ENGL 306 Spring 2015 The Comic Mode in American Film:1930 to the Present

This course will be an examination of the film comedy as a genre that has been an important part of American cinema since its inception. We will examine several different modes of sound-era comedy, including romantic comedy, screwball comedy, slapstick comedy, parody, and mockumentary. The films viewed in this course will allow discussion of a number of key questions, including the place of comedy within the history of American film, the relationship of film comedy to other forms of popular humor, the importance of comedy as a commentary on such issues as class, race, gender, and politics, the place of performance within comedy, and the formal and narrative elements that characterize different kinds of film comedy.
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: 4045
ENGL 306 - 01 (S) SEM Comic Mode in American Film Division 1: Languages and the Arts Christopher Beach
TR 11:20 AM-12:35 PM Greylock A 4045
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