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Cultural Studies Course Offerings

2019/20 Course Offerings

Please see Browse Classes (formerly Dynamic Schedule) for scheduling information.

Fall 2019

  • KS100: Studying Popular Culture
  • KS205 (online): Cartoons and Comics
  • KS210: Cultural Studies of Popular Music
  • KS340K: Hip Hop Publics: The Case of Drake

Winter 2020

  • KS101: Exploring Cultural Studies
  • KS203: Popular Culture and Ideology
  • KS205 (online): Cartoons and Comics
  • KS215 (online): Game Cultures
  • KS400M: Humanity in a Posthuman Age

2019/20 Special Topics Descriptions

KS340K Hip Hop Publics: the Case of Drake

Using Drake as the focus of study, this course explores hip hop in Canada, its underground and commercial successes, and the intersection of hip hop and public discourse in Canada. In this course, we will be treating Drake as an exemplar to understand firstly, what it means to occupy the subject position of a commercially successful Canadian (Black, male, middle-class etc.) rapper, and secondly to understand what a successful Canadian rapper can tell us about Canada. To explore the latter, we will analyze Drake, his celebrity, his body of work, and the discourses produced about his person and work. We will examine these discourses to understand what it means to perform not only hip hop, but also blackness, masculinity, class, and sexuality in the public spaces of Canadian popular culture. Of course, Drake is not bound to Canada. He has, perhaps uniquely, made much of his success in the US and has also enjoyed global fame. Looking through the lens of Canadian hip hop culture, we will examine what Drake’s negotiation of borders and belonging can tell us about Canada’s relationship to US popular culture (and hip hop in particular), Canada’s intersection with Caribbean popular culture, and how Canada is ideologically understood as a ‘multicultural’ nation.

KS400M Humanity in a Posthuman Age

The fear that products of our own making will come to dominate us has haunted the Western cultural imagination. In recent years, there has been a shift from the fear of humans becoming dominated by our creations to a profound anxiety about the very nature of human subjectivity. What does it mean to be human in the age of always-on, wearable, pervasive computing, advanced cybernetics, and social robots? Where does the human end and the machine begin today? And how are these issues visually represented in contemporary culture?