Courses of Study 2020-2021 
    
    May 08, 2021  
Courses of Study 2020-2021
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AMST 2885 - Consumer Culture

(crosslisted) HIST 2885 
(CA-AS, ALC-AS)      
Spring. 4 credits. Student option grading.

A. Bitar.

This course will examine consumerism in the United States, first focusing on the rise of advertising, mass-market goods, shop windows, and department stores at the turn of the 20th century. We will examine the built environment, the experience of shopping, and the consequent disease of “kleptomania”, looking at inequality and activism as a potential political outlet for consumerism. We will also study consumerism as a system of cultural meaning. How do our objects shape and symbolize our identities? What does our constellation of material goods say about our values, our beliefs, and our lives? What stands outside consumer culture? What does it mean to commodify love or bottle nature? Can art or beauty be beyond value?



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