What's in a name? We can call this course by its instituted name (Comparative Literature 171 or CL171) and cite its number of credit units (three), but that won’t really tell us anything much. We can also point out that this is an elective course for BAE Creative Writing students here in UP in Mindanao, but that won’t help either.
Or we can call this course by its descriptive title (Popular Literature) and even add, as some sort of explanation, its description taken from the catalog (“Selected popular literature forms including romance, horror, detective and science fiction”). Now we’re getting somewhere!
But we’ll call this course PopLit, and by that name refer to all those romance, horror, detective, and science fiction books, plus other genres, we always (secretly) long to read instead of the “serious” and “heavy” fare in our other literature classes. And to spice things up some more, we’ll read these books alongside other popular cultural “texts” like lifestyle and fashion magazines, movies, songs, and so many more.
Playing hooky? And when the inevitable bouts of guilt catch up with us, we just have to tell ourselves we’re playing hooky for a reason. That’s why we’ll have the occasional lectures (by yours truly), reports (from you), and contentious discussions (all). That’s why we will also go on “fieldwork.” For instance, we could explore the streets of Davao City to report on what exactly is “popular culture” and “popular literature” in our part of the globe. That’s why we will also write papers on chosen topics in PopLit. And that’s why we can always tell ourselves we’re not playing hooky at all.
Without Really Trying: But by the end of the semester, we should’ve been able to accomplish some goals. For one thing, we should be more hep when rappin’ ‘n’ ‘ritin’ about culture. Specifically, we would be able:
Some Words from Our Sponsors: To help us get from A to Z are two books:
Absent/Present: While we may tackle some westerns in our class, we wouldn’t like to be stranded in a deserted canyon with only some rattlesnakes for company. So we would appreciate your coming to class every meeting. But if you’ll be crawling through the desert, without water to drink, just to get to class, we can only refer you to the university’s Student Manual regarding policies on absences and their corresponding remedies and penalties.
The Bull’s Eye! But if you make it, we will try to make the class worth your while. We’ll play posse on some ideas we read about. As designated deputies, you will have to round up what’s on the “Wanted” list:
Bummers: Late papers and/or plagiarized work.
Game Over! To play the game, we will have to rack up scores for every catch on our “Wanted” list. Each item will have a set of criteria that becomes the basis for points earned.
This Week’s Top of the Charts! And who says playing truant can’t be as systematic and rigorous as scholarly work? Here’s how we plan to have fun (no guarantees, however):
Culture, ideology, and popular culture
Culture, civilization, and mass culture
Each of us will work on our chosen genres (see below for list), reading at least three “major” texts in that genre, and coming up with either a critical paper or a creative work with the texts as bases. We will then present these papers in a seminar at the end of the semester.
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