AMCULT 301 - Topics in American Culture
Section: 003 The Hollywood Film Industry and National Identity
Term: FA 2007
Subject: American Culture (AMCULT)
Department: LSA American Culture
Credits:
3
Waitlist Capacity:
unlimited
Consent:
With permission of instructor.
Repeatability:
May be elected twice for credit.
Primary Instructor:

In this course, we’ll be studying the way that the Hollywood film industry continues to intersect with the transformation of U.S. society in the twentieth century. An industry that was founded by immigrant and second generation Jews, an industry that rose to social power and prominence in the boom years of the 1920s and the bust years of depression, the Hollywood studio system gave Americans a series of narrative forms with which to respond to their rapidly changing culture: narratives we know as the Western, or the gangster film, or even the soap opera. Through those stories, American attitudes towards immigrants, or race, or gender, or sexuality, were all reconfigured—cultural anxieties given form, difficult issues represented, resolutions for problems that seemed all-too insoluble proposed on an imaginary level even when those resolutions seemed impossible to achieve on an actual one. And then, later in the century, filmmakers explored the changing world in which they lived by questioning, revising, parodying, or remaking these very narrative forms.

In this course, we’ll be studying both the rise (and fall) of the Hollywood film industry as an industry and the career of some of these narratives through a variety of means: historical readings; novels and stories; and most importantly the films themselves. Specifically, we’ll be concentrating on three genres: the Western (e.g., Stagecoach, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, and Lone Star); the gangster film (Scarface, The Big Heat, Once Upon a Time in America); and the so-called women’s picture (Imitation of Life, All That Heaven Allows, Far From Heaven). We’ll then turn to films that play even more explicitly with genre in the context of contemporary ethnic self-fashioning (Chan is Missing, Smoke Signals) as well as post-modern culture critique (Magnolia, Mulholland Drive).

Requirements: Midterm, final, some quizzes.

AMCULT 301 - Topics in American Culture
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
P
29456
Open
9
 
-
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
Note: Meets with JUDAIC 317.001.
002 (REC)
P
28125
Closed
0
 
-
Tu 1:00PM - 4:00PM
Note: Meets with ENGLISH 317.004.
003 (LEC)
P
28551
Closed
0
 
-
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
Note: Students will automatically be enrolled in lab 004 when they elect lecture 003.
004 (LAB)
 
28553
Closed
0
 
-
Th 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Note: Laboratory section 004 is for film screenings.
005 (LEC)
 
28554
Open
22
 
-
Tu 2:00PM - 4:00PM
Note: Students will be auto enrolled in lecture 005 when they elect a discussion section (sections 006-008). Meets with HISTORY 393.001 and CAAS 358.004.
006 (DIS)
P
28555
Open
4
 
-
Tu 4:00PM - 5:00PM
Note: Meets with HISTORY 393.002 and CAAS 358.005.
007 (DIS)
P
28556
Open
15
 
-
W 4:00PM - 5:00PM
Note: Meets with HISTORY 393.003 and CAAS 358.006.
008 (DIS)
P
28557
Open
2
 
-
Th 3:00PM - 4:00PM
Note: Meets with HISTORY 393.004 and CAAS 358.007.
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