Popular Culture as History

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 5HA721

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
History A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 13 December 2017
Responsible department
Department of History

Entry requirements

A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university

Learning outcomes

A student who successfully completes the course will be able to:

  • summarize and discuss the relationship between popular culture and society from a historical perspective
  • critically compare different genres of twentieth-century popular culture in relation to relevant social phenomena such as class, gender, and ethnicity
  • utilize important theoretical concepts and perspectives from the academic fields of history and popular culture studies
  • account for and evaluate different types of sources for the study of popular culture, as well as appropriate methods that can be used to answer research questions relevant to the field of history.


The course covers different genres of popular culture and their expressions in relation to class, ethnicity, and gender. The genres vary, but the focus is on how popular culture developed during the twentieth century against the backdrop of social transformations, particularly the emergence of consumer society. Students learn how to employ theoretical concepts and approaches central to studies of popular culture and history. Particular importance is placed on practical exercises that are based on historical methods and popular culture sources.


The course consists of seminars.


Assessment will be based upon written and oral assignments. Students that have missed a small number of mandatory assignments may complete them by the end of the term at the latest. If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.