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Entertaining Social Change

AMST 315
Spring 2019 not offered
Crosslisting: ENGL 309, FGSS 315
Certificates: Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory

Our seminar advances critical entertainment studies. The fundamental question we will bring to all texts is: how has the systemic critique of social contradictions been popularized in modern times? We will consider the diverse strategies that progressive songwriters/performers, radical historians (working with cartoonists), and mainly moviemakers have developed to entertain Americans--teach, fascinate, persuade, provoke, and move them through laughter, tears, and not least of all ideas--so that Americans will be more inclined to entertain social critique that inspires social change. We will explore the popularizing (and selling) of social critique in several genres: art (Barbara Kruger); graphic history (Howard Zinn, Paul Buhle); songs/song lyrics of protest singers (Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs); folk-rockstars such as Jackson Browne, Ani DiFranco, Father John Misty; the political development of hip-hop (Gil Scott-Heron, NWA); politically edgy comedy (Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert); and movies (Spike Lee's MALCOLM X and WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE, STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, EL NORTE, SMOKE SIGNALS, NETWORK, WHERE TO INVADE NEXT, MATEWAN, WALL STREET, THE BIG SHORT).
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS AMST
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(ENGL)(FGSS)(FILM-MN)(HRAD-MN)

Last Updated on JUN-13-2024
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