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  • Art as Social Action
Science Fiction As a Vehicle for Social Commentary

Science Fiction As a Vehicle for Social Commentary

Through this unit of study, students will come to realize the potential ... (more)

Through this unit of study, students will come to realize the potential and power of science fiction as a vehicle for social commentary. Students will be reading and viewing various works of science fiction that make statements on current issues. The novel, Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler, will serve as our primary text. Besides exploring the ways in which other writers have used the genre for social commentary, students will research a current issue with which they are concerned. Based on the research, each student will write a science fiction story to illustrate the issue. (less)

Subject:
Humanities
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Homework and Assignments
Lesson Plans
Unit of Study
Collection:
Urban Dreams - Core Literature
Provider:
Oakland Unified School District
Author:
P. Pugh
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Japanese Popular Culture, Spring 2003

Japanese Popular Culture, Spring 2003

This course examines Japanese popular culture as a way of understanding the ... (more)

This course examines Japanese popular culture as a way of understanding the changing character of media, capitalism, fan communities and culture. Topics include manga (comic books), hip-hop and other popular music in Japan, anime (Japanese animated films) and feature films, sports (sumo, soccer, baseball), and online communication. Emphasis will be on contemporary popular culture and theories of gender, sexuality, race, and the workings of power in global culture industries. (less)

Subject:
Humanities
Social Sciences
Material Type:
Full Course
Homework and Assignments
Lecture Notes
Syllabi
Collection:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Provider:
M.I.T.
Author:
Condry, Ian
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Popular Culture and Narrative: Literature, Comics, and Culture, Fall 2010

Popular Culture and Narrative: Literature, Comics, and Culture, Fall 2010

In this course, we will investigate popular culture and narrative by focusing ... (more)

In this course, we will investigate popular culture and narrative by focusing on the relationship between literary texts and comics. Several questions shape the syllabus and provide a framework for approaching the course materials: How do familiar aspects of comics trace their origins to literary texts and broader cultural concerns? How have classic comics gone on to influence literary fiction? In what ways do contemporary graphic narratives bring a new kind of seriousness of purpose to comics, blurring what's left of the boundaries between the highbrow and the lowbrow? Readings and materials for the course range from the nineteenth century to the present, and include novels, short stories, essays, older and newer comics, and some older and newer films. Expectations include diligent reading, active participation, occasional discussion leading, and two papers. (less)

Subject:
Arts
Humanities
Material Type:
Homework and Assignments
Readings
Syllabi
Collection:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Provider:
M.I.T.
Author:
Picker, John
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Topics in Indian Popular Culture: Spectacle, Masala, and Genre, Fall 2006

Topics in Indian Popular Culture: Spectacle, Masala, and Genre, Fall 2006

Subject aims to provide an overview of Indian popular culture over the ... (more)

Subject aims to provide an overview of Indian popular culture over the last two decades, through a variety of material such as popular fiction, music, television and Bombay cinema. Explores major themes and their representations in relation to current social and political issues. In particular, examines the elements of the formulaic "masala movie", music and melodrama, the ideas of nostalgia and incumbent change in youth culture, as well as shifting questions of gender and sexuality in popular fiction. Students review journalistic writing, advertising clips, and political cartoons to understand the relation between the popular culture and the social imagery of a nation. Taught in English. (less)

Subject:
Humanities
Social Sciences
Material Type:
Full Course
Homework and Assignments
Syllabi
Collection:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Provider:
M.I.T.
Author:
Banerjee, Arundhati
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Popular Culture

Popular Culture

Many forms of entertainment and leisure activities people participated in during the ... (more)

Many forms of entertainment and leisure activities people participated in during the early decades of the 20th century are not that different from those we enjoy today. At the turn of the century people found entertainment at carnivals and festivals and exhibitions. Photographs here include the California Midwinter International Exposition in San Francisco in 1894, and the Anaheim Carnival of 1911. Sports were also a popular pastime. Photographs show people participating in tennis and golf, but spectator sports were also popular. In 1929, Miss Jessie Darnley apparently swam her way to the title of Miss Anaheim in a pool filled with three tons of oranges. A number of players became celebrities, as witnessed by publicity stills of baseball greats Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Carl Klindt. Electricity and improved communications meant that entertainment was no longer confined to live theater. People turned to the radio for both information and entertainment. One photograph shows the family of a Democratic nominee for US Senator, Sheridan Downey, gathered around the radio listening to election results. Another depicts a live radio broadcast. During this era the film industry boomed in Hollywood, generating popular images and mythologies surrounding the movies and movie stars. Photographs in this group include some on-set shots of actors, directors, and movie-making equipment. The owner of the famous Chinese Theater in Hollywood, Sid Grauman, is pictured with film star Mary Pickford. Other images include silent film stars, the original "Our Gang" cast at the opening of the Broadway Theater, and a shot of the Spreckels Theater on the night of a Three Stooges film premiere in 1934.As had been true for centuries, people enjoyed music, literature, and the arts. Images here include jazz musicians performing and a studio portrait of Roland Hayes, considered one of the greatest tenors in the 1920s. Popular literary figures pictured include author Upton Sinclair, whose 1906 book The Jungle helped raise popular awareness about food processing and contributed in large part to the passage of the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906. Photographs of poets and writers who wrote about or resided in California include Joaquin Miller, George Sterling, Charles Warren Stoddard, Robinson Jeffers, Edwin Markham, and Mary Austin (standing in front of a mural with Mexican artist Diego Rivera). (less)

