Taste has long been a concern of public policy. This course examines the history of efforts to define, monitor, control, and shape public tastes. Among the questions to be considered are: what constitutes a taste? What do tastes consist of? How can tastes be measured? What is hip, and how does fashion or faddishness affect tastes? What is the difference between good taste, distastefulness, and bad taste? How do these distinctions manifest themselves, and what ideological work do they do? What norms, principles, and interests underlie the distinction between good and bad taste, high-brow/middle-brow/lowbrow, the excellent and the merely popular? What tools are available for shaping tastes? We will discuss a few classic discussions of taste (Hume, Veblen, Adorno); more recent work on the subject by cultural critics, sociologists, and economists (Pierre Bourdieu, Michel Foucault, Raymond Williams, Paul Dimaggio, Pierre Bourdieu, Richard Peterson, Gary Becker); and recent policy research and governmental initiatives designed to affect public tastes. We will also be looking at some cases where works of literature, art, dance, film, and antiquities-collecting generated conflicts about taste.