ENGL 301 Fall 2014 Politics in American Film

In this course we will examine a number of American fiction and documentary films from the 1930s to the present in an attempt to answer three fundamental questions. What does it mean to say a film is political? How do films attempt to address politics through their narratives, characters, dialogue and formal structures? How effective is film as a medium for addressing political issues, or advocating political agendas? The films discussed will range from more mainstream Hollywood features that attempt to address political issues to small-budget independent productions that engage in more radical commentaries on politics and ideology. Films to be discussed include Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, On the Waterfront, JFK, and Fahrenheit 9/11.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: one 5-page paper, one 8-10 page paper, one class presentation
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Prerequisites: a 100-level ENGL course, or a score of 5 on the AP English Literature exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level IB English
Enrollment Preference: English majors
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Divisional Attributes: Division I
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Enrollment Limit: 25
Expected Enrollment: 20
Class Number: 2015
ENGL 301 - 01 (F) SEM Politics in American Film Division 1: Languages and the Arts Christopher Beach
TR 11:20 AM-12:35 PM 62CtrThea&Dance Seminar Rm 167 2015
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