Methods Seminars are in-depth, interdisciplinary investigations of a particular problem or theme. These seminars focus on ways of knowing the world characteristic of the disciplines represented in the seminar, such that the forms or methods of investigation are as important as the subject matter itself.
This class will involve researching definitions of the process and effects of colonialism so we can identify contemporary pop culture responses to colonial histories in different parts of the world. We will practice close reading of popular texts, including film and music, and learn ways to discuss them as conscious responses to colonialism, including describing just what these media texts could be saying and why, and who possible audiences might be. We?ll look at responses from India to the UK and the US via Hindi film, the UK to the US via music from the 90's, and intra-US responses to internal colonial histories via Chicano music. We'll also consider whether the process of colonialism and resultant artistic responses can be used to describe other dominant/subordinate cultural relations, including queer histories. In this class we will learn about and use research techniques and analytical tools from Film/Media Studies, Cultural Studies and Postcolonial Studies to analyze contemporary postcolonial popular culture in terms of their political messages. In addition to using media materials, the course will focus on writing skills, including how to frame a research question, conduct basic research, and present the results.