Media and Taste - ART302

Sorry, this module is not currently running in 2019-20.







This introductory module examines?how cultural agents have established a pyramid of taste and explores how avant-garde movements have challenged this pyramid even as they depend upon it. Through case studies drawn from the literary arts, film, the visual arts, music and theatre, students investigate the manner in which the parameters of highbrow, middlebrow and lowbrow culture have been articulated by artists, critics and theorists.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total contact hours: 48
Private study hours: 252
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Critical Essay (2000 words) (40%)
Digital Portfolio (30%)
Examination, 2 hour (30%).

Indicative reading

Levine, Lawrence W. 1988. Highbrow Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Stanfield, Peter. 2011. Maximum Movies: Film Culture and the Worlds of Samuel Fuller, Mickey Spillane, and Jim Thompson. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Suáez, Juan A. Pop Modernism: Noise & the Reinvention of the Everyday. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Taylor, Greg. Artists in the Audience: Cults, Camp, and American Film Criticism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Walz, Robin. Pulp Surrealism: Insolent Popular Culture in Early Twentieth-Century Paris. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

- demonstrate basic knowledge about the relationship between culture and taste, and how this relationship is contingent on historical context;
- demonstrate basic knowledge about how critics, curators and other figures in the creative industries and academy serve as gatekeepers and tastemakers for cultural products;
- demonstrate basic knowledge about the dialogue between 'high' and 'low' culture;
- demonstrate basic knowledge about selected art movements, e.g. (but not limited to) surrealism, pulp forms, pop art;
- demonstrate basic knowledge about how institutions set up cultural hierarchies.

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