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PWR 1A: Introduction to Writing at Stanford: Rhetorics of Popular Culture

Popular culture studies breaks down barriers between so-called "low" and "high" culture and uses the textual practices of everyday people to understand our social world. As a reaction to the "high culture" mediums of canonical literature and museum-worthy art, popular culture studies takes the perspective that everyday people, their practices, media, communication, and principles afford provocative insights into our social worlds. PWR1A students will study the rhetorical features and functions of popular culture, from young adult literature, to music, film, games, social media, and comics in order to develop our critical reading, writing, and research skills in preparation for academic work in both PWR1 and PWR2 as well as other writing and research intensive courses. Readings, writing, and other activities prompt students to consider the relationship between language, rhetoric and popular culture in an aim to interrogate popular culture broader social values and assumptions. Enrollment exclusive to incoming Stanford freshm