SMNR: Race & American Popular Culture

Class Unique: 29325
This seminar explores race and racism through the production and circulation of American pop culture. As a site of mass consumerism with global and transnational implications, popular culture has become a major line of evidence for critically analyzing the role of race in contemporary societies, particularly here in the U.S. Students will consider the relationships between race, identity, and power and various forms of pop culture, including music, movies, TV shows, advertising, etc. Case studies will be drawn from across a range of disciplines (e.g, cultural studies, anthropology, radio/television/film, gender and feminist studies, etc.) to ensure that students are introduced to a variety of theories, methodologies, and approaches to critical race studies. The goals of the course are:
  1. evaluating various racial ideologies, and defining race as a social construct that nonetheless operates in everyday life as a naturalized phenomenon
  2. tracing the historical trajectory of racial ideologies and practices in the U.S.
  3. assessing how race intersects with gender, class, and other vectors of inequality and difference in identity formation and in politics, and
  4. unpacking and critiquing how race and power articulate in various forms of popular culture.

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Friday 10:30 am - 12:20 pm TNH 3.115
Evaluation Method Date Time Alpha Range Room

Additional Information

Course Type


Franklin, Maria Franklin, Maria