Fandom and Popular Culture in the Digital Age Specialization
How might what we love - what we watch, what we read, what we post - make our communities healthier and more vibrant? This question guides Fandom and Popular Culture in the Digital Age. In our networked and information-saturated world, three vital needs emerge: representing identity in digital media, interrogating the products of culture, and engaging meaningfully with digital communities. This course addresses these needs by inviting you into a space of reflection at the intersection of fandom, popular culture, and digital media. More than at any point in human history, these forces have put at our fingertips the means to create and disseminate ourselves in the world. We will explore the products of popular culture and trace the fan networks that sustain and derive value from them. Along the way, we will train you to recognize relationships between popular culture and the political and commercial forces that shape its publication, distribution, and consumption.
This course will equip you with the tools necessary to boost your digital media fluency and define, shape, and evolve your identity as a fan within digital spaces. But ultimately, this is a celebration - a celebration of you and your communities, what you love, and how that love might bring people together to change the world. Together, we can make this a community-driven online resource for our shared endeavor of analyzing and understanding fandom and popular culture.
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
- Develop strategies for self-reflection and awareness, digital literacy, and meaningful engagement with fandom, popular culture, and digital media
- Analyze the products of popular culture through applied close reading frameworks
- Connect and synthesize critical self-reflection and close reading frameworks through personal writing and creative expression
- Deepen investment in pop culture passions and communities and celebrate what we love and how we love it, and who we love it with
"Comic Books, Geek Culture, and the Fandom Imaginary" explores some of the conventional framings of “fandom” (from comic book obsessives to cosplayers) and the cultural histories that sustain it. It also explores the dark side of these dynamics, looking at what can happen when fandom turns toxic in pop [...]
"Fandom, Social Media, and Authenticity in the Digital Age" focuses your attention on the interconnected dynamics of identity, representation, interpretation, and self-reflection. It asks the question: how, where, and with whom do we inhabit the worlds of fandom and popular culture in the digital age? We will explore [...]
In "Fandom, Community, and Identity in Popular Music," you will explore the intersections of fandom and popular culture using pop music as a framework. You will apply your skills of self-reflection and close reading/analysis to a few case studies of pop musicians and the ways in which their art [...]