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Examining Popular Culture

Popular Culture is generally associated with media and activities: music, movies, TV, Internet, advertising, sports, games, fashion, magazines, comic books—in short, “fun” stuff that many people enjoy. Pop culture offers a common ground that we, as theorist John Storey says, can use to get a fairly accurate read on the values and beliefs of contemporary American society, as well as cultures around the world. Through the process of myth reading and in recognizing and decoding signs of everyday life, students will observe, research, and write about cultural phenomena and gain experience with different methods while delving into popular media. The end goal of these courses is to gain control of, rather than being controlled by, the texts of popular culture.

Sophomore Inquiry:

The Sophomore Inquiry course for this Cluster is UNST 254.


For a printable PDF that lists the courses offered in this Cluster,  click here .




University Studies is proud to announce two unique Study Abroad Cluster courses

UNST 399: IDENTITY, SOCIAL JUSTICE AND NATION taught by Dr. Leslie Batchelder


Study Abroad Opportunities:

Visit Study Abroad's UNST Resource page to get the most up-to-date information regarding earning UNST credits abroad.


Please see your adviser before registering for any classes.
Departments Associated With Cluster


  • ANTH 300U: Modern World Anthropological Perspective
  • ANTH 330U: Anthropology of Folklore
  • ANTH 357U: Archaeology in Popular Culture

Black Studies

  • BST 345U: Black Popular Music: Contextualizing the Black Experience
  • BST 353U: African Women in Film
  • BST 356U: Cuban Film: Politics and Culture
  • BST 363U: African Cinema and African Cultures
  • BST 424U: African-American/African Culture in Cinema
  • BST 427U: African-American Films and Film Makers

Chicano/Latino Studies

  • CHLA 330U: Chicano Popular Culture
  • CHLA 399U: Barrio Culture


  • COMM 312U: Media Literacy
  • COMM 314U: Persuasion
  • COMM 336U: Metaphor
  • COMM 337U: Communication and Gender (Crosslisted with WS 337U)

Computer Science

  • CS 347U: The Internet Age


  • ENG 305U: Topics in Film
  • ENG 306U: Topics in Literature and Popular Culture
  • ENG 307U: Science Fiction
  • ENG 309U: American Indian Literature
  • ENG 330U: Jewish and Israeli Literature
  • ENG 332U: History of Cinema and Narrative Media I
  • ENG 333U: History of Cinema and Narrative Media II
  • ENG 334U: Topics in Film Genres and Movements
  • ENG 335U: Topics in Film and Literature
  • ENG 367U: Topics: American Literature and Culture
  • ENG 373U: Topics in Literature: Race and Ethnicity

International Studies

  • INTL 360U: Bollywood: Understanding Contemporary India and South Asia through its Cinema
  • INTL 380U: Globalization, Representation and Difference in Media and Film

Judaic Studies

  • JST 333U: Israeli Culture and Society


  • MKTG 340U: Advertising


  • MUS 355U: Jazz History
  • MUS 356U: Jazz and American Music
  • MUS 360U: The Guitar: History and Music
  • MUS 361U: History of Rock Music I
  • MUS 362U: History of Rock Music II
  • MUS 363U: The Music of The Beatles
  • MUS 364U: Modern Music Technology
  • MUS 365U: Film Music


  • PHL 370U: Philosophy of Work and Leisure


  • PH 378U: Learning Science Through Science Fiction (Crosslisted with SCI 355U)

Political Science

  • PS 318U: Media, Opinion and Voting

Public Health Education

  • PHE 351U: Film and Health

Science in the Liberal Arts

  • SCI 355U: Learning Science Through Science Fiction (Crosslisted with PH 378U)


  • SOC 380U: Sports in Society

Systems Science

  • SYSC 399U: Big Data and the Modern World

Theater + Film

  • D 362U: Contemporary Dance 1920-Present
  • D 366U: Dance in Film: Early Years-1940s
  • D 367U: Dance in Film: 1940s to Present
  • FILM 331U: Understanding Movies
  • FILM 370U: Topics: Theater, Media and Culture
  • FILM 384U: Topics in American Cinema + Culture
  • TA 305U: Understanding Theater

University Studies

  • UNST 321U: Learning in Action

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

  • WS 308U: Topics in Gender, Literature and Popular Culture
  • WS 337U: Communication and Gender (Crosslisted with COMM 337U)

World Languages & Literatures

  • JPN 332U: Japanese Religion Through Literature and Film
  • JPN 344U: Manga: Japanese Graphic Novel
  • JPN 361U: Japanese Literature Through Film
  • KOR 330U: Korean Popular Culture
  • WLL 361U: Bestsellers and Blockbusters
Cluster Coordinator: 
Leslie Batchelder
Office Number: 
CH 117 D
PSU Phone: