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IDS 404 - Popular Culture

Course guide developed specifically for IDS 404 to help support the research and learning processes.


To get you started in thinking how your topic might be looked at through the historical lens, let's use the topic of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the 1968 film directed by Stanley Kubrick. Learning more about the film and about its director is vital to building a strong understanding of the topic. This understanding will help you determine what avenues to explore inside of each lens. A  secondary resource like the encyclopedia articles 2001: A Space Odyssey (film) This link opens in a new window or primary sources like the film itself This link opens in a new window provide insights into the topic and surrounding issues.

To begin to analyze this film like a historian, what would be some questions that we could ask? Here are some ideas:

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey was released in 1968. How does space exploration and technological advancement of the time period affect 2001: A Space Odyssey's idea of what future space travel would look like?
  • How does 2001: A Space Odyssey fit into the history of film production?
  • How was 2001: A Space Odyssey advertised, and in what ways did that advertisement differ significantly from other films of the time period or before?

Suggested Databases

The list below are some examples of the library's databases that you could use to search for primary and secondary sources on your topic through a historical lens.