Communication and Culture | Media Genres (Topic: American Film Musical)
C392 | 26077 | Doty, A.

MW, 4:00 PM-5:15 PM, 800 E. 3rd St. – room 203
Required film screening: Tu, 7:15 PM-10:15 PM, SW 007

Fulfills College A&H Requirement
Instructor: Alex Doty
Office: 800 E. 3rd St. – room 246
Phone: 856-4928

Along with the Western, the film musical is often considered a
particularly “American” genre.  This course will examine the
American film musical from various critical perspectives, including
race, gender, authorship, sexuality, genre history, stardom, and the
studio system.  Central to the syllabus will be the scholarly work
of Jane Feuer, Rick Altman, and Richard Dyer who, between them, have
set the critical terms for analyzing film musicals by considering
such concepts as entertainment, utopia, self-reflexivity, and such
forms as “the fairy tale musical,” “the folk musical,” and “the show
musical.” Each week films will be shown (at required screenings)
that cover the history of the American musical from 1932’s Love Me
Tonight to 2001’s Moulin Rouge (OK, it’s not exactly an American
musical, but it indicates how the American film musical might be
absorbed—or pastiched—into something we might call “the global
musical”). Other films scheduled for screening include The
Golddiggers of 1933, Car Wash, Stormy Weather, A Star is Born, The
Sound of Music, Showboat, and Singin’ in the Rain.  Assignments
consist of two short papers, two exams, and a final longer (7-10
pages) essay.