American History and Film – Part II (1970s and 1980s)

HTY 3015

This course examines from the perspective of film some of the key historical events characterizing the American society during a chronological arch of time spanning from the Watergate scandal up to the Reagan presidency and the end of the Cold war. Moving from the novelties the New Hollywood brought about in the film industry by the late ’60s, the course will be analyzed a selection of movies interpreting and/or questioning some of the social, political, and cultural themes defining the American society in the Seventies and Eighties. The course will address the issue of film as an alternative historical source and as a fundamental component of Twentieth-century North American culture, in other words, film not only records and represents history but also shapes our understanding of history. Accordingly, students will critically analyze how American political and social conflicts are portrayed and worked out on the screen. Through viewing, discussing, and writing about specific films, students will learn how to read film as cultural texts that describe, in a specifically filmic language, North American history and culture.

Credits: 3 Cr.