2006-2007 Graduate Calendar

Popular Culture  
Master of Arts in Popular Culture Go to top of document
Faculty Deans Rosemary Hale, Dean, Faculty of Humanities David Siegel, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences Graduate Faculty Professors Sandra L. Beckett (French), Andy Bennett (Communications, Popular Culture and Film), Leslie A. Boldt-Irons (French), Barry K. Grant (Communications, Popular Culture and Film), Rosemary Hale (History), Jim Leach (Communications, Popular Culture and Film), Michael Ripmeester (Geography), Marilyn Rose (English Language & Literature), John Sainsbury (History), Elizabeth Sauer (English Language & Literature) Associate Professors Nick Baxter-Moore (Communications, Popular Culture and Film), Marian Bredin (Communications, Popular Culture and Film), David Butz (Geography), Glenwood H. Irons (Applied Linguistics), Russell Johnston (Communications, Popular Culture and Film), R. Andrew McDonald (History), John Mitterer (Psychology), David Schimmelpenninck (History), Jeannette Sloniowski (Communications, Popular Culture and Film), Bohdan Szuchewycz (Communications, Popular Culture and Film) Assistant Professors James Allard (English Language & Literature), Michael Berman (Philosophy), Dale Bradley (Communications, Popular Culture and Film), Jennifer Good (Communications, Popular Culture and Film), Sarah Matheson (Communications, Popular Culture and Film) Christie Milliken (Communications, Popular Culture and Film), Steven Scott (English Language & Literature), Hans Skott-Myrhe (Child and Youth Studies) Graduate Program Director Nick Baxter-Moore nick.baxter-moore@brocku.ca Master of Arts Program Co-ordinator Amanda Bishop 905-688-5550, extension 3553 SBH 343 abishop@brocku.ca http://www.brocku.ca/cpcf/  
Program Description Go to top of document
The study of Popular Culture focuses on the communicative practices and experiences of everyday life considered within their cultural, economic, political and social contexts. 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.  
Admission Requirements Go to top of document
Successful completion of an Honours Bachelor's degree, or equivalent, in a relevant discipline (for example, English, Film Studies, Fine Arts, History, Music, Political Science, Sociology, Canadian Studies, Communication Studies, or Women's Studies), with an overall average of not less than 75%. Applicants will usually be expected to have completed some courses related to Cultural Studies, Popular Culture or Media Studies as part of their undergraduate programs. Applicants must supply a personal statement, outlining their research or study interests in the field of Popular Culture, letters from three referees who can attest to the applicant's suitability for graduate level study and a writing sample, usually a term paper on a topic related to popular culture. The Graduate Admissions Committee will review all applications and recommend admission for a limited number of suitable candidates. Individuals interested in part-time study should consult with the Graduate Program Director.  
Degree Requirements Go to top of document
All students are required to complete five half-credit (one semester) courses, in addition to the MA thesis. The graduate core courses, PCUL 5P01, 5P02, 5P03, are compulsory for all students. The other two half-courses will normally be those selected to be offered by the Program each year from the "variable topics" series described in the course bank: these are Historical Perspectives on Popular Culture (PCUL 5V20-29), Issues and Themes in Popular Culture (PCUL 5V30-39), Genres of Popular Culture (PCUL 5V40-49), Forms of Popular Culture (PCUL 5V50-59), and Local, National and International Popular Cultures (PCUL 5V60-69). Each year, courses from at least two of these series will be offered. Normally, a course will be offered from each series at least once every three years. With the approval of the Graduate ProgramDirector, students may substitute a reading course/tutorial, or a course offered by another graduate program, for one of the non-core (i.e., variable topic) PCULgraduate courses. Normally, no student may complete more than one reading course/tutorial and no student may take a reading course/tutorial with her/his thesis supervisor. Students should consult with the Graduate Program Director of the MA Program when planning their programs of study. In addition to course requirements, each student must complete, and defend at a public oral examination, a thesis that demonstrates capacity for independent work and original research or thought. The thesis topic shall be chosen in consultation with the supervisor and other members of the Supervisory Committee. A formal thesis proposal must be approved before research commences on the thesis.  
Facilities Go to top of document
Graduate students in the Popular Culture program have access to a number of special collections, including the Skene-Melvin collection of crime fiction, a growing popular music archive in the Department of Communications, Popular Culture & Film, the film and video archive housed in the same Department, the archives of the Niagara Popular Culture research project on local popular culture, and numerous other special collections of books, music and archival material in the James A. Gibson Library. Brock University's location in Niagara close to wineries and tourist attractions, to Niagara Falls, to many sites of historical interest as well as its proximity to major cities such as Toronto and Buffalo, provide numerous opportunities for field research and close examination of diverse forms, sites and practices of popular culture. As a result, students with research interests in the study of local popular cultures are especially encouraged to apply.  
Course Descriptions Go to top of document
Note: Not all courses are offered in every session. Students must consult with the Graduate Program Director regarding course offerings and course selection and must have their course selections approved by the Graduate Program Director each term. Refer to the Timetable for scheduling information: http://www.brocku.ca/registrar/guides/grad/timetable/terms.php PCUL 5F90 MA Thesis A research project involving the preparation and defence of a thesis, which shall demonstrate capacity for independent work and original research and thought. PCUL 5P01 Cultural Theory and Popular Culture Historical and critical analysis of theories of popular culture from different disciplinary and cross-disciplinary perspectives. PCUL 5P03 Seminar in Popular Culture Advanced application of theories and methods introduced in PCUL 5P01/5P02 to topics relevant to individual student research. PCUL 5P04 Directed Reading in Popular Culture Directed individual or group reading in an area of popular culture. Restriction: permission of the Director Note: may not be taken in place of PCUL 5P01, 5P02 or 5P03. PCUL 5V20-5V29 Historical Perspectives on Popular Culture Study of the popular culture of a particular historical period or an issue of popular culture in its historical context. Topics may include Popular Culture of the English Revolution, and Popular Culture and Christianity. Topic for 2007-08: TBA PCUL 5V30-5V39 Issues and Themes in Popular Culture Focus on selected issues or themes in popular culture. Themes may include the Urban Experience, the Environment, Race and Representation, Gender, Consumer Culture. Topic for 2006-07: PCUL 5V32 Aboriginal People and Popular Culture in North America The construction and imagination of First Nations, Inuit and Metis cultures within both aboriginal and non-aboriginal societies. Representations of aboriginal people in a range of historical and contemporary sites, texts, artifacts and practices, including tourist sites, museums, travel literature, popular fiction, performance, film and television. PCUL 5V40-5V49 Genres of Popular Culture Study of a particular genre across selected popular media, including film, literature, and television. Topics may include Crime and Detective Fiction, Fairy Tales, Speculative Narrative, the Romance. Topic for 2007-08: TBA PCUL 5V50-5V59 Forms of Popular Culture Study of a particular form of popular culture, including political economy, aesthetics, and cultural and historical significance. Topics may include Popular Music, Television, Sport, Digital Culture. Topic for 2007-08: TBA PCUL 5V60-5V69 Local, National and International Popular Cultures Study of popular culture in a selected region or nation, including such topics as popular culture in the American South, the Niagara Region, Australia, Britain, Canada, Latin America, post-Soviet Russia. 2006-07: PCUL 5V61 British Popular Culture Historical and critical study of British popular culture, with emphasis on the representation of national identity. Close study of popular texts in their social and political contexts.  
Last updated: August 17, 2006 @ 03:15PM