For the authors of these essays, the acts and artifacts of popular culture, including film and television, belong within the canon of ""high art"". A. Ann Kaplan, prominent scholar-critic of cultural literacy, writes in the lead essay that the field of ""cultural studies"" may provide the educational direction necessary for a postmodern curriculum. The other contributors, citing poststucturalist and femininst theory, also urge opening the canon to formerly suppressed voices, especially those of women and minorities. Better yet, they say, embrace the notion of multiple and varied canons. In this collection, genres that traditionally have been excluded from academic canons emerge as legitimate areas of scholarly study. The essays explore these ideas in such written and cinematic texts as political dramas, film reviews, novels (Toni Morrison's ""Beloved"") detective fiction, and films (""Ordinary People"", the Andy Hardy and ""Friday the 13th"" series).