AMST 369
American History in Film Spring 2015
Division II
Cross-listed HIST 369 / AMST 369
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

Film can tell a story in ways that words alone cannot; films about history can “re-enact” the past for the purposes of entertainment. But like words, they can inform or dis-inform. Because the narrative arc requires resolution, movies may gloss over complexities. And yet, filmmakers also can deploy tools and methods that delve deeply into the intimacies of a singular life, the intricacies of a singular experience, or the nuances of a singular interaction. This course uses popular films about 19th and 20th century American history explore the following questions: What do movies about America history (generally and specifically) convey about American culture? How have depictions of ideas, events, and people in American history changed over time? What historical depictions were or are controversial, when, and why? Why have certain films about American history sustained popularity? Films include Birth of a Nation; Gone with the Wind; Casablanca; Tora! Tora! Tora!; Malcolm X; Apocalypse Now; and others.
The Class: Format: seminar; the class will meet twice weekly, with a separate weekly film screening
Limit: 25
Expected: 20
Class#: 3259
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: several reviews and short papers, and a final paper or project
Prerequisites: knowledge of American history strongly recommended
Enrollment Preferences: junior and senior History majors; then sophomores; then first years
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
HIST 369 Division II AMST 369 Division II
Attributes: HIST Group F Electives - U.S. + Canada

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