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Despite its wide-ranging influence, popular culture did not receive serious academic attention until the 1990s with the development of the field of Cultural Studies. Situating popular culture as a major site for the production and reproduction of social power, Cultural Studies scholars insisted that pop culture could teach us much about the world in which we live. This course introduces students to the core concepts of Cultural Studies, and interrogates the questions of power and possibility that run through the modern world’s densely populated media landscape. Does popular culture only reproduce the status quo? Or, can popular culture provide the conditions to negotiate, resist and subvert dominant ideologies? These questions will be explored using examples from our everyday lives, whether it is the experience of "going for a coffee", posting a status update on Facebook, or producing a YouTube video with your cell phone camera.