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Integrative Arts (INART 010)

Course Information


Texts and Course Description

Texts: Robert C. Toll, The Entertainment Machine, and David W. Stowe, Swing Changes. You will also be required to read a number of photocopied essays (distributed in class).
INART 010 is an introduction to mass-media art in the U.S.--to the "popular" arts in electronic culture. It examines the roles that art--mediated by radio, film, television, and the phonograph--plays in American popular culture, relating individuals to the values and assumptions of their culture. Thus, the course also serves as an introduction to cultural studies. It acquaints students with analytical languages adequate for conceptualizing mass media, and it provides them with a context for examining attitudes and assumptions towards popular arts--arts that are culturally ambiguous, blurring distinctions between what is perceived as serious and what is considered entertaining. We focus on "popular" arts for several reasons: (1) they are familiar and, hopefully, nonthreatening; (2) they require a multi-disciplinary approach to problem solving; and (3) they pose major problems for, and offer new possibilities to, the traditional categories of cultural criticism.

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Requirements

(Note: Keep all materials returned to you. Back up your work!)

Papers:
Three, 100-point papers, corresponding to the three units of the course. Papers should be approximately 1000-2000 words each; submitted both as hard copy and on a floppy disk reserved for course work in INART 010. I will evaluate all written work on grammar and style as well as "content." By enrolling in this course, you grant permission to have your work posted on the World Wide Web (W3).

Paper #1--a "documentary drama" on the development of some medium crucial to the development of the popular arts in America.

Paper #2--a "genealogy" of a mass-media art(ist) (e.g., the radio drama, TV sitcom, Elvis Presley, comic books, Amos & Andy, Buster Keaton, film melodrama, or techno music). Your genealogy, after it has been hyperlinked to genealogies written by classmates, will be exhibited on the W3.

Paper #3--a media self-portrait in the form of a mystory or, if the class chooses, a final exam (essay format).

Journal:
Instead of issuing short-answer daily quizzes that test your knowledge of assigned readings, I am requiring that you keep a journal that discusses course readings. The first class meeting of every week (except the first), you will submit a short--approximately one-page--exploratory essay that responds to material introduced in the reading assignment for that week. These journal entries should use course readings as a departure point for speculation (interesting questions raised) about the relationship between various arts and media. For more details, click here. This assignment is worth 150 total points: 15 journal entries, worth 10 points each. A journal entry submitted late will receive a reduction in grade (a maximum of half credit).

Class Discussion:
Put negatively, if you do not like to attend class, complete regular reading assignments, share your work with peers, and have participation required of you, you should either not take this course or you should settle for a grade lower than your written work might otherwise warrant. 50 totally subjective points for class participation.

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House Keeping and Fine Print

If you miss class six or more times, you will receive a failing grade--unless you drop the course. In one sense, there is no such thing as an excused absence. A missed class means missed material. If you are unable to attend class, perhaps because of illness or a death in your family, that situation will be dealt with individually. Never, when you miss class, ask me if you missed anything. There are no make-up assignments; any missed notes should be copied from another student. My office hours are posted, but I am willing to make appointments to meet at other times. My phone number is (717) 771-4157 (office).

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Outline and Schedule

This course satisfies a baccalaureate degree requirement in the Arts. It is divided into three broad units. In Unit One, we trace the development of four mass media--motion pictures, phonograph, radio, and television--and glance at another--hypertext. In Unit Two, we focus on the popular arts in America and how they were affected (enabled and constrained) by mass media. In Unit Three, we shift our attention from instruments (mass media and popular arts) to audience: to what Carolyn Marvin calls "the drama for power, authority, representation, and knowledge" that motivates technological and artistic activity.


