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  • Identify fundamental concepts and methodologies in Popular Culture Studies.
  • Describe the structure of popular narrative forms and types
  • Explain the history and uses of popular narrative forms and types


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It seems obvious to say that popular culture isn’t created in a vacuum. Personal and institutional structures support the creation of popular culture. We have many examples of heroes in fiction and in reality. Popular Culture Studies takes a major interest in the Hero from folklore and literature. Among the questions often considered are: what makes a Hero and what makes a Villain? What purpose do heroes serve (particularly in a democracy)? How are heroes portrayed in different genres, and so on? This assignment will allow us to explore similar points as we seek to understand the role of the Hero in popular culture. We have become acquainted with a few of the core ideas and concepts that inform the study of popular culture. As we have learned, these can be powerful tools leading to useful insights. This assignment gives you the chance to gain practical experience in how these ideas “work” and how being aware of them can guide you not only in understanding and enjoying aspects of popular culture, but in creating it as well.


This assignment should allow you to recognize the uses of the theories that we’ve discussed. It is strongly suggested that you cite something from a reliable industry or academic source within this assignment, as well as a source defining “hero” or a derivation such as “heroic” or “heroism.” For this assignment “hero” could be any sex or species if what you choose fits your definition.

  1. Select a specific fictional hero figure (not a category of heroes).
  2. Select both a recent version of your chosen hero and an older version of the same hero. Be precise and exact: a specific comic book issue, not just “Superman in 1960s comics”; a specific TV episode, not just “The Incredible Hulk TV series” and so on.
  3. Study your chosen hero by studying your two different versions as “primary artifacts”—actually watch the film, read the comic book, play the game or whatever.
  4. Using your research, describe how the Hero is different or the same in each version. Pick Two to four well-developed aspects/traits: do what you think is significant.
  5. Explain why the hero is indeed heroic. Do this by defining “hero”, “heroism”, or “heroic” and citing a legitimate source and specifically tie it to your hero with examples from your sources(Source: Any formal encyclopedia or dictionary – but not Wikipedia). You should use a specific example from one of your chosen versions of the hero to illustrate when the hero did something that directly fits the definition of “hero” that you used. For example, if your source says “a hero is willing to make sacrifices” then you demonstrate something from your example where your hero-figure is willing to make a sacrifice
  6. Finally, based on everything you’ve learned, explain what information all of this gives us about the culture that produced and consumes these variations of the hero-figure. Explain how or in what ways he or she may help us understand the culture that produced/consumes products of him or her. What does the hero indicate about the cultural values, beliefs, or ideals of the society the produced/consumes products of him or her?

Submission guidelines:

  • You will submit your assignment as a Keynote (may also include a narration track) of at least 10 slides
  • Your Keynote must include a slide formatted as an APA-style References page at the end.
  • If you are submitting a Keynote or Powerpoint without narration, submit a PDF file. If you are submitting a slideshow with narration, upload the presentation to You Tube and submit the link in the assignment.
  • Cite a source to define “hero” or a version of that word (heroism, heroic, etc.)
  • Be sure to address the content requested – design is no substitute for content.
  • Review the Getting Started activity for information about the late policy & plagiarism


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