Writing about Technology, Race, and Culture
This course will introduce students to discourses of cultural criticism, particularly in the context of race relations. Students will engage with existing scholarship on culture and cultural productions so as to develop an understanding of the role(s) cultural productions play in the shaping of American culture, American conceptions of race, and American race relations. Then through their own critical inquiries of music, films, advertising, and literary texts – with the goals of developing their own cultural theories – students will investigate the ways in which racial identities (predominantly, but not limited to, black and white) and ultimately race relations are shaped by such cultural phenomena. For example, as the visibility of black artists and black art forms (hip hop being the most obvious example) increases, and as the consumption of black culture reaches across race, class, and gender boundaries, it is interesting to consider the impact of such visibility on racial and cultural politics.