Core Reading List for Master of Arts Comprehensive Examination

POPULAR CULTURE MA COMP EXAM READING LIST 
FOUNDATIONS OF CULTURAL THEORY  

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Common Ground: Keywords for the Study of Expressive Culture, special issue of Journal of
American Folklore. 108.430 (1995).  (Available on JSTOR)

Adorno, Theodor. “On Popular Music.” K; S [orig. 1941]

Adorno, Theodor & Horkheimer, Max. “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass
Deception.” [Orig. German 1944, trans. Dialectic of Enlightenment 1972] D; K

Althusser, Louis. “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses.” [Orig. French; trans.
1971] S;K

Anderson, Benedict. Chapters 1 through 3, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the
Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso, 1991. 1-46.

Ang, Ien. Watching Dallas. Methuen. 1985.

Appaduri, Arjun. “Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy.” D; K  [Orig.
Public Culture, 1990]

Bakhtin, Mikhail. “Carnival and Carnivalesque.” S [Orig. Russian 1963; trans. in Bakhtin, The
Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics, 1984; summary of 1940 Russian dissertation pub. 1965 & trans. as Rabelais and his World, 1968]

Barthes, Roland. “Myth Today.”  Mythologies.  Trans. Jonathan Cape.  Paris: Farrar,
Straus and Giroux, 1972, 109-160.  [Orig. French 1957; trans. 1972]  Selections in Storey Reader, 293-302; and KeyWorks, 100-106

Baudrillard, Jean. “The Precession of Simulacra.” Simulations.  New York: Semiotext(e), 1983,
1-80. [Orig. French; trans. 1983] K; S

Ben-Amos, Dan. “Analytical Categories and Ethnic Genres.” In Dan Ben-Amos, ed.,
Folklore Genres. University of Texas. 1981.

Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” [Orig. 1936;
In Illuminations, Schocken, 1969] D; K

Bordo, Susan. “Material Girl: The Effacements of Postmodern Culture.” Unbearable
Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.  245-276.

Bourdieu, Pierre. Pierre Bourdieu, “Distinction,” and “The Aristocracy of Culture,”
Distinctions. [Orig. French 1979; trans. 1984] D; K

Butler, Judith. “Imitation and Gender Insubordination.” In Fuss, Diana, ed., Inside Out: Lesbian
Theories, Gay Theories. Taylor & Francis. 1992. S

Canclini, Nestor Garcia. “Hybrid Cultures, Oblique Powers.” K [Trans. in Canclini, Hybrid
Cultures, U of Minnesota P, 1995]

Cawelti, John. “The Study of Literary Formulas.” Adventure, Mystery, and Romance:
Formula Stories as Art and Popular Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976.  5-36.

Clifford, James. “Diasporas.” Cultural Anthropology 9.3 (1994): 302-38.

Conquergood, Dwight.  “Performance Studies:  Interventions and Radical Research.”  The
Performance Studies Reader. 2nd Edition. Ed. Henry Bial.  London: Routledge, 2007. 369-380.

De Certeau, Michel. “Introduction.” The Practice of Everyday Life. Trans. by Steven Rendall. Berkeley: University of California, 1984. [Orig. French 1980] S

Dyer, Richard. Stars. London: BFI Publishing, 1989. 33-85.

Fine, Elizabeth. Soulstepping: African American Step Shows. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2002.

Fiske, John. “The Popular Economy.” Television Culture.  New York: Routledge, 1987. 253-67. S

Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality, Vol. I. New York: Vintage, 1990. [Orig. French
1976; trans. 1978]

Gates, Henry Louis. "The Signifying Monkey and the Language of Signifyin(g): Rhetorical
Difference and the Orders of Meaning." The Signifying Monkey: a Theory of African-American Literary Criticism. New York: Oxford UP, 1988. 44-88.

Geertz, Clifford. “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight.” The Interpretation of
Cultures. New York: Basic Books, 1973. 3-32.

Geertz, Clifford. “Thick Description: Towards an Interpretative Theory of Culture.” The
Interpretation of Cultures. New York: Basic Books, 1973. 412-454.

