"Comic Books, Geek Culture, and the Fandom Imaginary" explores some of the conventional framings of “fandom” (from comic book obsessives to cosplayers) and the cultural histories that sustain it. It also explores the dark side of these dynamics, looking at what can happen when fandom turns toxic in pop culture spaces. You will continue to apply frameworks of self-reflection and close reading/analysis to the study of contemporary popular culture, and explore how those frameworks provide tools for understanding the self as much as our cultural surroundings. The course asks the fundamental question: how can what we love - what we read, what we watch, what we share - contribute to making the world a better place? Along the way, you’ll continue to develop your skills in honing and representing your fandom, specifically engaging in activities designed to help you find your fellow fans, help you find your people, and connect with them outside and beyond the course.
About this Course
Curiosity and interest
Skills you will gain
Curiosity and interest
University of Colorado Boulder
CU-Boulder is a dynamic community of scholars and learners on one of the most spectacular college campuses in the country. As one of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), we have a proud tradition of academic excellence, with five Nobel laureates and more than 50 members of prestigious academic academies.
About the Fandom and Popular Culture in the Digital Age Specialization
How might what we love - what we watch, what we read, what we post - make our communities healthier and more vibrant? This question guides Fandom and Popular Culture in the Digital Age. In our networked and information-saturated world, three vital needs emerge: representing identity in digital media, interrogating the products of culture, and engaging meaningfully with digital communities. This course addresses these needs by inviting you into a space of reflection at the intersection of fandom, popular culture, and digital media. More than at any point in human history, these forces have put at our fingertips the means to create and disseminate ourselves in the world. We will explore the products of popular culture and trace the fan networks that sustain and derive value from them. Along the way, we will train you to recognize relationships between popular culture and the political and commercial forces that shape its publication, distribution, and consumption.
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