Last semester I taught pop culture and had a few students that had some amazing papers that I thought they should share with the school and they got that chance on Wednesday with Common Day of Learning at APU. The students did a great job and had quite a crowd. I put together a panel of three students and myself and they were able to speak for a full room. All the seats were taken and many others were sitting against the back wall. Not bad for an event that took place at 9:30am. The title of the panel was "Pop Culture from the Margins." I was really proud of how the students did.
I started the talk by presenting a methodology that covered that basics of what the panel was about: issues like privilege, representation, hegemony, and postmodernism wrapped into 15 minutes. The students-Whitney, Kim, and Eric-then presented on different ideas under this flag idea. Whitney and Eric were in the pop culture class, and Kim is on the newspaper staff, along with Whitney. Whitney gave a great talk on the "self-tropicalizatioin" of J-Lo in her films. She provided some important details on the way J-Lo has used her Latin roots to create her image. Next, Kim discussed changing gender roles in science fiction, specifically focusing on the unique gender issues presented in Battlestar Galactica (I take a little pride in helping her come up with the idea). Eric then closed with a discussion of the comic book's transition from low culture to high culture.
The students seemed very receptive to what was discussed, and rightly so since the student speakers presented their information with great interest in their topic and appropriate detail. Not just bragging, but we had a great panel that covered the many different aspect of "pop culture from the margins." Common Day of Learning is often considered a joke or annoying obligation by some students, but if they attended our panel, they found some great information with a very timely application. Good times.