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Examining Dimensions of Cool (INT 390 and HON 133)

About This Course

This course will enable students to examine various perspectives on the phenomenon of “cool.”

Topics and Approach

The course will begin with an introductory period of four weeks where students will explore various interpretations of the history of cool, its complexities as a social class marker, its political capital, and its designation to varying people, places, things, and behaviors that will be essential and invaluable to the students’ ongoing interpretation.

During this period and every week thereafter we will watch film clips that provide representations chosen to accentuate the readings, discuss the film excerpts in the context of the assigned reading(s) for that week, and write a paper articulating the film’s connection to the topic under examination. In the process of accomplishing this research, the students will acquire knowledge about the pop culture phenomenon of cool and its social class implications. This will assist them in assessing “cool” from a plethora of perspectives while examining the underpinnings and assumptions that often impede or prevent a rationale perspective from evolving.

Lastly, students will have individual and group projects where they will have to choose one of the operative themes and present their analysis of cool to the class with a final paper providing more thought and detail to their individual and group project(s).

This course satisfies the curriculum inclusion requirements for General Education regarding multi-cultural awareness by exploring differences in the discourse, the influence the discourse has on identity formation, cultural norms, gender, xenophobia, class, sexual orientation and traditional disenfranchisement of the so-called “other” while examining and explicating various ethnic and cultural stereotypes and problematic assumptions.

Questions, Comments, Suggestions

If you have any questions about the Center for Diversity (CDPI), or are interested in learning more about promoting diversity at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:

CDPI LogoDr. J.W. Wiley, Chief Diversity Officer
Office Location: Kehoe 610
Phone: (518) 564-5410
Email: diversity@plattsburgh.edu