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Students will write a 3-5 page analysis paper that focuses on at least one film from each of the first 2 thematic units covered in the course. Students are expected to write about films they have not analyzed for their screening reports. They are expected to discuss how the major theme is represented in the film, how that representation mirrored American society (or stands in contrast to it), etc. Students are expected to use not only the films as sources but also the assigned readings to present their analytical argument. Papers are to be properly formatted (Double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12pt font, 1 inch margins) and cited (Chicago Style, MLA, APA—pick one and stay consistent).
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HIST 106 (01): History Through Film
Spring 2019
Time: MWF 10:00 am-10:50am
Location: Edwards Room 252
Instructor: Renee Searfoss
Email: [email protected]
Office: Kimbel 221
Office Hours: MWF 11am-12:30pm, or by appointment
Course Description: This course explores historical interpretations of modern human
experiences. Topics will be chosen by the instructor and may be repeated for up to six credit
hours under different topics. This course in particular explores the ways in which Hollywood
films reconstruct the historical past and how those reconstructions impact the public and our
shared memories of our past. Films are cultural texts and historical artifacts in of themselves and
will be treated and analyzed as such in the course—we will interrogate the context in which the
films were made, who made them, what mythologies and narratives are presented on screen, who
is represented on screen and how (and who is not), and how movies have long term influence on
the creation of public memory and consciousness.
The course is arranged thematically and chronologically. We will investigate the representation
of race, class, and gender in thematic units and how narratives dealing with those topics changed
over time (or not). Film as an art and an industry is well over a hundred years old—this course is
an introduction to the process of interrogating films as historical texts, not an exhaustive history
of the industry and its impact.
Course Objectives:
1. Introduce films as historical objects to be interrogated and analyzed as both primary and
secondary sources and how they compare to other historical sources.
2. Analyze films as conduits for ideologies, mythologies, and narratives that have
contributed to the creation and perpetuation of cultural power structures; and how films
have been conduits for criticism and opposition to cultural power structures.
3. Analyze how films impact us as individuals and how we process historical information.
4. Analyze how cultural and societal changes are represented on screen and how the
industrial structure of film production impacts the final product.
Student Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. Identify films as historical artifacts to be analyzed and compare and contrast them with
other historical sources.
2. Discuss how Hollywood films have helped to create and perpetuate cultural power
structures, specifically in the United States, and how they have also criticized or
undermine those very same power structures.
3. Discuss how films have influenced themselves personally, how emotional responses to
film can color their views of the past, and how films have impacted the creation of
cultural memory.
4. Discuss the continuing cultural conversations within film and between film and the larger
society and how those dialogues manifest on-screen, particularly in reference to race,
gender, and class.
Core Course Student Learning Objectives:
1. Read for comprehension; write for a specific audience and purpose, employing
discipline-specific language; locate, evaluate, and apply information appropriate to a
specific audience and purpose
2. Identify arguments; evaluate arguments through reasoning; formulate arguments for a
thesis
3. Apply the methods of inquiry in the humanities; critically interpret forms of human
expression
Course Requirements:
Films will be viewed during class each week with the requirement of 2 additional viewings
outside of class for each thematic unit. Assigned readings are expected to be completed before
class meetings in order for students to fully engage with the films and in class discussions. This
course will center on screenings and discussion, not so much on didactic lectures by the
instructor, so student preparation and participation is essential for success.
Graded Assignments:
Screening Journal: Each student is required to keep a screening journal in which to write notes,
questions, and thoughts about each film viewed in and out of class. That means each student
should have their journal with them each class period. These journals are meant to help students
engage with the films and the weekly readings, participate in class discussions, and form a
foundation for other assigned work. Most Fridays (as noted on the course calendar), students
will post at least one journal entry on Moodle by 5pm. 5pts/entry
