InstructionsDear Popular Culture Theorists,
Welcome back from what was hopefully a relaxing spring break!
This week we return to our course with some texts on globalization and culture, including Edward Said’s Orientalism, Wu and Cheung’s Globalization of Chinese Food, and the great American film, Casablanca (1942). These texts will help prepare you for next week’s important discussion on popular culture as new world disorder or neoliberal globalization. Note: If the film link doesn’t work from the module, there’s always Youtube and some streaming options.
This week’s module also includes the optional SLIDESHOW: DISCOVERING CHINA’S GLOBALISM. While you’re not responsible for mastering the Chinese history provided, you might find that the slideshow offers a good context to help you think through the idea of the globalization of culture, e.g., the circulation and consumption of “Chineseness.”
As for the reflection. Choose one:
1. View Casablanca and think about how the film promotes nationalism, internationalism, and liberty (freedom). More specifically, in what ways does Casablanca‘s depiction of the Other help push an isolationist U.S. into the war (WWII) toward the center of an emerging global, transnational market?
2. After you read Wu and Cheung, reflect on your own experiences with “international” restaurant chains such as Panda Express, Taco Bell, and Olive Garden. In what ways do these food chains represent, construct, and circulate their specific cultures and the idea of cultural authenticity? Does anything happen to the cultures represented/constructed/used?
Once again, these reflections are not a test, but rather more like diary entries (in conversation with your classmates’ entries) that you might further develop for your larger papers and that I get to enjoy from afar.
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