In years past, I’ve taught second-semester research composition through popular culture studies. Doing so allowed my students to engage in an almost unlimited range of research topics and, most importantly, to refine those topics according to their own preferences. My students, in effect, were studying their own culture, and therefore themselves.
Throughout the course, the class as a whole studied a variety of broad subjects, guided by the areas outlined by the Popular Culture Association and the American Culture Association. But while the class discussed these broad areas, students were individually focusing on narrower subjects of more personal interest. By the end of the course, each student wrote a highly focused 10-page research paper and then presented their research to the campus (and, on one occasion, Wisconsin State Assemblyman Phil Garthwaite) in the annual Pop Culture Poster Session I instituted for that purpose.
To find out more about popular culture studies in general, click here.
To find out more about poster sessions and how they fit into my class, click here.