sequence dedicated to materialist approaches to culture: theories based on the premise that the way people make their living (the mode of production) determines the way people make sense of their lives (ideology). The first two weeks of the course introduce basic concepts of historical materialism, such as alienation, commodity fetishism, and ideology. Subsequent weeks focus on case studies from U.S. culture in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1950s: as the economy changed from one based on agrarian and industrial production, to one driven by the engine of consumer desire, literature and popular culture reflected on those changes in surprising ways. Marx and his heirs (Althusser, Williams, Mulvey), will help us analyze primary texts like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1925), a scandalous novel by Anita Loos that became a sexy 1953 film. We’ll expand our analysis with help from sociologists and historians--Thorstein Veblen, Max Weber, Lizbeth Cohen--who studied the social, religious, and political dimensions of American life in a time of rapid economic and cultural change.
Uren per week 2
Onderwijsvorm werkcollege
(2 uur werkcollege)
Toetsvorm essay, opdrachten
(“Assignments include weekly reading responses. The final assignment consists of a take-home essay test of 1200 words.”)
Vaksoort bachelor jr 3
Coördinator Dr. K.S. Roberts
Docent(en) J.J. Lettinga ,Dr. K.S. Roberts
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Anita Loos 978-0871403179 ca. €  13,00
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (film) dir. Howard Hawks ca. €  5,00
Entreevoorwaarden Propaedeutic phase
Rhetoric and Composition IIa and IIb
Theories of Culture II: Media Theory and II: Political Theory
Opmerkingen 80% Mandatory attendance in seminars.
Students are expected to participate actively in discussions during seminars and to duly carry out all assignments.
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
Course units for exchange students 3 semester II a keuze
Ba American Studies 3 semester II a verplicht