Notes from the Underground: Alternative Media from Fanzines to Memes
Greer, J. (PI)
Beginning with Thomas Paine's pamphlet Common Sense (1776), independent publishing has been an integral component of American popular culture. In this course, we will historicize the self-publishing revolutions that have shaped the twentieth century, paying special attention to the social movements that created their own media ecosystems. Beginning with the amateur press associations of the 1920s, our attention will then turn to the fanzine network of Science Fiction writers in the 1930s and 1940s, the poetry mimeograph revolution of the 1950s, the underground press and comics (or "comix") of the 1960s, and the expansive culture of punk and "riotgrrrl" fanzines from the 1970s-1990s. The insights gleaned from our historical analysis will be applied to the digital culture of memes, and their use among progressive social movements. Visits to archives at Stanford will allow students to connect secondary and primary source research, thereby elucidating how scholars have analyzed the material culture of people on the margins of mainstream culture.
Letter or Credit/No Credit