This class was tough.
This course gave us a sweeping history of television in the United States. We learned what lead to its inception, television's relationship to the US government and the dissemination of the "American Dream" ideals of the post World War I period, and how its role has evolved over time. This course could be considered a social science class in that we learned much about suburban ideals, feminist discourse, civil unrests, laws/policies, and consumer politics. Professor Great brought in his background of research in America's Black New Wave and enriched the course with minority perspectives that many of us were not expecting but were so thankful to have received. I left the class with a sturdy knowledge of American history from a televisual perspective. This class changed my life. It really did! I would recommend it and Professor Great to anyone a thousand times over.
A highlight from the course were the lectures and discussions. In Cinema Studies courses, we have 4 hour lectures during which we spend two hours of proper lecturing and 2 hours of viewing the subject matter (be them films or television shows). These classes are larger and so we break apart for smaller recitations later during the week. This is where we get to develop a discourse around the lecture, the viewing, and our readings within a smaller group setting. The person who teaches the recitation is called a "TA" (teacher's assistant). Our TA was a graduate student from Iran and brought in a necessary global perspective that filled out Professor Great's American-centered one. He also had a background in governmental policy around television, so this went well with Professor Great's culturally centered perspective. This provided a rich dichotomy for us students. Everyone, teachers and students, was usually really passionate about what we were talking about and so the discussions were enlightening and intensive. Professor Great also has a background in acting and music, so his lectures took on an impassioned, perhaps even performative, quality, which always made for an extremely engaging experience.
Hours per week:
Advice for students:
Read your readings! Or else you will be of no use in class, and that is no fun. Go to each class because they are sticklers for attendance. Be prepared to really dig when you write your final paper. You will need a number of citations from a number of different sources. And develop original thought around your case study! I can't stress this enough. Those professors want to hear your thoughts, and no one else's.