Screening Reports: Students will turn in two screening reports throughout the semester,
covering a thematic unit, analyzing one (or more) of the films viewed outside of class. The
reports should be about 2 pages in length and focus on comparing and contrasting a film (or
films) with the readings in the unit. Reports should be turned in, hard copy, within two weeks of
the end of a unit. 20pts/report
Midterm Paper: Students will write a 3-5 page analysis paper that focuses on at least one film
from each of the first 2 thematic units covered in the course. Students are expected to write about
films they have not analyzed for their screening reports. They are expected to discuss how the
major theme is represented in the film, how that representation mirrored American society (or
stands in contrast to it), etc. Students are expected to use not only the films as sources but also
the assigned readings to present their analytical argument. Papers are to be properly formatted
(Double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12pt font, 1 inch margins) and cited (Chicago Style, MLA,
APA—pick one and stay consistent). A hard copy, stapled, will be due in class, March 8th.
100pts
Final Paper: Students will write a 6-8 page paper that focuses on at least one film from at least
two of the thematic units covered in the course. Students are expected to write about films they
have not analyzed for their screening reports or the midterm. They are expected to discuss how
the major theme is represented in the film, how that representation mirrored American society
(or stands in contrast to it), etc. Students are expected to use three different sources—the films,
the assigned readings, and one extra source (i. e., article, interview, opinion piece) that directly
relates to the films discussed. There should be one extra source for each film analyzed. Papers
are to be properly formatted (Double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12pt font, 1 inch margins) and
cited (Chicago Style, MLA, APA—pick one and stay consistent). Final papers (hard copy,
stapled) are due during the final exam period for this class. 100pts
Grading Policy: All assignments are graded on a simple point scale, no weighted grades.
Midterm and Final Papers:
90-100=A
80-89= B
70-79=C
60-69=D
0-59=F
Screening Reports:
18-20=A
16-17=B
14-15=C
12-13=D
0-11=F
Journal Entries:
4.5-5=A
4=B
3.5=C
3=D
0-2.5=F
Attendance Policy:
Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class, in accordance with University
policy. Regular attendance is highly recommended to achieve success in this class. Per CCU
regulations, attendance is required for all survey courses. Students that miss 25% or more classes
risk an automatic fail. The following are considered to be valid circumstances for student
absence:
a. Incapacitating illness or condition – limited to the number of absences that a faculty member
determines to be a balance between accommodating the illness/condition and ensuring sufficient
participation in class activities.
b. Accommodation for a disability, working in conjunction with Accessibility and Disability
Services.
c. Official representation of the University (excuses for official representation of the University
should be obtained from the official supervising the activity).
d. Death of a close relative.
e. Religious holidays (A list of primary sacred times for world religions can be found online at
www.interfaithcalendar.org.)
f. Active military duty or assignment.
g. Official University closings.
h. Compliance with a subpoena.
Absences excused under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. a. Please see UNIVTIX 469 Pregnancy or Parenting Students.
Late and Make-Up Work:
Any work missed due to absence remains the responsibility of the student. This includes
viewing films shown in class. Students must contact the instructor to arrange any make-up work.
The instructor is not obligated to allow a student to turn in make-up work for unexcused
absences. Please communicate with me regarding absences and make-up work in a timely
manner. Work turned in late without an excused absence will have a half-letter grade penalty
applied for each day it’s late.
Plagiarism/Cheating:
DON’T DO IT.
a. Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to, the following:
(i) borrowing words, sentences, ideas, conclusions, examples and/or organization of an
assignment without proper acknowledgment from a source (for example, a book, article,
electronic documents, or another student’s paper);
(ii) submitting another person’s work in place of his/her own;
(iii) allowing someone else to revise, correct or edit an assignment without explicit permission
of the instructor;
(iv) submitting work without proper acknowledgment from commercial firms, Web sites,
fraternity or sorority files or any other outside sources, whether purchased or not;
(v) allowing another person to substitute any part of a course for them, including quizzes, tests,
and final examinations;
(vi) submitting any written assignments done with the assistance of another without the explicit
permission of the instructor;
