Department of Popular Culture

Bowling Green State University is the only institution in the nation to have a Department of Popular Culture. We offer a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to earn a bachelor of arts degree with a Popular Culture major and for graduate students to earn a masters degree in Popular Culture. Undergraduates majoring in any field can take approved Popular Culture courses to meet BGSU humanities requirements and can complete a Popular Culture minor or a Folklore minor. We regularly offer both graduate and undergraduate courses in popular music, television, film, literature, and folklore, as well as courses that focus on how to research and analyze popular culture and its influence on society.  

Popular Culture students study those aspects of national and international culture which have the most impact on a majority of the population. The 10 full-time faculty in the department hold doctoral degrees in American Culture, Anthropology, Asian Studies, Ethnic Studies, Folklore, and Women's Studies: we share an interest in bringing these different perspectives to our research and teaching about popular culture. While popular culture may at first appear to be a trivial matter, it turns out to be the site where many of the most important and controversial issues are explored and debated.

Popular Culture Colloquium Series
Details coming soon!


Get a Degree in Popular Culture

Get a Degree in Popular Culture

Training in Popular Culture can prepare students for many careers. Read More

News and Stories

Examining the Shirt Culture of Amsterdam

Examining the Shirt Culture of Amsterdam

Matt Donahue estimates that he has 200 different t-shirts in his personal collection; Seeing the collection, that number seems low. Showing off his gaggle of shirts to start his new short documentary, “The Amsterdam T-Shirt Project,” Donahue— BGSU pop culture lecturer and self-described “T-Shirtologist”— reveals an endless variety of garments that fill shelves and drawers around his home — pieces that represent almost any subject imaginable. Read More

Wallach Book Published in Indonesian Language

Wallach Book Published in Indonesian Language

Dr. Jeremy Wallach’s doctoral research took him to Indonesia in 1997, a pivotal time in the political and social life for that country, and his topic—the Indonesian music scene—played a role in the change that led from dictatorship to democracy. That research—which took him to college campuses, cafes, recording studios, rock concerts, rural villages and urban neighborhoods—found its way into his 2008 book, “Modern Noise, Fluid Genres: Popular Music in Indonesia 1997-2001.” It has now been translated into Bahasa Indonesia by Jakarta publisher Komunitas Bambu with a new introduction by Wallach and a new title. Read More

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in Popular Culture are expected to be able to:

  • Apply critical analysis to the popular culture environment, both in the present and in its various historical manifestations, in order to discuss such matters as how popular culture shapes/reflects our personal and social experiences, how popular culture shapes/reflects diversity in a multicultural society, and how popular culture shapes/reflects American culture's relationship to global culture(s);
  • Explain ways in which the materials of popular culture are shaped by aesthetic, social history, and cultural forces, and how the materials of popular culture influence these forces as well;
  • Describe basic theories and methodologies relevant to popular culture scholarship, and apply those theories and methodologies in research;
  • Demonstrate how diverse aesthetic systems embody the visions and values of different cultural groups;
  • Convey ideas orally and in writing.

Accreditation and/or Program/Cluster Review
Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The Popular Culture program is currently undergoing Program/Cluster Review.

Professional Licensure (If applicable)
Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The Popular Culture program does not lead to professional licensure.

Gainful Employment (If applicable)
Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

The Popular Culture program is not a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.