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21L.432 / CMS.915 Understanding Television, Spring 2003

Cartoon image of professor at blackboard that has Lucy 101 written on it.
(Image courtesy of Lilly Kam.)

Highlights of this Course

This course features writing assignments and exam topics exploring cultural aspects of television. The viewing list of representative programs distills a mini-history of prime time TV.

Course Description

The subtitle of the course for the spring 2003 term is "American Television: A Cultural History."

A cultural approach to television's evolution as a technology and system of representation. Considers television as a system of storytelling and myth-making, and as a cultural practice, studied from anthropological, literary, and cinematic perspectives. Focuses on prime-time commercial broadcasting, the medium's technological and economic history, and theoretical perspectives. Much required viewing as well as readings in media theory and cultural interpretation.



Prof. David Thorburn

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session




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