(vii) submitting work that was originally prepared for another class without the explicit
permission of the instructor;
(viii) knowingly aiding another student who is engaged in plagiarism.
b. Examples of cheating and attempted cheating include, but are not limited to, the
following:
(i) using or intending to use unauthorized information, materials or assistance of any kind for an
assignment, quiz, test, or final examination;
(ii) knowingly aiding or attempting to aid another student who is engaged in cheating.
Plagiarism or any form of cheating will result in an FX for the class.
Student Resources:
Please take advantage of the numerous resources available to you here on campus. In particular,
the writing center, since this course has a significant writing component. The faculty and staff
are here to support and aid you in your growth as a student and as a person.
Writing Center
Kearns Hall 205
843-349-2937
[email protected]
Academic Coaching Experience Department:
This new department specializes in providing students with one on one coaching that helps them
develop general skills that can be applied in all their courses—skills that include, note-taking,
reading scholarly works, time management, study skills, etc. I highly recommend this
department for all students.
Kearns Hall 107A
843-349-4001
[email protected]
Tech Support:
The Student Computing Services (SCS) Tech Support Center is available to help students with
computing tips and various technology issues. Whether it’s a virus or just a general question, the
SCS staff and student technicians in the Tech Support Center are here for you.
Kearns Hall 113
Tech Support: 843-349-2220
Monday – Thursday | 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday | 2 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Computer Labs:
Student Computing Services operates a number of labs on campus with a variety of resources
and SCS Student Assistants available in them. These labs serve as resources to enhance and
promote student academic growth. Most labs have laser printers available for printing, along
with other resources (as indicated in table below). The staff in the labs will help and assist you
with any questions you have regarding the usage of these resources. Link to lab locations and
hours of operation: http://www.coastal.edu/services/scs/computinglabs/
Learning Assistance Center:
Provides free assistance and tutoring for students. Includes the writing center, a wonderful
resource for students. Link to writing center: http://www.coastal.edu/writingcenter/
Accessibility and Disability:
Coastal Carolina University is committed to equitable access and inclusion of individuals with
disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act. Individuals seeking reasonable accommodations should contact Accessibility
& Disability Services (843-349-2503 or https://www.coastal.edu/disabilityservices/).
Accessibility and Disability Services offers students with physical, psychological or learning
disabilities accommodations and assistance. With appropriate documentation, counselors
determine accommodations needed to assist students in taking full advantage of their Coastal
Carolina University educational opportunities. On-going disability coaching is offered to assist
students with disabilities to help ensure their success at Coastal Carolina University. To access
services and accommodations, students should register with the office, obtain documentation of
the disability and make an appointment with a staff member.
http://www.coastal.edu/disabilityservices/
Counseling Services:
Counseling services are offered to Coastal Carolina University students to assist students in
defining and accomplishing their personal and academic goals. Priorities of the service include:
1. Treatment of mental health concerns
2. Prevention of psychological difficulties
3. Educating students to live emotionally and behaviorally healthy lives, and
4. Contributing to a healthy campus environment.
http://www.coastal.edu/counseling/
General Classroom Etiquette:
1. Respect. Everyone is expected to treat each other with respect. This does not preclude
debate or lively discussion but keep it clean.
2. Students are expected to arrive on time and stay for the entire class. We are all trapped
here. (If you must leave early, let me know and sit by the door so you can slip out more
easily.)
3. Please don’t sleep.
4. Put away the phones. I will give a warning or two and then start kicking people out.
Almost nothing is so important you can’t step away for a class period.
5. Refrain from any and all other types of disruptive behavior.
The instructor reserves the right to make changes to the schedule and syllabus. These
changes will be announced in class.
Required Reading:
America on Film: Representing Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality at the Movies, 2nd
Edition
Acquire and start the assigned reading as soon as possible. All students are responsible for
the information in the text.
Online readings via Moodle will be assigned throughout the semester. Be sure to check for
these additional readings weekly.
Course Outline and Assignments:
Unit One: Race
Week 1: January 14-January 18


