Special Topics in Film: Television and American Culture
140-002 | CCN: 21901
M/W 11:00am-12:30pm, Dwinelle 188; Screening Mon. 4:30pm-6:30pm, Dwinelle 188 ///
This course will introduce students to the history of television and its place in American culture, from the earliest days of broadcasting to the transition, in the 1970s, to a media landscape transformed by the Hollywood blockbuster, cable television, home video, and media conglomerates. Beginning with the electrification of America and the first wireless broadcasts, course materials will explore how radio and television broadcasting helped to refashion American ideas about: race, class, gender, sexuality, family and nation, private and public space. Course texts will mix industry and aesthetic history with case studies that interrogate how a program’s format, genre, and star personae influence the way it does ideological work. We will move chronologically, screening the texts that did the important, difficult, and occasionally contradictory cultural labor of dramatizing these shifts as they unfolded; our materials will include live news broadcasts, situation comedies, variety programs, and dramas.