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CMS 304 A: Television Studies

Meeting Time: 
TTh 1:30pm - 3:20pm
DEN 258

Syllabus Description:



CMS 304 Television Studies          SLN: 12318

T/Th 1:35- 3:20pm                        DEN 25818AHS-master768.jpg

Please Take Note:

Because we look at contemporary TV content, students are expected to gain access to Netflix, Amazon Prime and/or Hulu by their own means. Because of the possibility of copyright infringement, the instructor will not supply access to these. YouTube Links are used as much as possible.


Contemporary TV is increasingly complicated to analyse. How should we interpret audience preferences or measure the number of ‘eyes on a given screen’, when often TV is what is watched, what is portable and what is on in the background? At the same time TV saturates our everyday, simply in different ways than that which was possible before the advent of online streaming. Has what we watch changed? Does what we watch change us? This course will look at these latter two questions, by thinking through the rise of and increased demand for ‘representational TV’. That is to say, we will look not only at the presence of an increasing range of issues – race, gender, sexuality etc. – but also we will examine how these images have changed or not over time. We will look at sequels and seasons to think about shifting ideas of continuity and character identification. We will also interrogate the seemingly new fascination with TV style documents of truth telling as they pertain to human narratives of ‘the bizarre, hidden and/ or rarely considered’ aspects of everyday life. These are often shows about people who live in specific ways; consider Hoarders, Dirty Jobs, Making a Murder or Swamp People. They often lead us to think about disability, class and criminality in America. Only our fascination could sustain their presence, but why?

CMS304 Syllabus - Contemporary TV Studies SpQ17.pdf

CMS 304 SpQ 2017 Assignment Descriptions.pdf

Obviously – everything we watch will be streaming.

 Link Catalyst GoPost for Online Discussion - Reading and Films

Catalog Description: 
Provides an overview of key issues in the study of television. Explores what television is, what television does, and how television shapes our fundamental assumptions about space, time, image, and sound.
GE Requirements Met: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
January 10, 2018 - 9:32pm