Advanced seminar: HS/Ü: Popular Culture and the Environment - Details
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Lehrveranstaltung wird in Präsenz abgehalten.

General information

Course name Advanced seminar: HS/Ü: Popular Culture and the Environment
Semester SS 2022
Current number of participants 5
expected number of participants 25
Home institute Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft/ Europäische Literaturen
Courses type Advanced seminar in category Teaching
First date Tue., 26.04.2022 15:45 - 17:15, Room: (D-2005)
Learning organisation Das Seminar findet regelmäßig dienstags statt, dreimal davon online. Außerdem gibt es vier Blocksitzungen am 17.05.2022, 14.06.2022, 12.07.2022 und 26.07.2022. An diesen Tagen endet der Kurs um 19:00. Entsprechend fällt die Sitzung an vier der "normalen" Termine aus.
Performance record Bitte erkundigen Sie sich selber vorab, was genau Sie als Leistungsnachweis brauchen und teilen es mir entweder vorab oder in der ersten Sitzung mit.
Online/Digitale Veranstaltung Veranstaltung wird in Präsenz abgehalten.
Hauptunterrichtssprache deutsch
Weitere Unterrichtssprache(n) englisch
Literaturhinweise Eine gute Einführung in das Thema ist: Sturgeons, Noël. Environmentalism in Popular Culture: Gender, Race, Sexuality, and the Politics of the Natural. U. of Arizona P., 2009.
Miscellanea Das Seminar findet wöchentlich (Di, 15:45-17:15 Uhr) statt, wobei vier Sitzungen online abgehalten werden.
Die Sitzungen am 17.05., 14.06., 12.07. und 26.07. finden als Doppelsitzungen statt (15:45-19:00 Uhr).

Course location / Course dates

(D-2005) Tuesday: 15:45 - 17:15, weekly (13x)


Prüfungsform/-umfang für Module des MA IES:
IES-0013, IES-0057, IES-0090, IES-0009: Seminararbeit, ca. 18-20 Seiten
IES-0015, IES-0103: Seminararbeit, ca. 15-18 Seiten

This course examines how nature and environmental issues are represented in popular culture, including popular literature, films, and music. Often categorized as “entertainment,” this dimension of contemporary environmental discourse still tends to be ignored by those who emphasize their concern about nature destruction, climate change, and the extinction of species. Although in sociological discourse, the subversive potential of the seemingly bland and entertaining has long been recognized, scholarly debates about environmental topics still tend to focus on education and on representations of nature in “high” art and literature. The concern with nature, and with environmental destruction, is often perceived as an elitist debate that excludes and works against the less privileged members of society who in the end will pay the prize for the economic consequences of ecological transformation.
We will analyze what popular culture, including advertisements, television, shop windows, zoos, and museums convey about how nature and the environment are represented in the so-called “mainstream” culture, and what that teaches us about the way the human-non-human relationship is defined in a given society. How is the notion of “nature” used to stabilize, or destabilize, normative ideas about gender, sexuality, race, and a “healthy” way of life? How are relations of power, especially economic power, affirmed or, perhaps, questioned, in contemporary, popular representations of nature? What “counts” as nature in such representations, and what doesn’t? How have popular representations of the environment, and of environmental crises, changed over time? How do different types of popular culture stage environmental themes in different ways? How do sentimentality, nature kitsch, nostalgia, and cuteness impact the relationships between humans and the non-human world, and why are emotions often excluded from environmental discourse? What is the role of popular culture in contemporary environmentalist movements, and how do the media contribute to this alliance? The course discusses cultural artefacts from North American and European cultures and will be taught in both German and English, depending on the primary material used in each session.

Keywords: popular culture, feelings and affect, mainstream, class, race, gender

Admission settings

The course is part of admission "Allgemeine Anmeldephase SoSe 2022".
The following rules apply for the admission:
  • The enrolment is possible from 14.03.2022, 00:00 to 18.04.2022, 23:59.

Registration mode

After enrolment, participants will manually be selected.

Potential participants are given additional information before enroling to the course.