This course will explore 20th century American history through the lens of American popular culture. Popular culture is all around us and routinely influences how we think, feel, vote and live our lives. As such, students will be asked to consider the ways in which they are both a user of and used by popular culture. We will begin the year by defining popular culture and students will be asked to think about ways that popular culture shapes American life. Over the course of the year, students will be encouraged to consider the ways in which popular culture embodies ideas about gender, class, race, and our nation in the 20th century. Topics to be covered include America’s pastimes, fads and fashions, television and radio, music and entertainment, cultural icons, leisure pursuits, print media and film. Class time will be divided between discussions, lectures, films, writing exercises, student presentations and creative projects. Students should expect to be assessed in a variety of formats including regular homework, unit tests, written reflections of varying length, film analyses, and a research paper of 7-10 pages in length. This course features a strong emphasis on the development of skills in reading, writing, organization, and note-taking. (2-4) This course does not satisfy the United States history requirement.