A&H 4088 – Popular Culture – Session 1 Readings.

| January 17, 2012

Introduction: Pop Culture Isn’t High Culture

Roger Simon, “Teachers as cultural workers” from Teaching Against the Grain (Bergin & Garvey 1992), 35-53. Simon–Teaching against the grain

‘High and low culture’

‘High culture’

IPC – “Preface”; “Folk culture”; and “Popular culture as the ‘other’ of high culture” (ix-xiii; 1-15; 32-45).

Chris Lehmann – ‘Intro’ and ‘Pop and Pastlessness’ from Revolt of the Masscult (Prickly Paradigm, 2003), 1-6, 23-26.Lehmann–Revolt of the Masscult (excpt.)

OPTIONAL – Michael Petracca & Madeline Sorapure, “Reading and writing about popular culture” from Common Culture (2007), 1-26. Petracca and Sorapure–Reading and Writing

OPTIONAL – John Broughton, “Introductory Essay on Course Content and Objectives” (also spelled out in Moodle Forum 1.17.12).  AH4088 Introductory essay


Practicum: Recall items or issues in popular culture of the previous generations that you experienced when a child, or that your parents and grandparents have mentioned. How has popular culture changed? [Adair’s ‘Myths and memories’, in the wiki for our class on international pop culture, may help here]. OR: Study the lyrics of Cole Porter’s “You’re the Top”. How might those reflect a particular concept of high culture at that time? And if so, why do Greta Garbo, Mae West, Jimmy Durante, and Mickey Mouse feature at “the top”?


MINI-ASSIGNMENT (see syllabus / Moodle Forum):

Matthew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy (Cambridge 1932), excpt. reprinted in J. Storey (ed.), Cultural Theory and Popular Culture (Georgia 1998), 7-12.Arnold–Culture and Anarchy

E. D. Hirsch, “Literacy and cultural literacy” and “Appendix: what literate Americans know” from Cultural Literacy (Houghton Mifflin 1987), 1-32 & (skim) 152-215.Hirsch–literacy and cultural literacy ; Hirsch–Appendix

Tommasini, “A patience to listen“.


Enjoy ; )