English R1B

Reading and Composition: Love and Race in American Film

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Session Course Areas
4 Summer 2020 Hu, Jane
TWTh 4-6 C


This class examines the history of popular American cinema through its representations of love and race. We will consider the often entangled—and frequently troubling—portrayals of race and romantic love as it appears across a range of popular film genres (romantic comedy, musical, melodrama, thriller, and horror). In exploring how love and race have been linked throughout the history of Hollywood film, we will also study how these cinematic representations reflect and respond to broader shifts in American politics.     

The purpose of R1B is to advance the critical reading and essay writing skills learned in R1A, as well as to develop students’ research capacities in order to analyze and incorporate secondary sources. In addition to mandatory film screenings online and weekly viewing journals, students will also rigorously draft, peer-edit, and revise toward writing a final research paper.    

Possible films will include: The Cheat (1915); Broken Blossoms (1919); Gone With the Wind (1939); Imitation of Life (1959); The Crimson Kimono (1959); West Side Story (1961); Flower Drum Song (1961); Moonlight (2016); Get Out (2017); The Big Sick (2017).    

A selection of readings will be made available to students over bCourses.    

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