Course Description-Environmental Justice in Animal Crossing New Horizons (12.1)

ENGL/SPCM 275: Analysis of Popular Culture Texts

In this class we’ll use rhetorical inquiry to analyze how popular culture shapes communities, individuals, and, in many ways, makes us who we are as members of a culture. The basis of this course is that popular culture has great power to persuade audiences and shape and influence our lives. While on the one hand popular culture may seem mundane and every day, a part of our lives that should be downplayed, this course takes the opposite perspective and showcases how, on the other hand, popular culture is extremely important, often the driving force behind many of the decisions we make and the ways we reflect upon our lives, our relationships, and our roles within the cultures (and cultural practices) in which we participate.

Our learning outcomes include developing skills in popular culture analysis, which builds on rhetorical concepts taught in [the two-course composition sequence]. Throughout the term we’ll learn a taxonomy of rhetorical criticism and apply it, becoming critics equipped to launch arguments about why and how specific pop culture “texts” are persuasive.

As consumers of and participants in popular culture, another learning outcome of ENGL 275 is to help us better interrogate the role pop culture has in our lives so we can both embrace and resist these influences, becoming active agents, aware of pop culture’s ability to persuade us. Ultimately ENGL 275 offers practice at being an analyst or critic who applies rhetorical concepts in order to recognize and reveal the meaning and persuasive power of popular culture texts.