Contemporary Children’s Culture AP/HUMA 4142B

This 4th year seminar uses visual culture case studies in photography, independent short and feature film, and online music videos, to explore contemporary children’s culture with the intention of deepening students’ foundation in social and cultural theory, skills in discourse and textual analysis, as well as practical experience through field placments. We start with the premise that culture plays an increasingly crucial role in mediating the entwined political and economic forces of globalization. Readings from contemporary scholars is enriched by readings from seminal thinkers such as Michel Foucault, Raymond Williams and Susan Sontag. A focus on contemporary art and artists brings a unique perspective to our investigations. Each of the course’s five units pairs a thematic focus on citizenship, technology, globalization, and collaboration with a visual case study, while the Placement with Artists field work assignment gives students experience working with cultural producers or organizations working with young people, In all cases, the course is interested in how the young are positioned and/or engaged as agents, actors, cultural producers, and citizens.