COURSE FOCUS: This class examines the history and development of television in 20th century America with the purpose of helping the student to develop a critical approach to understanding media. It presupposes some familiarity with modern popular media and takes as its content both historical and contemporary examples as a source for analysis. Class time will consist of a blending of lectures and class discussions (despite the class size) that will illustrate the critical approaches and terminology used in class. The student will be graded not on the ability to regurgitate information but rather on the ability to develop a thoughtful and considered critical approach to the material. While the class will offer occasional facts and data, the central material of the lectures is the theories, stylistic elements, and structural workings of media content. Key to making any critical approach work is the idea of practicing that approach on actual examples both in and out of class. Application of the terms and concepts of the class to media content is vital to a student to do well in this course.
GRADING POLICIES: There will be three examinations during the course
of the semester, each consisting of approximately sixty true/false and
multiple choice questions based on reading assignments, class notes, and
a practical application section known as perception. All three tests are
weighted equally with the raw scores added and compared to the class mean.
Class participation can also be a potential factor in a studentís final
grade provided that the student has made a consistent and constructive
contribution to the class; such a benefit in this size class is solely
up to the discretion of the instructor. Each examination will be curved
according to the class mean; a studentís grade will ultimately be determined
by his or her placement above or below that mean. All grades will be considered
final (unless the result of a technical or numerical error on our part),
and no extra credit will be considered. All exams must be taken at the
time and place scheduled; make-up examinations will only be given if the
student has contacted the instructor before the day of the exam and has
a legitimate and verifiable excuse relating to either a death in the immediate
family or illness on the day of the examination. In either case, the burden
of proof is on the student and will be accepted at the discretion of the
instructor. Make-up examinations are essay exams in all circumstances.
As always, the professor reserves the right to make changes in the content and form of the class as time and material permit.
TEXT: Television: Critical Methods & Applications
by Jeremy Butler ISBN 0-534-16686-5
215 Wagner Building
Office Hours: TTh 10:30 - 12:00 p.m. & by appt.
GRADUATE ASSISTANT: Margaret Smith
243 Music Building I
STUDENT ASSISTANT: Alyssa Mollo