AMS 391 • World Impact of U.S. Mass culture
7:00 PM-10:00 PM
This seminar will deal with the development of American mass culture in the 20th century, and the reasons for its popularity throughout the world. We will focus on the influence of American movies, television, jazz and rock music, best-selling books, mass circulation magazines, theme parks, fast food, advertising, consumerism, and the Internet. We will also analyze the relationships between modernism in the arts and the rise of popular entertainment. Specifically, this means the ways that American filmmakers, composers, and advertisers borrowed from immigrant traditions within America and from the cultures of other countries to create an entirely new blend of culture and commerce in the United States, which they then retransmitted to the rest of the world. In addition, we will discuss the continuing influence of European, African, Latin American, and Asian culture on the tastes and life-styles of American. This is a seminar for anyone interested in the cultural history of the United States, the economic and cultural issues globalization, and the nature and impact of popular entertainment on audiences at home and abroad.
(subject to change): Richard Pells, Not Like Us: How Europeans Have Loved, Hated, and Transformed American Culture Since World War II Emily Rosenberg, Spreading the American Dream Richard Kuisel, Seducing the French Serge Guilbaut, How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art Rob Kroes, If Youve Seen One Youve Seen the Mall: Europeans and American Mass Culture Walter LaFeber, Michael Jordan and the New Global Capitalism Benjamin Barber, Jihad Vs. McWorld Thomas Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree