90770 - Pop Theory and Poetics

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Rimini
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Fashion Cultures and Practices (cod. 9064)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student is expected to acquire the knowledge of essential aspects of the debate on the phenomenon of Pop, which is broad, complex and of fundamental importance to understand the present age. Central issues for this course are, in particular: the relationship between “pop” and “popular culture”; the comprehension of the relation between the different theories of Pop and the various poetics of Pop in different artistic fields; a critical understanding of the intertwinement of cultural, creative and productive processes that is a central feature of the aesthetic domain today.

Course contents


Aesthetics, pop-rock music, fashion, social and political change.

This lecture course will explore some contemporary transformations of "pop culture", starting from its particular and original aesthetics, and then examining its potential capacity to also have an influence at a technological and a socio-political level.

In this perspective a particular attention will be paid to current meanings and functions of two aesthetic practices and experiences that can be included in the world of "pop culture" (pop-rock music and fashion) and that have played a great role and have had a great influence on 20th/21st-century culture, as well as on our everyday lives.

In particular, we will focus on some particularly significant moments of the pop-rock musical developments from the 1990s until today, with a specific attention to the Seattle "grunge" scene and the English band Radiohead.


1. A. Mecacci, L’estetica del pop, Donzelli, Roma 2011, only the following parts: pp. 3-32 and pp. 137-167.


2. R. Shusterman, Estetica pragmatista, Aesthetica Edizioni, Palermo 2010, only the following parts: Chap. 4 ("Forma e Funk. La sfida estetica dell'arte popolare").


3. E. Wilson, Vestirsi di sogni. Moda e modernità, Franco Angeli, Milano 2008, only the following parts: Introduzione, Chap. 3 ("Giustificare la moda"), Chap. 8 ("Moda e cultura popolare"), Chap. 9 ("L'abbigliamento di opposizione").


4. A. Alfieri, Rocksofia. Filosofia dell’hard rock nel passaggio di millennio, il melangolo, Genova 2019, only the following parts: pp. 7-60 (Introduction and Chap. 1).


5. S. Marino - E. Guzzi. La filosofia dei Radiohead. Musica, tecnica, anima, Mimesis, Milano-Udine 2021.


The bibliography may be subject to changes until the beginning of the lecture course.

Teaching methods

Traditional lectures, also using video and audio materials, and class discussions with students.

Assessment methods

The exam will be a written test.

The test will be based on 31 questions with 3 possible answers for each question.

The questions included in the written test will assess both the capacity of the student to recognize the main historical issues and moments concerning the aesthetics of pop (with specific regard to the phenomena examined in the lecture course: pop music, fashion) and the capacity of the student to understand the main theoretical and critical issues concerning the topics discussed in the books.

Teaching tools

During the lecture course we will use power point slides concerning the lecture course's texts and main topics, and also audio and video materials that are coherent with the basic questions presented in the books of our program.

Office hours

See the website of Stefano Marino


Good health and well-being Quality education Gender equality Responsible consumption and production

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.