Learning Networks


The Learning Networks are thematic academic courses offering a unique approach to a learning community. Classes are not linked. Instead, the idea is to build a sense of community through outside of class activities, common themes, and material culture, such as t-shirts and other types of gear. Students take one, two, or more classes based on their own interest level of the subject matter. Participating instructors define the Learning Networks theme for their own classes. This means that two instructors teaching courses with a theme of Pop Culture might have a different focus within their respective classes. Each instructor chooses creative and innovative ways to uniquely integrate the theme in each class.

SPRING 2024 Learning Networks

Arguing Popular Culture

Pop Culture icon - cool cat dropping a micENGL 1302.5064 (11111)
Wednesday 9:00 - 10:20 AM (12 week hybrid)
For more information, contact patricia.m.cagle@lonestar.edu

Have you ever marathon watched a Netflix serious, copied fashion icons, or traveled virtually with Anthony Bourdain? Have you blocked off weekends for college football, eaten at a popular dive, or followed an influencer on Instagram?   These “mass cultures” are the most broadly shared meanings of our social systems – both dominant and ubiquitous, mainstream and cult classic. Historically born of the nineteenth century lower class, pop culture gave the silent a voice through rising literacy in penny novels, pubs, and sports.

While pop culture is positioned as a more superficial form of art, our 12-week course will look beyond the deceptive exterior to view the reasons behind the movements. Pop culture is a construct of discord and strife, and unlike high culture, pop culture is of the common person who seeks recourse, resolution or maybe just an outlet. We will explore 1) underlying warrants and power struggles and 2) philosophical or moral constructs which act as a microcosm to a larger world.

What does this work tell us about our culture, and how does our culture, in turn, impact our society?


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