Essay #2: Cultural Analysis

For your second paper, you will attend one of the following events or explore one of the following spaces in Los Angeles:

Warner Bros. Studio Tour
Ronald Reagan Library
Madame Tussaud’s: Hollywood Celebrity Wax Museum
LA Derby Dolls
Legendary Bingo at Hamburger Mary’s
Watts Towers
The Broad Museum
Venice Beach Boardwalk

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Like for your first paper, you should plan to carefully observe this space or event. Take copious notes in which you record your observations and impressions. Cultural studies is about understanding and “reading” the world around us, so “read” this experience for me, located as it is in its particular moment and in its particular space. But, again, remember that Cultural Studies is also about recognizing the processes of interaction between media texts, spectators, institutions, and the ambient culture – so you might think about these relationships and how your event or space reflects these interactions as you begin to record your observations and develop ideas for your 4 page analytical essay, which should incorporate at least one of the following readings to support your argument:

Jurgen Habermas, “The Public Sphere”
Dick Hebdige, “Subculture” (either or both readings)
Pierre Bordieu, “The Aristocracy of Culture”
Marshall McLuhan, “The Medium is the Message”
Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the age of Mechanical Reproduction”
Guy Debord, “The Commodity as Spectacle

Your essay should not be a review of your experience – I don’t care whether or not you enjoyed it or would recommend it to someone else. These essays should be thesis-driven and analytical in nature, and they should mindfully use ideas/concepts/arguments from class readings to support your position.

Papers should be typed and double-spaced with 12-point font and 1-inch margins. Sources should be cited properly (I don’t care which style you use, just be consistent). A works cited page is unnecessary if you are only citing from in-class sources.

These essays should be posted to moodle by the beginning of class on October 21.

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