Class Redux for Tues Sept 8: Doing Cultural Studies

September 13, 2009

The “Doing Cultural Studies” packet is currently available in my mailbox, 3rd Floor Dekalb mailroom (under the “social science and cultural studies” dept heading). If you haven’t picked it up, you should do so.

Remember that the “comic” Intro to Cultural Studies that I handed out in class can be read as needed, to aid in your comprehension of the assigned material.

Our first “show and tell” by Mardenza on artist Sandow Birk is an excellent example of a cultural artifact that requires several discourses to be able to discuss it. This is what we hope that cultural studies can do–provide us with strategies of analysis that are specific and yet malleable enough to really engage the object of study: culturally situated, intellectually rigorous, and yet cognizant of a certain guiding “morality” (as the “comic” calls it) that is sensitive to oppression and marginalization of people in the world.

I brought in an article for “show and tell”–for those of you typography junkies–on how IKEA has changed its font from futura to verdana, much to the dismay of many typography artists and fans. Another great example of how everything is culturally loaded–even things “seemingly” invisible font. As Marshall McLuhan notes, “The Medium is the Message.”

Please keep bringing in artifacts for “show and tell” as you find them. This keeps the class interesting and relevant, but also creates possible topics for later work in this class.

Please continue to comment on reading, class discussion, etc., in the blog and do respond to each other’s comments. These comments are a great way of extending class discussion as well as providing another forum for you to add to your class participation

Finally, if you have ideas about further structuring, designing or adding to this blog, please let me know. The goal is to make this space an easy extension of the class, one that helps you. It can be as structured or “loose” as we want it.

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