Dubbed the 20th century's best television series in the U.S. and even predicting the election of the 45th president, The Simpsons has been an iconic fixture in the American cultural landscape for more than three decades. In this class, we will learn to practice sociological imagination through critical analysis of the town of the Simpsons -- Springfield, a microcosm of American society. We will study sociological concepts and theories related to family, gender roles, education, environmental issues, race and ethnicity, and class. Our overall goal is to build critical thinking skills through hands-on practice and examine the intricate relationship between media and our understanding of the society. Based on their critique of The Simpsons, students will have the opportunity to create a script of a new episode of the show or revise an existing episode.
Our work will be conducted remotely, using Canvas and Zoom. The faculty will offer alternative assignments if conditions or illness prevent students from accessing our synchronous meetings, which will allow students to earn comparable credit.
Course Reference Numbers
Sociology, education, media studies
Potential visit to a show or exhibit at the museum related to The Simpsons or American culture in general