A Cultural History of Advertising in Twentieth-Century America

Parsons School of Design: Sch. Art and Dsgn Hist and Th

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students (with Restrictions)
Advertising Consumerism
Fall 2024
Taught By: Marilyn Cohen
Section: A

CRN: 2549

Credits: 3

This course examines advertising as a tool of consumer culture in the US in the twentieth century. The course will begin with the growth in tandem of national industry and advertising. We analyze the idea of the United States as a ‘democracy of goods’ looking at advertising as propaganda in relation to the World Wars and as mediating and selling the ‘American Dream’ before and after World War II. The focus is on advertising in relation to material culture; we ask how ads construct the meanings that surround objects. Students will spend time decoding visual advertisements with an eye to how advertising functions today—as in the past—to reinforce socio-political and cultural ideologies. We will examine trade cards, print advertising, posters and radio and TV commercials, as well as the rise of department stores. We will read essays in cultural studies as well as articles in contemporary newspapers, magazines, and journals to understand the evolution and ongoing significance of advertising. This is very much a discussion-based class with presentations and papers as final projects. Pathway: Design Studies

Open to: All university undergraduate degree students. Pre-requisite(s): first-year university writing course and at least two prior history or methods course in art, media, film, or visual culture. One of these courses should be 3000-level.

College: Parsons School of Design (PS)

Department: Sch. Art and Dsgn Hist and Th (ADHT)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 20

Add/Drop Deadline: September 9, 2024 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 17, 2024 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Open*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 11:16am EDT 5/20/2024

Meeting Info:
Days: Thursday
Times: 12:10pm - 2:50pm
Building: TBD
Room: TBD
Date Range: 8/29/2024 - 12/12/2024