The ABCs of Pop Culture


For the latter half of the Fall 2018 semester, my Introduction to Popular Culture class endeavored to create what I call the ABCs of Pop Culture. The idea was to develop a class-curated alphabetic list of prominent/influential figures, concepts, and events in popular culture. In order to achieve this goal, we took several steps:

  1. The project included both group and solo components. First, students submitted proposals about what groups they were interested in based off a list that I gave them of possibilities (including but not limited to Music/The Music Industry and Pop Culture & Politics).
  2. Once assigned to groups, students worked together to create ABC Powerpoint presentations for their specific group themes.
  3. Students eventually submitted these presentations as well as individual essays about their research and curation processes.
  4. Students reviewed all of the Powerpoints and voted, letter by letter, on which slide should go into our class-curated list.
  5. I used their votes to compile our class Powerpoint, which we looked at in class and which I’m sharing on this site. In case anybody’s curious, my students knew that a public audience was the end goal and were reminded to consider that as they made their selections.

(BTW this assignment is a riff on another assignment called The Big Book of ABCs )

One of the points that I reiterated throughout the semester is that our class would not be able to cover everything, and as such, I had to make selections based on what I thought was most suitable for the syllabus. To some extent, this highlighted ongoing threads we discussed in class about taste, fandom, etc. This project, however, was a chance for them to really showcase their interests, to fill in gaps, and to cover ground that was outside of my own radar. What you see below very much reflects those possibilities, and I learned quite a bit myself by reviewing their slides. Hopefully, other audiences will enjoy them as well :).