Introduction, Syllabus Overview
Readings: America on Film, Chapters 1-2; readings on Moodle
Week 2: January 21-January 25




No Class on Monday
Film: start Birth of a Nation
Readings: America on Film, Chapters 3-4; readings on Moodle
Friday: Journal entry due via Moodle
Week 3: January 28-February 1



Film: finish Birth of a Nation; start Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
Readings: America on Film, Chapter 4; readings on Moodle
Friday: Journal entry due via Moodle
Week 4: February 4-February 8



Film: finish Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
Readings: America on Film, Chapter 5; readings on Moodle
Friday: Journal entry due via Moodle
Week 5: February 11-February 15



Film: start Get Out
Readings: America on Film, Chapters 6-7
Friday: Journal entry due via Moodle
Week 6: February 18-February 22



Film: finish Get Out and the race unit
Readings: America on Film, Chapter 10; readings on Moodle
Friday: Journal entry due via Moodle
Unit 2: Gender
Week 7: February 25-March 1



Film: The Women
Readings: America on Film, Chapter 11; readings on Moodle
Friday: Journal entry due via Moodle
Week 8: March 4-March 8



Film: 9 to 5
Readings: America on Film, Chapter 13; readings on Moodle
Midterm Paper: Due in class Friday March 8th
Week 9: March 11-March 15 SPRING BREAK
Week 10: March 18-March 22



Film: start Moonlight
Readings: America on Film, Chapters 12,14,15; readings on Moodle
Friday: Journal entry due via Moodle
Week 11: March 25-March 29



Film: finish Moonlight and gender unit
Readings: on Moodle
Friday: Journal entry due via Moodle
Unit 3: Class
Week 12: April 1-April 5



Film: The Grapes of Wrath
Readings: America on Film, Chapter 8; readings on Moodle
Friday: Journal entry due via Moodle
Week 13: April 8-April 12



Film: finish The Grapes of Wrath, start Salt of the Earth
Readings: America on Film, Chapter 9; readings on Moodle
Friday: Journal entry due via Moodle
Week 14: April 15-April 19



Film: finish Salt of the Earth
Readings: on Moodle
Friday: Journal entry due via Moodle
Week 15: April 22-April 26



Film: start Norma Rae
Readings: on Moodle
Friday: Journal entry due via Moodle
Week 16: April 29-May 1


Film: finish Norma Rae
Wrap up
FINAL PAPER TURN IN: WEDNESDAY, MAY 8th 11am
Additional Films
Suggestions for required additional film screenings (two per unit) outside of class:
*Note: this is not an exhaustive list—if you have another film in mind, just run it by me.
Unit 1: Race
Cabin in the Sky (1943)
Pinky (1949)
Superfly (1972)
The Color Purple (1985)
Sgt. Rutledge (1960)
Glory (1989)
Friday (1995)
Malcolm X (1992)
Stagecoach (1939)
The Searchers (1956)
Smoke Signals (1998)
Broken Blossoms (1919)
The Karate Kid (1984)
The Joy Luck Club (1993)
Down Argentine Way (1940)
West Side Story (1961)
El Norte (1983)
La Bamba (1987)
Frida (2002)
El Mariachi (1991)
Harold and Kumar Got to White Castle (2004)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Unit 2: Gender
It (1927)
Morocco (1930)
I’m No Angel (1933)
Footlight Parade (1933)
The Girl Can’t Help It (1956)
Pretty Woman (1990)
Thelma and Louise (1991)
Sixteen Candles (1984)
Pat and Mike (1952)
The Sheik (1921)
Public Enemy (1931)
I Was A Male War Bride (1949)
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1957)
Tootsie (1982)
Fatal Attraction (1987)
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
Girlfight (2000)
Moana (2016)
Any Disney “princess” movie
She’s Gotta Have It (1986)
First They Killed My Father (2017)
Boys Don’t Cry (1997)
Wonder Woman (2017)
Some Like it Hot (1959)
Unit 3: Class
The Immigrant (1917)
Modern Times (1936)
Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
My Man Godfrey (1936)
Stella Dallas (1937)
On the Waterfront (1952)
Rocky (1976)
Trading Places (1983)
Pretty in Pink (1986)
Silkwood (1983)
Matewan (1987)
Blue Collar (1978)
North Country (2005)
Gangs of New York (2002)
Sounder (1972)
A Place in the Sun (1951)

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