Midterm essays are due this Tues, Oct 27, via email no later than midnight (There is no class that day because of the “midterm break”). After that points will be deducted for lateness according to course policy.

Your essay will be graded on your understanding of the theoretical concept(s) you are using as well as your ability to use it for detailed, sustained analysis of a cultural object. Please make sure that you reread any of the essays you plan to use in your midterm. As you read, write down quotes that seem relevant to your analysis. This will help you to maintain focus.

Send your midterm as a word attachment to my pratt email address and include your last name and the word “midterm” in the subject line, eg. “smith_midterm.” Remember that the essay should be in MLA format.

For the following week (Nov 3), please read Judith Butler “Subversive Bodily Acts” and Eve Sedgwick “Axiomatic,” both available for download below or through the library’s electronic reserve. Please also read Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel “Fun Home,” which you should have purchased by now (available via amazon and other book stores).

Angela Hoang will start our discussion on Butler, Joseph Kaiser will start our discussion on Sedgwick.

As you read “Fun Home,” think about how Butler and Sedgwick can be used to discuss the book. Jot down any concepts from their essays that are relevant to your reading.



For next week, please read Stuart Hall “Encoding, Decoding.” Meaghan Morris, “Banality in Cultural Studies” and Radway, “The institutional Matrix of Romance” are recommended. Alexandra Hendelman will lead discussion on “Encoding, Decoding.”


Reading is available here or through Pratt’s electronic reserves:

Find your reserve items by going to our online catalog PrattCatt and selecting the “Reserves” tab and searching for your course either by my name or the course name. Essays are available for download as PDFs.

Please post your proposed midterm topic as a comment here no later than Mon eve 8 pm. Topics needn’t be firm–I just want a sense of what you’re thinking.

Midterm Assignment

October 13, 2009

Your Midterm Essay is due on October 27 by midnight. Please submit essays via email in an attached word document to sfrey@pratt.edu. Read more about it here: Midterm Assignment

And this is what MLA format looks like.

By class Tuesday, leave a comment here that includes two quotes from Benjamin’s “Work of Art in The Age of Mechanical Reproduction” that you find particularly interesting, relevant, or difficult. Additionally, post two critical discussion questions that are generated from those quotes. Please site page numbers.

For Next week, Tues Oct 13 Read:

Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”

Katelyn Gannon will lead our discussion on Benjamin.

Excerpts from Chomsky, “Manufacturing Consent”

“The Politics of Gay Marketing”

Marxism Notes

October 6, 2009

Notes on Karl Marx & Historical Materialism

Base-Superstructure chart (Marx)

Louis Althusser 1970