Graduate program

Master of Arts in Popular Culture

The study of Popular Culture focuses on the communicative practices and experiences of everyday life considered within their cultural, economic, political and social contexts.

Popular Culture may be defined broadly as expressive practices and performances in daily life. The study of Popular Culture is the scholarly investigation of expressive forms widely disseminated in society in both historical and contemporary contexts. The forms of Popular Culture include both traditional literary texts or works of art as well as the mass media (television, film, radio, recordings, advertising, newspapers and magazines) and sport, rituals, fashion and fads.

The study of Popular Culture is approached in the MA Program at Brock holistically, viewing these expressive forms both as aesthetic objects and within the social and cultural contexts in which they are created, disseminated, interpreted and used.

The Master of Arts Program in Popular Culture is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing on theoretical perspectives, approaches and methods from a variety of disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences, including the established field of Cultural Studies.

Themes and topics addressed in the program will emphasize both historical and contemporary perspectives in Popular Culture, while students are encouraged to explore research methods ranging from quantitative content analysis to ethnographic observation and unstructured interviews, from archival research and oral histories to semiotics and other forms of textual analysis.

The program espouses no single theoretical or methodological perspective, and its pluralistic approach is reflected in the number of different disciplines from which participating faculty are drawn.

Students in Cairns

MA in Popular Culture

View the details below and visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies for more information.

About the program

The Interdisciplinary MA in Popular Culture is a one-year program that draws on theoretical perspectives, approaches and methods from a variety of disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as the established interdisciplinary field of Cultural Studies.

The study of Popular Culture ranges from traditional textual analysis to ethnographic observation and participant interviews. Themes and topics addressed in the Program emphasize both historical and contemporary perspectives and the program espouses no single methodological or theoretical perspective.

Given its interdisciplinary character, the program welcomes students from a variety of academic backgrounds, including Canadian Studies, Communication or Media Studies, English Literature, Film Studies, History, Music, Political Science, Sociology, and Women’s Studies.

Learn more about the program and requirements.

Derek Foster
Associate Professor
Office: Scotiabank Hall 311
905-688-5550 x5366
dfoster@brocku.ca

Brock University maintains three specialized collections pertinent to the study of popular culture. The Popular Music Archive contains some 30,000 recordings and other items related to popular music. The Skene-Melvin Collection is comprised of 2,800 volumes of critical and bibliographical material related to detective and crime fiction and a comprehensive collection of Canadian detective fiction. And the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film maintains an extensive collection of films and television programs. Private viewing carrels are available for student use.

Some students will have the opportunity to acquire teaching experience by serving as Research Assistants or Teaching Assistants in the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film or in relevant courses offered by other Departments and Programs associated with the MA Program in Popular Culture.

There are also many local opportunities for students to be involved in the creation of popular culture, including Brock Radio, Brock Press, Niagara Artists Centre, Brock University Film Society and the Niagara Independent Film and Video Festival. As well, Brock’s geographical location near Buffalo and Niagara Falls offers excellent opportunities for cross-border studies of popular culture.

Learn more about the people in our department.