English/Comparative Studies 2264

Autumn 2019

Prof Jared Gardner

Denney 250 Tues/Thurs 11:10-12:30

Office: 546 Denney Hall

Office hours: schedule @ https://calendly.com/jaredgardner




 All readings on Carmen unless indicated otherwise | A=Amazon | B=Box | C=Comixology

Popular Culture: Definitions and Origins

Tu  8/20


Th  8/22

The Print Revolution & the Public Sphere

Reading:  Davis, “Printing and the People”; Habermas, “Social Structures of the Public Sphere”

High/Low: The Birth of the Divide

Tu  8/27

Reading: Levine, “William Shakespeare and the American People”; DiMaggio, “Cultural Entrepreneurship in Nineteenth-Century Boston”

Th  8/29

Reading: Rosenzweig, “The Rise of the Saloon”

        Workshop: Investigating Historical Popular Culture Using Primary Source Online Tools: what institutions and practices emerged as the elite/popular divide took shape?

Popular Culture 1919

M 9/2

Pop Project #1 due posted to class blog by 12PM

Tu  9/3

Reading: Pop Project #1: popular culture 1919

Th  9/5

Reading: Pop Project #1: popular culture 1919

Carmen Quiz 1 (due by end of the day 9/7)


Sociology, the City & Origins of Popular Culture Studies: The Frankfurt & Chicago Schools

Tu  9/10

Reading: Simmel, “Metropolis and Mental Life” (1905); Wirth, “Urbanism as a Way of Life” (1938)

Th  9/12

Reading: Adorno, ”On Popular Music” (1941); Cressey, “The Life-Cycle of the Taxi-Dancer” (1938)

The Birmingham School & Subculture Studies

Tu  9/17

Reading: Hall, “Encoding, Decoding”; Clarke et al, “Subcultures, Cultures & Class”

Th  9/19

Reading: Hebdidge, “Subculture: Meaning of a Style”; McRobbie & Garber, “Girls & Subcultures”

Fashion: Blue Jeans, the Little Black Dress and Campus Fashion through History

Tu  9/24

Reading: Fiske, “Jeaning of America”; The Little Black Dress reader

Th  9/26

Visit to The Historic Costume & Textiles Collection [tentative]

Quiz 2

Fashion @ OSU Autumn 2019: A Sesquiscentennial Report

M 9/30

Pop Project #2 due posted to class blog by 12PM

Tu 10/1

Reading: Fashion @ OSU Autumn 2019: A Sesquiscentennial Report

Th 10/3

NO CLASS : online blog discussion of blog project #2

(Un)Popular Music: Punk

Tu 10/8

Reading: Laing, “Listening to Punk”; Decline of Western Civilization [A, B]


Early Hip Hop as Music, Fashion, Scene

Tu 10/15

Reading: Piskor, Hip Hop Family Tree [C]; early hip hop playlist; Yo MTV Raps episode 1 (1988)

Th 10/17

Reading: Rose, “Voices from the Margins: Rap Music and Contemporary Black Cultural Production”; Neal, “Postindustrial Soul: Black Popular Music at the Crossroads”

Quiz 3

Popular Music in the 21st Century

M 10/21

Pop project #3 due posted to class blog by 12PM

Tu 10/22

Reading: Hubbs, “Digital Music and Public Goods”; Fenby-Hulse, “Rethinking the Digital Playlist”

Pop project #3

Th 10/24

Pop project #3

Remix Culture

Tu 10/29

RIP: A Remix Manifesto; Jenkins, “Quentin Tarantino’s Star Wars?: Digital Cinema, Media Convergence, and Participatory Culture”

Th 10/31

NO CLASS : online discussion

Internet Cultures

Tu 11/5

Coleman, “Phreaks, Hackers and Trolls”; Davison, “The Language of Internet Memes”

W 11/6

Pop project #4 due by noon

Th 11/7

Pop project #4

Quiz 4

Women and/in Comics 1

Tu 11/12

Visit to/from the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Th 11/14

From Wonder Women to Ms. Marvel ... to Ms. Marvel [C] & Captain Marvel [C]

Women and/in Comics 2

Tu 11/19

DeConnick & De Landro, Bitch Planet [C]

W 11/18

Pop project #5 due by noon

Th 11/21

Bitch Planet (continued) [C]; Pop project #5

Marvel Cinematic Universe & Global (trans)Media

Tu 11/26

Captain Marvel (movie)

Th 11/28


Tu 12/3

Disney, Global Media and the Future of Pop Culture; Conclusions

Quiz 5

Tu 12/10

Final paper due

English 2264 is a Cultures and Ideas course. We will evaluate significant cultural phenomena and ideas in order to develop capacities for aesthetic and historical interpretation and evaluation. We will analyze and interpret major forms of popular culture and expression.

