AP/POLS 3262 3.00
Popular Culture & International Politics
Our common ideas about international politics present a reified world of diplomats, heads of state, military officers or, more abstractly, of states 'acting' in some way. This course asks: What can we learn about international politics from popular culture? The common notions of international politics are certainly found in many of the expressions or contemporary popular culture: novels, television, and, particularly, film have made the world of international espionage one of its staples. With the declaration of a 'war on terror' in 2001, terrorists and the provision of security against them have also provided important themes for popular entertainments. However, by virtue of being 'popular', popular culture also presents the possibilities of politics that are not abstracted and insulated from the concerns and experiences of everyday life and experience. Thus, while international politics in popular culture can reproduce alienated or elite versions of our world's politics it can also be a site of resistance, and even more importantly a place to imagine international politics differently. This course draws the popular culture in which we all live in our 'daily' lives into the classroom, beginning from popular culture expressions to explore the nature, limits, and possibilities of contemporary international politics.