Subject:
Social Sciences
Material Type:
Images and Illustrations
Lesson Plans
Primary Source
Readings
Teaching and Learning Strategies
Collection:
Calisphere - California Digital Library
Provider:
University of California
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Studio Seminar in Public Art, Spring 2006

Studio Seminar in Public Art, Spring 2006

Focuses on the production of visual art for public places outside the ... (more)

Focuses on the production of visual art for public places outside the gallery/museum context. Readings and discussions that engage aesthetic, social, political, and urban issues relevant to this expanded public context complement studio production. Traditional approaches of enhancement and commemoration are contrasted to more temporal and critical methodologies. Historical models are studied and discussed, including Russian Constructivist experiments, the Situationists, Conceptual Art, and more recent interventionist tactics. (less)

Subject:
Arts
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Full Course
Lecture Notes
Syllabi
Collection:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Provider:
M.I.T.
Author:
Muntadas, Antonio
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Atomic Platters

Atomic Platters

Presents a searchable database of "first generation" music and popular culture in ... (more)

Presents a searchable database of "first generation" music and popular culture in the Atomic Age. These compositions celebrate, lament or lampoon the Bomb and the Cold War that sprang from the mushroom clouds over Japan. (less)

Subject:
Arts
Humanities
Science and Technology
Social Sciences
Material Type:
Homework and Assignments
Primary Source
Readings
Collection:
Individual Authors
Provider:
Conelrad
Author:
Bill Geerhart
Curtis Samson
Ken Sitz
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Move With the Music

Move With the Music

Invite students to share and discuss a song of their choice with ... (more)

Invite students to share and discuss a song of their choice with lyrics that contain a social, political or cultural message relevant to a contemporary social justice issue. Students will lead their peers through a close reading and discussion of the song’s lyrics, and create a written analysis of the song, its lyrics, and its message. To help anchor their analysis, teachers may use the Critical Literacy Text-Dependent Question Stems template in the lesson. Students can organize their writing along the eight areas, while choosing from the list of prompts in each area. (Note: Teacher discretion will be necessary for handling lyrics that use explicit language.) Use the suggested activity and strategies below to empower students to lead the lesson with their peers as the students. (less)

Subject:
Arts
Social Sciences
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Lesson Plans
Collection:
Teaching Tolerance
Provider:
Southern Poverty Law Center
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Circus in America: 1793-1940

Circus in America: 1793-1940

This archive traces the history of the American circus since 1793, when ... (more)

This archive traces the history of the American circus since 1793, when British equestrian John Rickets presented the first circus in America. Learn about the acts, animals, people, music, and marketing of circuses -- and the impact of the circus on popular culture in America. Get an in depth look at six major circuses, including P.T. Barnum and the Ringling Brothers. A timeline and video clips are provided. The site contains artifacts from private collections, museums, archives, brought together for the first time for the use of scholars and students of history, popular culture, technology, business, drama, sports, art, and advertising. There are huge gaps and inaccuracies in our knowledge of circus history, in part because the documents and circus artifacts (route books, posters, newspaper stories, journals, and oral histories) have been scattered among many different repositories and part because there have been few systematic efforts to archive, analyze, and correlate these materials. The Circus in America makes it possible for the first time to study this singularly important influence on and reflection of American culture. (less)

Subject:
Arts
Humanities
Material Type:
Readings
Collection:
University of Virginia
Provider:
Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities
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Exultate Jubilate

Exultate Jubilate

'A short, snappy fantasy of unexpected interactions among very unlikely characters, including ... (more)

