Close that history book and turn on the TV! History has been recorded through oral traditions, artifacts, print, film, and even television documentaries and news programs. But what about non-reality TV? What can fictional programs tell us about real history? Let’s study the history of American culture through the lens of the most controversial situation comedy, All in the Family, and find out.
This course will allow students to develop an understanding of, and appreciation for, the power of the situation comedy as an historical tool; Students will explore the sitcom All in the Family. Students will examine it’s political correctness as an historical representation of it’s time, exploring this genre through readings, videos and writing – including writing a contemporary version of the classic sitcom.
Course Goals & Objectives:
This course will expand the department’s common curriculum, offering students a chance to think and write critically about a period of U.S. history vis-à-vis pop culture. Students will learn how to use television as a medium that demonstrates the values and situated ness of time and place. Using the series as text, students will draw upon the issues presented to reflect on racial, gender, and societal norms and will analyze characters and story arcs to form a critique of American society.