English 166AC

Special Topics in American Cultures

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2010 Wagner, Bryan
Wagner, Bryan
TTh 2-3:30, + film screenings Mondays 7-10 P.M., 160 Kroeber Note new room: 145 Dwinelle

Other Readings and Media

Films: The Jazz Singer (Alan Crosland, 1927); The Bitter Tea of General Yen (Frank Capra, 1933); Home of the Brave (Mark Robson, 1949); The Searchers (John Ford, 1956); Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958); Imitation of Life (Douglas Sirk., 1959); West Side Story (Robert Wise, 1961); Night of the Living Dead (George Romero, 1968); The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972); Enter the Dragon (Robert Clouse, 1973); El Norte (Gregory Nava, 1983); Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989)


An introduction to critical thinking about race and ethnicity, focused on a select group of films produced in the United States between the 1920s and 1980s. Major themes include law and violence, kinship and miscegenation, passing and racial impersonation. Each film is paired with a related reading in theory or applied criticism. There will be weekly writing assignments, two short essays, a midterm and final examination.

This course satisfies UC Berkeley's American Cultures requirement.

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