Race and US Television History
By addressing both specific programs and particular networks/channels, this course examines a range of forms taken by racial and ethnic representations on U.S. television. This course emphasizes the cultural and historical context of these programs, networks, and channels as well as audience and critical responses. Special attention will be paid to the intersection of race, civil rights, and U.S. television, including an examination of how U.S. television portrays civil rights struggles and audience responses to those portayals. In addition, this course analyzes the U.S. television industry’s use of racial and ethnic categories as branding and marketing strategies. Students will examine how discourses of blackness, whiteness, Asian-ness, and Latinidad are constructed, produced, and represented, as well as how those discourses and identities intersect, overlap, and conflict with discourses of “Americanness” and social belonging. The contemporary cultural imaginary of the United States as “colorblind” and “postracial” will also undergo examination and critique.