2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
    
    Mar 05, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog

SCRN 261 - Critical Perspectives on Television


This course typically explores fundamental questions about the cultural significance of television by considering a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches to television criticism, including ideological analysis, semiotics, political economy, feminist criticism, narrative, genre and critical race theories. In Fall 2023, the course will be devoted to the study of gender, queerness, and comedy. We will revisit classic theories of comedy and humor alongside contemporary queer and trans standup and comedy television, before delving into the rich archive of feminist scholarship countering centuries of myths of women as humorless beings. We will learn how, for comediennes, daring to be funny has itself long been a gender transgressive act, which they have in turn wielded to satirize patriarchy and articulate a range of feminist politics. Lastly, we will study the queer humor at work in the most perennial of TV genres: the sitcom. The final weeks of the semester will be devoted to students conducting and presenting their own original research into what comedy and humor offer trans people, queer people, and all those who buck gender norms. Weekly at-home screenings will be required with material available online.

Anticipated Terms Offered: Offered periodically