Early Hollywood and American Popular Culture, 1895-1945
An overview of the relation between films produced in the U.S. and political and ideological shifts in concepts of American national identity and cultural tensions in the years between the fin de siècle and the 1950s. Periods to be covered include the Progressive Era, the Jazz Age, the Depression, the New Deal, Populism, WWII and the onset of the Cold War. These eras will be considered relative to films produced by the
mainstream industry, commonly referred to as “Hollywood” by the late 1910s and early 1920s. While the course is organized as a survey, discussions, reading materials, and assignments will concentrate on developing strategies of analysis as well as on framing
new research questions.