This volume of original essays presents an overview of Popular Culture Studies as an ever-growing branch of American Studies while also reflecting the critical debates driving the field toward a more nuanced approach to contemporary culture more generally. Thus, many of the essays included take fresh perspectives on Black American culture, feminism, multiculturalism, and queer studies, among others, but they also provide critical updates on the global impact of U.S. American popular culture.

If an understanding of U.S. Culture as Popular Culture in its national and international dimensions is one of the aims behind this publication, another is to conceive of cultural formations against the backdrop of shifting media environments. Placed alongside more traditional media such as literature and film, more recent phenomena including reality television, internet memes, and video games add considerable relevance to the critical appreciation of culture in the twenty-first century.