Instructor: Bob Cape
Description: “Pulp fiction” refers to the hard-hitting, action-packed, weird, inter-planetary, “Wild-West,” adventurous, and often lurid stories published in cheap, pulp-based paper magazines in the first half of the 20th century. The stories, the artwork, the advertising, and the “Letters to the Editor” columns offer insight into the interests, values, aesthetics, and ambitions of middle-class and lower-class Americans up to and through WWII. This course will explore pulp magazines to discover what they reveal about American culture at that time. We will work with the actual, decaying, pulp magazines as well as scanned volumes, and will read little-known stories and early episodes of later classics, such as Tarzan, the Lone Ranger, Cthulhu and Buck Rogers. We will consider how the pulps portray class, ethnicity, gender, education, and literary values. We will also look at the influence of the pulps on 1950s and 1960s popular culture, including television and films, and take a peek at the life of one of the genre’s most iconic (though unsung) heroes: the pulp fiction writer. NOTE: Many pulp stories use prejudiced and biased language which readers may find offensive. We do not condone such language but will also not ignore it. We will examine the language and the use of simplistic stereotypes in the light of historical and modern (21st century) usage and as a part of “lowbrow” literature of the 20th century. Such material will not be the focus of the course but its appearance will be inevitable and students should be aware of this fact before enrolling.
Meeting Dates: 01/02/2024 – 01/24/2024
Meeting Times: M-F 09:00AM – 11:50AM
Meeting Location: Admin 209
Section Requisites: N/A
Course Fee: $25
Out-of-Pocket Expenses: $50