Sem/Comn Global Cultures
Term: Fall 2021 - Full Term (08/30/2021 - 12/13/2021)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
Times & Locations
|2:10pm - 3:30pm
Course Description: In the past century, communication and transportation technologies connected the world as never before. As people and ideas move with increasing ease, how are traditional notions of culture being reinforced or broken down? How do ideas about culture make inequalities appear between different nationalities, socioeconomic classes, and racial and religious groups appear natural and inevitable? How can we distinguish between mutually beneficial cultural exchange and exploitative forms of appropriation? This course uses theory and contemporary case studies from news, social media, and popular culture to shed light on the construction of culture and cultural difference from classical theories to contemporary ideas of global cosmopolitanism and hybridity. This course does not provide a definitive definition of what culture is, but rather explores the political and economic entailments of mediated ideas of culture, including its relationship to race, class, and transnational inequities. Indeed, one of the first goals of the class is to question the existence of the discrete social units that we commonly call “cultures.” We will look at how social value and inequality are constructed using ideas about culture and identify the new currency of cultural difference in global times.