Popular Culture History


Popular culture by definition includes all ideas, perspectives, attitudes, images and phenomena that are present in the mainstream (dominant) culture. Contemporary popular culture is greatly influenced by the mass media and is occupied with the people’s everyday life.

The aim of the course is to present the history and development of popular culture on selected phenomena. Topics of classes will include issues from the theory of popular culture research, such as: mass culture versus popular culture; popular culture dilemmas; homogenization of culture; high and middle brow culture; avant-garde and kitsch; a critique of popular culture from a high art perspective; from the perspective of Frankfurt school (cultural industry, theory of commodity fetishism, etc.); from the feminist perspective (“symbolic annihilation of women”, women and advertising, etc.); from the postmodern perspective (hyperreality, time and place and so on). But also the course will focus on selected areas of popular culture from a historical perspective, such as: cinema (cinema history, terminology, cinema dilemmas, main film genres, ground-breaking movies in the history of cinema, TV series), comics (comic history and evolution, terminology, comic dilemmas, main comic genres, most groundbreaking comics, comic strips, graphic novels, superheroes, comic adaptations), popular music (among others: history and evolution of popular music, terminology, dilemmas of pop music, main genres of pop music, audio equipment and music equipment, album covers, video clips) and video games (among others: history and evolution of video games, terminology, video game dilemmas, main genres, the most important and groundbreaking video games).

The practical aspect of the course will allow students to better understand how popular culture works in public space, as well as how popular culture affects other areas of human life.


Popular Culture History at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Warsaw University of Humanities, conducted by Mr. Bartosz Głowacki, PhD.