Criticizing Television Fall 2012. Spring 2013. Undergrad: Fulfills General Education Writing Requirement
Course Description: In this course we will critically examine television, in all its aspects, by viewing it, discussing it, reading about it, and writing about it. Television will be analyzed as cultural production and cultural participation. We will examine popular television, recognizing the significant influence this technology and media has on our individual and social experiences. To this end, we will consider all programs types, including drama, news, sports, reality TV, movies made for TV, advertising, talk shows, comedy, drama, and other modes of programming.
We will explore the concept of television and how it is used both by viewers and producers. Some key questions we will consider include:
· Quality of television: How is it decided that a particular program or genre is “good,” or “bad?” How are these values determined? How are these values communicated to, and internalized by, viewers?
· What are the aesthetic, creative, and persuasive strategies of television programming?
· What does television provide? Information? Entertainment? Education? Social cohesiveness? Pleasure? Companionship? Distraction?
· What does television offer that other contemporary media do not?
· How does TV function in the home? How does it function in public spaces? For groups? For individuals?
· Does television represent realities? Construct realities? Refute realities? What is reality? Who decides the definition of reality? How can we discern what is real or fantasy in television programming?
· How do contemporary uses of TV compare to uses of TV in the past?
· How has the Internet, social media, mobile devices and new formats changed TV?
· Do social media: blogging, tweeting, facebook and avenues of communication give audiences power to direct televised outcomes?
· Does television programming empower (or disempower) people?
· How can theoretical perspectives be used to understand television in American life? What are the underlying assumptions of theoretical perspectives? What are their strengths and limitations?
GE Second Writing CourseGoals and Objectives Criticizing Television is a GE second writing course designed to extend and refine your expository writing, critical thinking, analytic reading skills, and oral expression by exploring a topic that relates to contemporary culture in US society. In Criticizing Television, you will write both formally and informally about a variety of television texts and programming; you will use writing as a tool for exploring and developing critical responses as well as a means for persuasively communicating your ideas to others. This course also fulfills a social diversity requirement. Goals and outcomes as per current GE guidelines for are listed below:
1). Skills: A. Writing and Related Skills
Students are skilled in written communication and expression, reading, critical thinking, oral expression and visual expression.
Second Writing Course
Expected Learning Outcomes:
1. Through critical analysis, discussion, and writing, students demonstrate the ability to read carefully and express ideas effectively.
2. Students apply written, oral, and visual communication skills and conventions of academic discourse to the challenges of a specific discipline.
3. Students access and use information critically and analytically.
2). Social Diversity in the United States
Students understand the pluralistic nature of institutions, society, and culture in the United States and across the world in order to become educated, productive, and principled citizens.
REQUIRED TEXT: Television Criticism, Victoria O’Donnell (2013), second edition