Literature, Mass Media, and Pop Culture

These three elements of communication – literature, mass media, and pop culture – intersect in unique and specific ways. As our ways of sharing information expand, so do our ideas, perceptions, and interpretations. This class is designed to connect the dots between what we read, hear, and see across a handful of mediums. This class counts as a high school English credit. It is recommended for 11th and 12th grades.

We’ll read books and articles, listen to podcasts and watch videos, and students will create their own projects through various mediums. We’ll examine media literacy and the power of advertising. We’ll discuss ethics, digital citizenship, and how pop culture is created and shaped. Students will read contemporary works, classics, fiction, and nonfiction.

Fall Book List
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (978-0385486804)
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (graphic novel) *see below
The Time Machine by HG Wells (978-1949982909)

Spring Book List
Macbeth by William Shakespeare (No Fear Shakespeare
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (978-0062073471)
A Long Way Home: A Memoir by Saroo Brierley (978-0425276198)

Short stories, fairy tales, and excerpts of other works will be provided.

Students will also need access to a podcast platform (Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Stitcher, etc.) and a way to access several films and documentaries. I’ll be sure to give adequate warning so you can grab those from your local library or find them online.

* I will be using Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a graphic novel illustrated by Pete Katz, but that does not mean you’re required to find that exact graphic novel. Instead, I encourage your student to select the graphic novel that looks the most interesting to him/her. There are MANY to choose from, all with different artistic styles and aesthetics. Just be sure you’re not buying/borrowing a graphic novel that has modified the original story. You want the real story. But the art? Let your student pick.

Finally, as this is an upper level English class, please note that some works may have profanity and cover more mature ideas and themes. As always, I encourage parents to read the books I assign alongside their students. For what it’s worth, the parents who do this usually enjoy it!