SAC 632 - Advanced Seminar in Film or Electronic/Digital Media History
Section: 001 The Television Revolution: Histories of a Medium
Term: FA 2018
Subject: Screen Arts and Cultures (SAC)
Department: LSA Screen Arts & Cultures
Waitlist Capacity:
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:

Let’s face it. Television has always been considered a lowbrow form of entertainment. In the U.S. public sphere television has been called ‘a wasteland’ and many other countries initially refused to develop television, in part based on assumptions that had no redeeming value but would only promote materialism and the dumbing-down of the population. Art, prestige, and “high culture” have rarely been associated with the medium. Still, television has always been a very popular media outlet in the U.S. and around the world. Indeed, its popularity might explain why scholars from media studies and other disciplines are paying much more attention to the so-called ‘trashy’ medium.

In this course we will examine histories of television and television in histories. That is, we will pay special attention to the ways in which television scholars have utilized particular theories, sources, and historical moments to analyze the medium and how scholars from other disciplines have connected television to specific cultural, political, and social moments in history. The goal of this class is both to learn about the medium and to understand how the medium can be a valuable source for examining broader historical, cultural, and social processes.

The class will be divided into three main parts: “Television Beginnings,” “Crises, Radical Changes, and Television” and “Television and You.” In the first part we will focus on books that analyze the incorporation of television in society. In the second part of the class, we will read books that analyze a moment of societal transition and how television responded to the particular crises or change. In the last part, we will focus on the research projects that each student will develop. The projects will include a review of a book related to the student’s research topic, a class presentation, and the formulation of a research plan. The research plan should represent the basic structure of a research paper (it is not an actual, finished paper). It will include a research question, a statement on the project’s relevance, a description of sources and their locations, and a review of the literature that addresses the theme of the project.

SAC 632 - Advanced Seminar in Film or Electronic/Digital Media History
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
2Graduate Standing
M 2:00PM - 5:00PM
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