UNIT ONE: THE DEVELOPMENT OF MASS MEDIA
A. ANTECEDENTS: MASS COMMUNICATIONS--ORALITY

WEEK 1
AUG 27 Introduction
AUG 29 Ong, from Orality and Literacy

B. ANTECEDENTS: MASS COMMUNICATIONS--LITERACY

WEEK 2--READ: Toll, pp. vii-15; Marvin handout
SEP 1 Labor Day--Class Dismissed
SEP 3 Gutenberg Revolution
SEP 5 Five Proto-Mass Media

C. MASS MEDIA IN THE 20TH CENTURY--RADIO

WEEK 3--READ: Toll, pp. 46-74
SEP 8 Empire of the Air
SEP 10 Empire of the Air (cont.)
SEP 12 Discussion of Paper #1

D. MASS MEDIA IN THE 20TH CENTURY--MOTION PICTURES

WEEK 4--READ: Toll, pp. 16-45
SEP 15 Hollywood Formal Paradigm
SEP 17 Hollywood Thematic Paradigm
SEP 19 Class Dismissed (Dept. Meeting at U.P.)

E. MASS MEDIA IN THE 20TH CENTURY--PHONOGRAPH

WEEK 5--READ: Ray and Goodwin handouts
SEP 22 Grammaphonology
SEP 24 Ray, "Tracking"
SEP 26 Goodwin, Sampling & the Right to Copy

F. MASS MEDIA IN THE 20TH CENTURY--TELEVISION

WEEK 6--READ: Kinder handout
SEP 29 Case Study: Nintendo
OCT 1 Case Study: Students' Choice
OCT 3 Case Study: Students' Choice

UNIT TWO: POPULAR ARTS AND THE MEDIA
A. WESTERNS AND THE MEDIA

WEEK 7--READ: Toll, pp. 75-99; Hoberman handout
OCT 6 Paper #1 Due
OCT 8 Lévi-Strauss, Home on the Range
OCT 10 Lévi-Strauss, Home on the Range

B. POPULAR MUSIC AND THE MEDIA

WEEK 8--READ: Toll, pp. 100-127; Jarrett, Rock n' Roll
OCT 13 Toll
OCT 15 Case Study: Jazz
OCT 17 Case Study: Rock 'n' Roll

C. MUSICALS AND THE MEDIA

WEEK 9--READ: Toll, pp. 128-156
OCT 20 Case Study: Busby Berkeley; MGM
OCT 22 Case Study: Music Video
OCT 24 Class Dismissed
D. CRIME AND THE MEDIA

WEEK 10--READ: Toll, pp. 157-181; Ray, from A Certain Tendency...
OCT 27 Toll
OCT 29 Ray, Left and Right Cycles
OCT 31 Work on Paper #2

E. SEXUALITY AND THE MEDIA

WEEK 11--READ: Toll, pp. 182-210; Frith & McClary handouts
NOV 3 Paper #2 due; Toll
NOV 5 Case Study: Students' Choice
NOV 7 Case Study: Students' Choice

F. COMEDY AND THE MEDIA

WEEK 12--READ: Toll, pp. 211-244
NOV 10 Toll
NOV 12 Case Study: Nichols and May
NOV 14 Case Study: Lynda Barry

UNIT THREE: MASS MEDIA ARTS AND IDENTITY
A. MASS MEDIA ART AS CULTURAL DIALOGUE

WEEK 13--READ: Stowe, Chapters 1-2
NOV 17 Paper #2 linked and exhibited
NOV 19 Ideology and Hegemony
NOV 21 Semiotics

B. MASS MEDIA AND COMMUNITY

WEEK 14--READ: Stowe, Chapters 3-4
NOV 24 Homology
NOV 26 Paper #3 Discussion
NOV 28 Thanksgiving Break--Class Dismissed

C. MASS MEDIA AND THE INDIVIDUAL

WEEK 15--READ: Stowe, Chapters 5-6
DEC 1 Style as Commun(icat)ion
DEC 3 Style as Refusal
DEC 5 Paper #3 Discussion

D. CASE STUDY

WEEK 16--READ: No assigned reading
DEC 8 Case Study: Students' Choice
DEC 10 Case Study: Students' Choice
DEC 12 Paper #3 Due


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