AMCULT 301 - Topics in American Culture
Section: 005 The Hollywood Film Industry and National Identity
Term: WN 2010
Subject: American Culture (AMCULT)
Department: LSA American Culture
Credits:
3
Waitlist Capacity:
unlimited
Repeatability:
May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
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 (LEC)
 
38187
Open
20
 
-
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
Note: .
002 (DIS)
P
37273
Open
2
 
-
Th 1:00PM - 2:00PM
003 (DIS)
P
39359
Open
12
 
-
Th 2:00PM - 3:00PM
004 (DIS)
P
39493
Open
5
 
-
Th 3:00PM - 4:00PM
005 (LEC)
P
41431
Closed
0
 
-
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
Note: Students will automatically be enrolled in lab 006 when they elect lecture 005.
006 (LAB)
 
45108
Closed
0
 
-
Th 7:00PM - 9:00PM
007 (LEC)
P
45589
Open
5
 
-
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
Note: Students will automatically be enrolled in lab 008 when they elect lecture 007.
008 (LAB)
 
45590
Open
5
 
-
W 4:00PM - 6:00PM
009 (LEC)
P
45650
Open
41
 
-
Tu 6:30PM - 9:30PM
010 (LEC)
 
38185
Open
5
 
-
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
011 (DIS)
P
45105
Closed
0
 
-
M 4:00PM - 5:00PM
012 (DIS)
P
45106
Closed
0
 
-
W 12:00PM - 1:00PM
013 (DIS)
P
45107
Open
2
 
-
W 4:00PM - 5:00PM
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