WGSS 312 Fall 2014 An American Family and "Reality" Television (W)

Cross Listed as COMP316, AMST333, ARTH310
An American Family was a popular documentary series that featured the Loud family from Santa Barbara, California, whose everyday lives were broadcast on national television. The series generated an enormous amount of media attention, commentary, and controversy when it premiered on PBS in 1973. Today, it is regarded as the origin of so-called "Reality TV." In addition to challenging standard rules for television programming, the show challenged social conventions and asked viewers to think seriously about family relations, sexuality, domesticity, and the "American dream." Documenting the family's life over the course of eight months, the series chronicled the dissolution of the Louds' marriage and broadcast the "coming out" of eldest son Lance Loud, the first star of reality television. In this class, we will view the An American Family series in its entirety, research the program's historical reception, and analyze its influence on broadcast and film media, particularly on "reality" television. A final 16- to 20-page research paper will be prepared in stages, including a 6- to 8-page midterm essay that will be revised and expanded over the course of the semester.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: class presentations, research assignments, and final 16- to 20-page research paper
Additional Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the Gaudino option
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: junior majors, followed by senior majors
Department Notes:
Material and Lab Fees:
Distribution Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ARTH or COMP; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AMST or WGSS
Divisional Attributes: Division II,Writing Intensive
Other Attributes:
Enrollment Limit: 19
Expected Enrollment: 14
Class Number: 1076
CLASSES ATTR INSTRUCTORS TIMES CLASS NUMBER ENRL CONSENT
WGSS 312 - 01 (F) SEM An American Family &Reality TV (W) Division 2: Social StudiesWriting Intensive C. Ondine Chavoya
W 1:10 PM-3:50 PM Lawrence 003 1076 Open
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