Cultural Studies:
Possible Topics for group report and paper (I)
Unit I
I. Major themes for Unit I: A. identity--male and female quest narrative, (poetic) creation and creation of a monster,                              B.  Culture as Practice but not Product, Articulation, Regulation & Production 

You can choose to discuss an issue related to one of these themes with the support of your own examples.  

II.  Literary Texts III. Popular Culture: Unit II
I. Areas and Topics
Late 19-c England
Contemporary Taiwan
representation--constructions of meanings/identity 
  • semiotic approach (signification & myth)
  • discursive approach

  • (discourse & power)
  • ways of seeing--
    • painters'(producers'), patrons' & spectators', men's and women's, consumer's and critics'--different ways of encoding and decoding
    • subject positions
    Pre-Raphaelite painting and poetry--texts by  
    • Dante Gabriel Rossetti
    • Christina Rossetti
    • other Pre-Raphaelite painters or poets
    • late-Victorian writers (e.g. Alice in the Wonderland).
  • evolution/frustration of Romantic quest
  • representation of women in 19-century literature or culture
  • Visual Culture in Taipei/Taiwan 
    • the use of TV (computer) screen--on TV, in Taiwanese popular culture or "art"
      • self-reflexivity 
      • hyperspace (e.g. MTV, 電視牆)
    • visual images --of women, of painting, signs of wealth, etc.
    • the relations between power and (female) body in --body sculpture, nude paintings and performances (許曉丹), ads and commercials.
    • Taiwanese romance (e.g. 瓊瑤)or love songs as a discourse
    • And a lot of other choices!
    II. Issues for discussion and papers
    (Please go to the Culture Talk pages for specific issues)
    1. How is myth created out of certain commercials, ads, or government propaganda?
    2. How is subject (subject positions) constructed in a text, a discourse, in the nineteenth century or present?
    3. What are the standardized (or popular) images (e.g. of women) in contemporary Taiwanese culture?  What do these images do (construct)?
    4. What do images do to the words around them?  Will images substitute words?  Will we be reading images only?
    5. What are the relations between discourse, power and subject?  Can you use one discourse to analyze how it produces and circulates power and construct subjects?
    6. How do we as reader-critics deal with these myths, ideologies, discourses, images or image culture (sound-bite culture?

    Cultures: Transmission & Connections
    From Romantic Poetry
    to Taipei Streets
    1. Quest
    a. for coherent, growing, unique, and heroic identity 

    b. artistic creation 

    c. Romantic love 

    d. the contradictory roles of female artists and female characters 


    1. Wandering, immigration, exile

    3. Cyborg identity in Sci-fi fictions and in daily life
    4. In popular songs and soap opera
    5. Images of women
    1. Modernist Artist
    1. concern with artist's isolation (Bildungsroman)
    from Modernism to Postmodernism 

    increasing fragmentation & uncertainties of identity 


    multinational capitalism

    Taiwanese Modernism 
    1. the influence of U.S. modernism
    2. e.g. 1956紀弦的《現代詩》; 1960《現代文學》 


    3. identity crisis
    (individual, national) 

    70 年代──現代詩論戰 


    e.g. 鄉愁詩,中國現代民歌校園歌曲


    Unit III--under construction!
    I. Areas and Topics
    Late 19-c England
    Contemporary Taiwan
    globalization & cultural imperialism 
  • ways of consumption
  • Taiwanese texts about (im)migration --texts by  
    • 余光中
    • 三毛
    • 平路
  •  Romantic quest--its frustration & counterparts (imperialism & third-world migration) 
  • representation of cyborg/women in 平路
  • "Global" Culture in Taipei/Taiwan  
    --e.g. popular songs, MacDonalds, MTV channel, CNN, etc. 

    Cyborg identities 

    And a lot of other choices!

    II. Issues for discussion and papers
    1. globalization or localization
    2. Do we need to listen, or study, lyrics in popular songs?