ENGLISH 407 - Topics in English Language and Literature
Winter 2018, Section 001 - American Sounds: Radio Drama and Comedy 1930-1962
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:


This course has two aims: 1) to introduce you to the charms and historically charged particularities of the art of (mostly) golden-age radio drama and comedy; and 2) to recruit you into the ranks of a loosely assembled corps of performers and artists who will labor in the service of reviving radio drama and comedy.

In the pursuit of these aims you will do five things: 1) listen deeply to the work of many important midcentury radio programs and artists; 2) write two brand new 28-minute scripts along the lines of the programs we'll be exploring; 3) become a specialist in one genre of programming and 4) an expert on one particular program, and finally 5) take up arms as a participant in whatever performance endeavors we can cobble together in whatever fashion you feel best suits your talents. Our aim is to work like heck and have a blast doing it.

Radio is terrific – and it's a largely vanished art form. Reaching at least as broad an audience as the movies in mid-century America, popular network radio programs clarified and defined the American voice, created or helped canonize certain aspects of the mystery, science fiction, soap opera, and comedy genres, and depicted an American landscape in the midst of social, political, and economic transformation. These shows are enjoying a new life in the podcast and satellite radio era, and dedicated coteries of new enthusiasts are rediscovering this corner of the golden era of American genre writing. It'll be our privilege and our pleasure to uncover what was – and to make what was what is again.


ENGLISH 407 - Topics in English Language and Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
002 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
003 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
004 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM

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