Cultural Studies Question

Course Essay GuidanceI

n broad terms, your course essay should extend, complicate, or otherwise engage critically with a concept, theory, or discourse covered (or alluded to) in course readings and discussions. You might, for example, elect to explore the concept of racial formations by applying it to a specific case study pertaining to one of the culture industries covered in the course—e.g., music, film/Hollywood, museums, and statuary. A paper composed around a culture industry case study could look something like this:

  1. Introduction, in which you sketch an outline of the problem you intend to address, and preview how you will address it. (500-750 words)
  2. Theory Overview, in which you provide a fuller account of the theory you are extending/complicating/confounding, citing major works on the subject. (750-1500 words)
  3. Case Study, in which you test the theory and its relative utility with reference to a given case (750-1500 words)
  4. Conclusion, in which you summarize your arguments and artfully wrap up your project. (500-750 words)

Your paper does not have to conform to the above outline, even if you are interested in analyzing a case. Rather, you are encouraged to pursue your interests as they relate to the course content in whatever way you find most suitable (so long as the final product is in written form, and near the target word count).

If you are not compelled by the example outline, but are also not sure about other options, then you might consider authoring something like a “keywords” entry, such as those found in Raymond Williams’ and subsequent cultural studies scholars’ work. In this mode, you would first want to identify a word or phrase that seems to carry significant symbolic power in or around one of the culture industries, but the meaning of which is multiple, varied, and encompassing—in other words, a word or phrase that requires closer prolonged examination. If the keyword direction appeals to you, please remember that you will need to select a keyword that both (1) is directly related to the course content, and (2) is substantive enough to sustain a paper that meets the word count criterion for this assignment. You may also want to consult the following resource for structural guidance if you go this route:

Williams, Raymond. Keywords : A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. Rev. ed. New York: Oxford

University Press, 1985. Print.

this is everything we talked about in class
Date Topic Reading
Aug 23, 25 a) Introductions
b) Course Outline

b) Course Outline
Sep 13, 15 Racial Formations (1)
Theory and US

a) Feagin and Ducey, Chua
b) Collins
Sep 20

Racial Formations (2)
Special Guest
André Moise Dorcé Ramos…
Sep 22 Activism
a) Definitions
b) New Orleans

a) Miller, 2017a
b) Miller, 2017b, “Dismantle NOMA,” Ross
Sep 27 Racial Formations (3)
Special Guest

Cristina Venegas

Sep 29, Oct
Hollywood (1)
a) History
b) Ownership and

a) Thakore
b) Kim and BrunnBevell
*Section 02: Course Essay Proposal Due @ 1700 on 9/29*
Oct 6, 11 Hollywood (2) a) De Pater et al.
b) Smith et al., Hunt and Ramón, Lauzen

5 a) Contemporary
b) Activism

*All sections: Précis Due @ 1700 on 10/13*
Oct 13, 18 a. Midterm review
(01) / Rough Draft
discussion (02)
b. Midterm
examination (01) /
Rough Draft
workshop (02)

Oct 20, 25 Cultural Policy
a) Citizenship
b) Futures

a) Yúdice
b) Curtin
Oct 27, Nov
Museums and Statues (1)
a) Institutions
b) Diversity

a) González et al., Fraser
b) Crawford, Guerrilla Girls
Nov 3, 8 Museums and Statues (2)
a) Activism I
b) Activism II

a) “Decolonize Latinx Art, “A Letter on Justice and Open Debate”
b) “A More Specific Letter on Justice and Open Debate”, Been Verified
*Section 02: Course Essay Rough Draft Due @ 1700 on 11/10*

Nov 10, 15 Music (1)
a) HipHop
b) Rock

a) Rose, Jeffries
b) Cateforis, Love

Nov 17, 29 Music (2)
a) Latin
b) Activism

a) Pacini Hernandez, Flores
b) Gray

Dec 1, 6 Cultural Labor
c) Diversity
a) Exploitation

c) Economists Incorporated, Westermann et al.
a) Association of Art Museum Directors, Curtin and Sanson
Dec 8, 13,
15, 20
a) Final Examination
Review (Sec. 01) /
Peer Review (Sec.
b) Final Examination
(Sec. 01) / Peer
Review (Sec. 02)
c) Conclusionwhat
have we seen
across these
weeks, within and
beyond our class?
What should be
different? How can
that be achieved?
d) Final day TBD

*All sections: Course Essay Final Draft Due @ 1700 on 12/15

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