In courses and research, the Department of Popular Culture looks at the many different ways people use, interpret and adapt even the most conventional mass-produced items in the course of our daily lives. The department also studies the more spectacular practices of groups of people who develop new cultural forms as well as maintain traditional ones. The department is especially interested in the ways the expressive practices of popular culture convey, challenge and influence social values, norms of behavior, and sense of identity, studying the exchanges and transformations of popular culture in global and historical contexts as well as among diverse groups within contemporary American society. While popular culture may at first appear to be a trivial matter, it turns out to be the site where many of the most important and controversial issues are explored and debated.
Please note that the content of this page does not necessarily constitute a comprehensive list of all faculty publications produced by this department.
Submissions from 2014
Decoration Day in the Mountains: Traditions of Cemetery Decoration in the Southern Appalachians, Jack Santino
Submissions from 2004
Performative Commemoratives, the Personal, and the Public: Spontaneous Shrines, Emergent Ritual, and the Field of Folklore, Jack Santino