ENGH 319: Popular Culture

ENGH 319-001: The 1980s
(Fall 2021)

03:00 PM to 04:15 PM TR

Horizon Hall 1009

Section Information for Fall 2021

The 1980s

Prof. Christopher Pizzino


1980s culture was made to be disposable. But when we look at today’s visual and musical styles (not to mention ongoing film franchises), it seems to be lasting forever. This course will study the strange(r) things that have made the 80s enduring. We’ll focus on the artistic qualities of the most “plastic” decade in our history and on the way these qualities have shaped the “culture wars” of today. 


The course will cover the literature of the 1980s and after, and the cinema and music as well. We’ll examine the literary hits of the day from Don DeLillo and Alice Walker, and also likely some more experimental works. We’ll study blockbuster films and listen to multi-platinum pop albums, but we’ll also look at independent film, hear the beginnings of rap, and encounter some varieties of post-punk. Students can expect opportunities to analyze a range of media in a wide variety of ways. 


So set your DeLorean back thirty-five years and see you at the mall. 


Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Emphasizes popular fiction and adaptation of popular prose genres to media that have strong verbal and visual elements. Relationship between verbal and nonverbal elements of media such as film, comics, and radio. May be repeated within the term for a maximum 6 credits.
Recommended Prerequisite: Satisfaction of University requirements in 100-level English and in Mason Core literature.
Schedule Type: Lecture
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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