Required materials

There are no textbooks for the class, but there are a range of materials you will need access to via a variety of platforms. Fortunately, you should be able to acquire all you need for the course for as little as $12.

All readings/screenings/etc should be completed before the class for which it is assigned for discussion.

Online quizzes.

In lieu of a midterm, we will have Carmen quizzes. These short, timed online quizzes will be given FIVE times during the quarter as marked on the syllabus. They will cover material from our reading, class discussions, lectures, and pop projects (see below). No make-up quizzes will be given. Lowest grade will be dropped. 30% of final grade.

Pop Projects & Class Blog

There are five short “Pop Projects,” asking you to do some research and/or theorizing in relation to a current topic of class discussion. These will be due before the class for which they are scheduled on the syllabus, as spelled out in the prompts. The Pop Projects will be posted to our class blog at https://u.osu.edu/2264au19/. Instructions for how to sign up as an author on the blog (and a short video explaining how to compose and edit posts) will be posted to Carmen. 30% of final grade.


One final paper (4-5 pages) expanding one of your pop projects or delving into a topic we didn’t get to cover in class. Detailed instructions will be distributed after the mid-term. A bibliography and abstract is required for the final paper, posted to Carmen. 25% of final grade


This is a large class focusing on a lot of media and a wide range of material, so there will necessarily be some lecture. But the heart of the class will be your ideas, questions, opinions, and discoveries, so come prepared every day with things you want to talk about and be prepared to be called on to share them. In addition to discussion in class, we can take advantage of threaded discussion forums on Carmen and comments threads on the class blog (all will count as discussion for the purpose of grading). 15% of final grade.

        More than four absences will negatively affect your final grade, with a lowering of your participation/attendance grade by a half-letter grade for each absence over 4. (Except in extreme, blood-curdling cases I make no distinction between “excused” and “un-excused” absences, so no need for excuse notes). Registered university athletes and those with military commitments will of course have exceptions made to these hard limits, as will the  aforementioned “blood-curdling cases.”


This course has a Carmen site. To get to the course site, go to http://carmen.osu.edu and follow the directions from there. This will be the space where announcements, links, readings, resources, and discussion forums. Unless specified otherwise, all readings can be downloaded via the class’s Carmen site. Participation in the informal discussion forum on Carmen will count toward your participation grade.

Electronic devices & readings

Laptops and tablets or other digital readers are acceptable, if used on-task. In fact, I expect you to have your readings with you in class, either on a device or printer out for each class. I also expect you to use devices responsibly in class and remain attentive and engaged with the discussion. Hand-held devices, including smartphones, cannot be used (unless special permission is obtained in advance). Cell-phones must be turned off.

Academic misconduct.  

It is the responsibility of the Committee on Academic Misconduct to investigate or establish procedures for the investigation of all reported cases of student academic misconduct. The term “academic misconduct” includes all forms of student academic misconduct wherever committed; illustrated by, but not limited to, cases of plagiarism and dishonest practices in connection with examinations. Instructors shall report all instances of alleged academic misconduct to the committee (Faculty Rule 3335-5-487). For additional information, see the Code of Student Conduct http://studentlife.osu.edu/csc/. Plagiarism is the representation of another’s writing or ideas as one’s own.  It includes the unacknowledged word for word use and/or paraphrasing of another person’s work, and/or the inappropriate unacknowledged use of another person’s ideas.  All cases of suspected plagiarism, in accordance with university rules, will be reported to the Committee on Academic Misconduct.  

Disability services.

Students with documented disabilities who have registered with the Office of Student Life Disability Services will be appropriately accommodated and should inform me as soon as possible of their needs. SLDS is located in 098 Baker Hall, 113 W. 12th Ave; Tel.: 614-292-3307; VRS: 614-429-1334; Email: slds@osu.edu; Web: slds.osu.edu

Mental Health Services

As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. The Ohio State University offers services to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing. If you or someone you know are suffering from any of the aforementioned conditions, you can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus via the Office of Student Life’s Counseling and Consultation Service (CCS) by visiting ccs.osu.edu or calling 614-292-5766. CCS is located on the 4th Floor of the Younkin Success Center and 10th Floor of Lincoln Tower. You can reach an on call counselor when CCS is closed at 614-292-5766 and 24 hour emergency help is also available through the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK or at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.