Mass culture has become ubiquitous, inescapable, total — as one leading scholar has argued, it is the very “element” in which we “breath.” But how did this happen? When did mass culture become, well, massive, and how does it actually work? How, in short, did we get from dime novels and minstrel shows to global hip hop and 24 hour news cycles?
To answer these questions, HISTORY 369 will take you on a sweeping tour across two centuries: from circuses to smart phones, the first organized theater syndicates to Hollywood films that arrive on your laptop. If you are looking for a course that combines P.T. Barnum, Oh Susanna!, burlesque, Sunset Boulevard, the Beatles, Grandmaster Flash, and Facebook, you’ve come to the right place.
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Interested first-year students and non-History majors are welcome, too.