Gramsci, Antonio. “Hegemony, Intellectuals and the State” [orig. Italian 1926-1937; tran. as
Selections from Prison Notebooks. 1971] S; K

Habermas, Jurgen. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a
Category of Bourgeois Society. Trans. Thomas Burger.  Boston: The MIT Press, 1991.  [Orig. German 1962; trans. 1989]

Hall, Stuart. “Encoding, Decoding.” D; K [orig. 1980]

Hall, Stuart. “Notes on Deconstructing ‘The Popular.’” K  [orig. 1981]

Haraway, Donna. “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late
Twentieth Century.” The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader. Ed. Amelia Jones.  New York: Routledge, 2003.  475-496. D

Hebdige, Dick. Subculture: the Meaning of Style.  London: Routledge, 1979.

Hobsbawm, Eric. “Introduction: Inventing Traditions.” In Invention of Tradition. Eds. Eric
Hodsbawm and Terence Ranger.  New York: Cambridge UP, 2003 [1983].  1-14.

Hooks, Bell. “Representing Whiteness in the Black Imagination.” Black Looks: Race and
Representation.  Boston: South End Press, 1992.  165-176.

Jameson, Fredric. “Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism.” K  [Orig. New
Left Review, 1984]

Jenkins, Henry. Textual Poachers: Television Fans & Participatory Culture. New York:
Routledge, 1992.

Kirschenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara. "Objects of Ethnography." In Destination Culture: Tourism,
Museums and Heritage. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.  17-78.

Lacan, Jacques. “The Mirror Stage.” [Orig. French 1949; trans. 1977] S

Levine, Lawrence. Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America.
Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1988.

Levi-Strauss, Claude. “The Structural Study of Myth.” Structural Anthropology. Vol. 1. Trans. Clair Jacobson and Brooke Grundfest Shoepf. New York: Basic, 1963 [Orig. French, 1955].  206-231.

Lord, Albert. Chapters 1-3. The Singer of Tales. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1964. 3-67.

Marx, Karl. “Base and Superstructure.” S [Orig. 1859]

Marx, Karl, and Engels, Frederick. “The Ruling Class and the Ruling Ideas.” S; K [Orig. 1845]

Mulvey, Laura. “Visual Pleasures.” K  [Orig. Screen, 1975]

Propp, Vladimir. Morphology of the Folktale.  Trans. Laurence Scott.  Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1968.

Radway, Janice. Reading the Romance. Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature. Revised Edition. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1991.

Rose, Tricia. “Never Trust A Big Butt and A Smile.” Camera Obscura: A Journal of Feminism
and Film Theory, #23, May 1991. 108-131. [Also in: Black Feminist Cultural Criticism. Ed. Jacqueline Bobo.  Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 2001.  233-254]  

Rubin, Gayle. “Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality.” Pleasure
and Danger.  Ed. Carole Vance.  London: Pandora, 1992 [orig. 1984].  267-293.

Said, Edward. “Introduction.”  Orientalism.  New York:  Pantheon Books, 1978.  1-28.  

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky.  “Introduction: Axiomatic.”  Epistemology of the Closet.  Berkeley:
University of California Press, 1990. 1-65.

Gayatri Spivak.  “Can the Subaltern Speak?” Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture.  Eds.
Cary Nelson and Larry Grossberg. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1988.  271-313.

Tomlinson, John. Cultural Imperialism: A Critical Introduction. Baltimore, MD: The Johns
Hopkins University Press, 1991.

Turner, Victor. “Liminality and Communitas.”  The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-
Structure. New York: Cornell University Press, 1977 [Orig. 1969].  94-130

Van Gennep, Arnold. The Rites of Passage. Chicago: The University of Chicago press, 1961.

Weber, Max. “The Protestant Ethic and the ‘Spirit’ of Capitalism.”  The Protestant Ethic and the “Spirit” of Capitalism and Other Writings.  New York: Penguin Books, 2002 [Orig. 1905].  1-202.

Williams, Linda.  “When the Woman Looks”.  Horror: the Film Reader.  Ed. Mark Jancovich.
New York: Routledge, 2001.  61-66.  

Williams, Raymond. “The Analysis of Culture.” [Orig. 1961] S

D Reprinted or excerpted in Simon During, ed., The Cultural Studies Reader, 3rd ed. (London: Routledge, 2007)

K Reprinted or excerpted in Media and Cultural Studies: KeyWorks, Revised Edition, ed. Meenakshi Gigi Durham and Douglas M. Kellner (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2006)

S Reprinted or excerpted in John Storey, ed., Cultural Theory & Popular Culture: A Reader, 3rd ed. (NY: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2006)