English 190

Research Seminar: Mass Entertainment in 1930s Hollywood


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
11 Spring 2012 Knapp, Jeffrey
Knapp, Jeffrey
TTh 3:30-5 new room: 237 Cory

Other Readings and Media

Most of the movies for the course will be available for rent or purchase from iTunes or Amazon Instant Video.  You will be able to view all of them for free at the Media Resources Center in Moffitt Library.

Texts for discussion will be posted on bSpace whenever possible; for texts that cannot be posted, there will be a Course Reader.

Description

Hollywood movies have always been treated as examples of mass entertainment, but rarely as analyses of the phenomenon.  We'll be exploring a wide range of 1930s Hollywood film -- from gangster pictures to cartoons, musicals, comedies, melodramas, and westerns -- to see how these movies represent mass culture and their own place within it.  We'll also compare the movies to contemporaneous accounts of mass entertainment and mass culture by such theorists as Walter Benjamin, Clement Greenberg, Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, and Edward Bernays.  And finally, we'll consider film in relation to other contemporaneous forms of mass entertainment such as the newspaper, radio, and (in its infancy) television.

English 190 replaced English 100 and 150 as of Fall '09. English majors may fulfill the seminar requirement for the major by taking one section of English 190 (or by having taken either English 100 or English 150 before Fall '09). Please read the paragraph on page 2 of the Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course.

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.

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