Popular Culture as Serious Literature

Why is modern popular culture (eg. Star Trek) considered a less intellectual than popular culture of several centuries ago (eg. Shakespeare)?

  • I think this is a really nice and tight title. But at first blush I assumed it would be asking to argue for current pieces of pop culture as serious literature; did you want this to be incorporated in the writing of the topic too? Or would it just be a historical comparison? Is the difference between how they're perceived simply temporal? I mean wouldn't Star Trek be considered as intellectual in 500 years' time as Shakespeare is today, especially given the linguist and technological advances that are bound to happen? Sorry for all the unanswered questions... Just putting 'em out there. – JM 3 years ago
  • I agree with JM that the scope needs to be narrowed down due to the format here. For example, what makes Dr Faustus literature but not Harry Potter? Does it simply take time? – Will Nolen 3 years ago
  • Too vague at the moment but I would certainly like to see a more narrowly focused topic. – proflong 3 years ago
  • Another question to consider is, who is considering today's pop culture to be less intellectual than the pop culture of centuries ago? Is that a judgment call made by the general public, academics, literary critics, etc.? I've actually met a number of professors and peers who think we have just as much to learn from modern pop culture as classic pop culture. Perhaps voices like theirs could be useful to the discussion. – rachelwitzig 3 years ago
  • This would serve to generate a very interesting article with curricula in current Indian schools and probably across the world too, rapidly changing to reflect more modern popular literature. ICSE introduced Harry Potter into official coursework in 2017. – Dr. Vishnu Unnithan 2 years ago
  • Years ago I read Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle, this was before the first movie (1968) was made, and I considered it good literature. I wonder if the series of movies made as a spinoff of the novel reduced the quality of the novel. – Joseph Cernik 2 years ago
  • Gothic Literature was actually the first form of pop culture. They were the first texts that EVERYONE was reading and had access to. Works like Dracula weren't high brow, per se. But now we study texts like that and see them as peak literariness. So, context is an important factor to be covered here. – Samantha Leersen 2 years ago

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