Next semester I'll be teaching our very basic survey course, which is
a broad intro to the history of film, radio and television. In the past, it
has been structured with the history of the American film industry the first
half of the semester and the history of broadcasting the second half.
I would say that we've taught it basically as a social history class
focusing on media rather than a media aesthetics or styles and genres class,
although a little of that has been incorporated over the years. The primary
texts used have been Sklar's _Movie-Made America_, Barnouw's _Tube of Plenty_,
and supplemental articles. We've found that the students hate the readings and
rarely do them.
I'd like to revise the course slightly, but need suggestions about good texts
that are interesting, readable, and possibly can relate to the weekly
screenings. Articles I could incorporate into a coursepack would be okay.
I'd also take suggestions about particular films and television
shows which have worked well for people teaching history of media courses.
Any pedagogical hints would be appreciated.
I also have been wondering about how it would work to integrate the film and
broadcasting segments rather than work through the 20th century twice.
Thanks in advance,
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University of Wisconsin, Madison