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Title: ENGL 381-01, American Television, Spring 2013
Authors: Richards, Rashna
Keywords: English, Department of;Syllabus;Academic departments;Text;2012 Spring
Issue Date: 9-Jan-2013
Publisher: Memphis, Tenn. : Rhodes College
Series/Report no.: Syllabi CRN;23293
Abstract: "Wake up, turn on the television, get ready, leave for work/school, go home, turn on the television, sleep: a fairly standard day in the life of the average person in a developed nation," argues Jonathan Gray. Since the 1950s, the ritualistic practice of TV viewing has become embedded in American cultural life. Television is both a technological apparatus and a socio-political force; it educates, informs, entertains, and functions, as Larry Gelbart put it, as "a weapon of mass distraction." TV has been criticized for promoting inanities and praised for advancing democratic culture. This course offers an examination of American television as cultural communication, paying close attention to its texts and technologies, contexts and audiences. While we will sample historical perspectives, our primary focus will remain on developments in the era of cable and satellite television and television's future in digital convergence. The semester will begin with a consideration of how media scholars have conceptualized and theorized television. Then we will examine particular TV genres and investigate the impact of new media and globalization on twenty-first-century television. Finally, we will turn to AMC's Mad Men to explore how this drama, set at a time when TV first became an integral part of "the life of the average person in a developed nation," tells the story of American discontent in the post-9/11 era. Prerequisite: Any 200-level film class, preferably ENGL 202, or permission from instructor.
Description: This syllabus was submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs by the course instructor. Uploaded by Archives RSA Josephine Hill.
Appears in Collections:Course Syllabi

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