'A short, snappy fantasy of unexpected interactions among very unlikely characters, including a trio of flying businessmen. The surreal narration playfully kidnaps our imagination, taking us beyond the everyday world.' In this work written, produced, and directed by Dennis Day, trios of flying businessmen, cowgirls, and women who appear to have walked off the surface of a billboard roam city streets and suburban sprawl. Additional characters make appearances in this brightly-colored landscape, which appears to be populated by icons of popular culture. The original soundtrack is by Peter Ghemling. The piece is approximately ten minutes long and was broadcast as a segment of episode 504 (1989) of 'New Television.' (less)

Subject:
Humanities
Material Type:
Images and Illustrations
Primary Source
Collection:
WGBH Open Vault
Provider:
PBS Learning Media
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Tapping the Roots of American Music

Tapping the Roots of American Music

Teacher's Guide for using the American Roots Music documentary series in the ... (more)

Teacher's Guide for using the American Roots Music documentary series in the classroom. The resources offered here are designed to help you use the PBS American Roots Music video series and companion Web site in middle school and high school social studies and history classes. American Roots Music may be taped off-air and used for up to a year following broadcast, or you may choose to purchase it through Shop PBS for Teachers. (less)

Subject:
Arts
Humanities
Social Sciences
Material Type:
Audio Lectures
Lesson Plans
Collection:
PBS
Provider:
PBS
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Writing and Experience: Culture Shock! Writing, Editing, and Publishing in Cyberspace, Fall 2005

Writing and Experience: Culture Shock! Writing, Editing, and Publishing in Cyberspace, Fall 2005

This course is an introduction to writing prose for a public audience‰ŰÓspecifically, ... (more)

This course is an introduction to writing prose for a public audience‰ŰÓspecifically, prose grounded in, though not confined to, personal narrative and perspective. The focus of our reading and your writing will be American popular culture, broadly defined. That is, you will write essays that engage elements and aspects of contemporary American popular culture and that do so via a vivid personal voice and presence. (less)

Subject:
Humanities
Social Sciences
Material Type:
Full Course
Homework and Assignments
Syllabi
Collection:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Provider:
M.I.T.
Author:
Faery, Rebecca Blevins
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Is Superman Really All That Super? Critically Exploring Superheroes

Is Superman Really All That Super? Critically Exploring Superheroes

What makes a superhero super? By comparing popular culture superheroes with heroic ... (more)

What makes a superhero super? By comparing popular culture superheroes with heroic characters in childrenŐs literature, students learn to think critically about character traits, and consider how cultural perspectives influence the kinds of heroes we choose. (less)

Subject:
Arts
Humanities
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Lesson Plans
Collection:
ReadWriteThink
Provider:
ReadWriteThink
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James Baldwin: Art, Sexuality and Civil Rights

James Baldwin: Art, Sexuality and Civil Rights

In this lesson, students will revisit the life of James Baldwin, an ... (more)

In this lesson, students will revisit the life of James Baldwin, an African-American literary writer and critic, as well as an icon for civil and gay rights. Far ahead of his time, Baldwin was Ňout and proudÓ before that term became a popular cultural idiom. BaldwinŐs life illuminates not just the intersection between gay rights and civil rights, but perhaps even more importantly, the connections among self-identification, artistic expression and political activism. This lesson is part of ŇThe Role of Gay Men and Lesbians in the Civil Rights MovementÓ Series. (less)

Subject:
Humanities
Social Sciences
Material Type:
Lesson Plans
Readings
Collection:
Teaching Tolerance
Provider:
Southern Poverty Law Center
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Culture Shock!, Fall 2002

Culture Shock!, Fall 2002

This course is an introduction to writing prose for a public audience--specifically, ... (more)

This course is an introduction to writing prose for a public audience--specifically, prose grounded in, but not confined to, personal narrative. That is, you will write essays that engage elements and aspects of contemporary American popular culture and that do so via a vivid personal voice and presence. In the coming weeks we will read a number of articles that address current issues in popular culture along with essays, pieces of carefully-crafted nonfiction, by writers, scientists, philosophers, poets, historians, literary scholars, and many others. These essays will address a great many subjects from the contemporary world, using personal narrative and memoir to launch and elaborate an argument or position or refined observation. And you yourselves will write a great deal in the variety of forms that the essay genre embraces, attending always to the ways your purpose in writing and your intended audience shape what and how you write. (less)

Subject:
Humanities
Social Sciences
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Full Course
Homework and Assignments
Syllabi
Collection:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Provider:
M.I.T.
Author:
Faery, Rebecca Blevins
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Subject:
Science and Technology
Material Type:
Assessments
Full Course
Homework and Assignments
Lecture Notes
Syllabi
Collection:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Provider:
M.I.T.
Author:
George Kocur
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