Research Paper Topics American Popular Culture Syllabus

Mr. RochaAmerican Popular Culture 1950-20002016-2017

School Phone: (781)-326-7500 ext.3179School Email:

Please note: I reserve the right to amend the syllabus as required.

American Pop Culture is a class where we will study American society through the lens of pop culture from the years 1950-2000. What makes something popular?  We will analyze factors such as ethnicity, race, gender, class, age, and religion and how they are shaped and reflected in popular culture. We will examine television, film, advertising, music, and literature. This class will consist of lectures, video, music, readings and projects. Projects are subject to change but may include:

·Papers: From a list of pop culture icons, students pick one that they are interested in and will research how this icon has impacted our society in America.

·Decade Posters: Students will research a decade and design a poster to present when we get to that decade.

·Student Journals: Students will periodically be asked to reflect on the week’s readings/videos relative to our current theme(s).

·Pop Madness: We will have a bracket of 64 major pop culture icons, people, places, and events. We will research and debate these until we have narrowed it down to the most important figure or icon in American pop culture.

Our readings and videos and discussions will help us question the role of popular culture in our lives, inform our general conversation, and provide us with a theoretical framework on which to develop our own ideas.  We will also consider resistance and dissent, (sub-cultures and counter-cultures).  How does society reflect popular culture and how does it reflect our society?

·Course Requirements and Evaluation:

·Homework, Class Work, Projects – Includes everything but tests and quizzes.  It is the student’s responsibility to keep papers for each unit in their binder.  Under certain conditions, late assignments will be accepted for partial credit. 

·Quizzes, Unit Tests, Final Exam – Quizzes will be given regularly and tests given at the end of each unit.  A final project and examination will be given to all students at the conclusion of the year.  If a student is in school on the day the teacher explains an upcoming test and the date of the test, the student is expected to take the test even if the student was absent the day before the test.

·Student Journals:

·Journal responses are focused on the week's theme (i.e., "television," "magazines," etc.).  Generally you will need to "consume" some form of popular culture in a thoughtful and engaged manner, and then write about the experience.  In evaluating these assignments, I will consider the following elements:

·Completion of assignment (did you watch/read the particular media)

·Details and specifics about the object of study and your response to it

·Thoughtful response and your reactions

·Clarity of writing

Final Project and Presentation:

·Each of you will develop a final project studying some element(s), aspect(s), theme(s), or object(s) of popular culture.  You might choose to study a particular television show, a favorite movie or a film genre, a media issue (social, legal, etc.), or you might use any of our readings as a critical jumping off point for your own theories of popular culture.  The topic is open, but I must approve it.  This project will be presented to the class along with a paper. 

·PRESENTATION COUNTS.  When doing an assignment, submit work you can be proud of.

·Classroom Citizenship: 

·Your attendance at our class meetings is essential and is required as a part of your grade.  Please be prompt; extensive or repeated lateness will be considered an absence.

·BE ON TIME AND BE PREPARED.  Bring your binder with three-hole punched, college-ruled, lined paper and something to write with. YOU WILL TAKENOTES IN THIS CLASS.  You are not required to bring your book unless instructed.

·BE RESPONSIBLE – Each Student has the ability to succeed in this class.  I will teach you the skills to be successful, but it is YOUR responsibility to put this information to use (be present, attentive, work hard and study).  I am always available for extra help.

·BE RESPECTFUL Class participation is also necessary and required.  This includes contributing to the class discussion and actively listening to the thoughts and comments of your peers.  Please be considerate and respectful of your classmates and make the classroom a space where everyone can speak their mind.  We will have full-class discussion, as well as small group work.  CELL PHONES MUST BE IN YOUR BOOK BAG AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS AND TURNED OFF.  This is common courtesy to your classmates and to me.

Course Textbook:

Umm…there isn’t one! Readings will be provided in class as handouts. (Actually most will be scanned to the class website so you will have access to them even when you’re absent!)


On the class website you will find a listing of readings, videos and writing assignments for the semester.  If you miss a class, you are still responsible for what was due on the day(s) you missed and on the day you return, so ALWAYS CHECK THE WEBSITE (or with a classmate, or me) if you have missed or will miss a class.   The “Homework Page” contains assignments and due dates.

Academic Integrity

School policies on plagiarism apply to all writing assignments in this course.  If you plagiarize an assignment, you’ll receive an "F", and you are subject to additional discipline. Unintentional plagiarism is still plagiarism.  You must cite all sources you use, including online sources.  "Using" a source includes DIRECTLY QUOTING, PARAPHRASING, AND USING IDEAS from any source. 

Topics and Readings

No class on American Popular Culture can be complete, and there are obviously many elements of popular culture that are missing from the course.  This is due to the constraints of the school year; not because I feel they are unimportant.  I suggest your projects focus on things that interest you.  

Да, - сказал голос.  - Мой человек ликвидировал его, но не получил ключ. За секунду до смерти Танкадо успел отдать его какому-то туристу. - Это возмутительно! - взорвался Нуматака.

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