2023-2024 / COMU0003-1

Theory and analysis of mass culture


30h Th

Number of credits

 Bachelor in information and communication5 crédits 
 Master in modern languages and literatures : German, Dutch and English (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in modern languages and literatures : general (120 ECTS)5 crédits 


Pascal Durand

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Less a precise definition and more a socio-anthropological concept relating to cultural practices, "mass culture" covers a considerable number of forms, media, institutions and challenges. This course consists not only of theoretically conveying the reasons for this apparently confused proliferation (with the help of cultural sociology, semiology and critical theory of the mass media). We will undertake a close reading of two series of objects : literary serials from 19th to 20th centuries (Dumas and several theories of mass-mediatic visibility or celebrity (from Thorstein Veblen to Nathalie Heinich).

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

The course objective is to lay the groundwork for research on mass culture, using a two-pronged critical approach to the field, one relating to the products of mass-culture themselves, the other relating to theory, in the most diverse sense, which we will try to take into account. The theoretical presentations will be complemented by an analysis of cultural products relating to the field in question.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Lectures and/or podcasts.

Recommended or required readings

Required reading of A. Dumas, Le Comte de Monte-Cristo (Gallimard, coll. « Folio »).
Pascal Durand, La Leçon des choses. Techniques imaginaires de Defoe à Simenon, Bruxelles, La Lettre volée, coll. Essais, 2021 (sortie octobre)

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

oral exam

Additional information:

Oral examination if possible.
Email examination, if the former is not possible.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Course head, Pascal Durand, lecturer, Department Media, Culture & Communication, Place du 20-Août, 7, 2nd floor, pascal.durand@ulg.ac.be;

Caroline Duchesne
Place du 20-Août, 7, 2e étage
Tél. 04 366 44 13
Tél. 04 366 32 86

Association of one or more MOOCs