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But is it Art? The Aesthetics of popular culture

  • Niveau d'étude

    Bac +4

  • Composante

    Lettres et langues


The aims of this course are twofold: by examining seminal essays focusing on the role and function of popular culture in society, we will begin by developing a historical overview of key issues and philosophical positions related to theories and evaluations of the aesthetic merits of popular culture.

 These theories and evaluations will be put to the test by critically examining representations of popular culture as they emerge at specific historical junctures.


 Arnold, Matthew. “Culture and Anarchy: An Essay in Political and Social Criticism” (1869) in Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought. (Cambridge. Cambridge University Press, 1993).

 Adorno, T. & Horkheimer, M., “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception.” In T. Adorno and M. Horkheimer. Dialectics of Enlightenment. Translated by John Cumming. New York: Herder and Herder, 1972.

Chesterton, G.K. “A Defense of  Penny Dreadfuls” (From The Defendant published in The Wayfarer's Library by J. M. Dent and Sons Ltd, London, 1901).

Benjamin, Walter The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (London. Penguin, 2008).

Bloom, Alan. “Music” in The Closing of the American Mind. (New York: Simon and Shuster, 1987)

 Pragmatist Aesthetics: Living beauty, Rethinking Art (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992).

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Heures d'enseignement

  • But is it Art? The aesthetics of popular cultureCM12h
  • But is it Art? The Aesthetics of popular cultureTD6h