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2023-2024 Course Catalog

THTRE 2230 U.S. Cinema/U.S. Culture

3 hours


U.S. Cinema/U.S. Culture is a Creative and Performing Arts class that investigates the long-standing historical and contemporary ties between the cinema industry in Hollywood and the U.S. Government. By doing so, it provides a historical perspective on the culture of the U.S. through the study of its cinema from Edison's early experiments in the 1890s to the present. The class also asks students to consider what distinguishes U.S. cinema from other national cinemas. Through viewing and discussion of such classic Hollywood films as Birth of a Nation, Citizen Kane, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Casablanca, On the Waterfront, Tax Driver, etc. students will consider how the "defining features of a democracy" and "what it means to be a citizen of a democracy" have been represented in cinema. Throughout the semester, students will learn introductory video making vocabulary, principles and techniques and will make their own videos that communicate the principles, ideals, and theories of democracy. Note: There will be weekly viewing assignments outside of class.
(Normally offered each spring semester.)