Thursday, March 24, 2005

Fall 2005 Comm Arts seminar: Michele Hilmes

This seminar that Michele is going to offer in the Fall dovetails nicely with some of the themes of our seminar.

CA950:  Transnational Media Histories                              Fall 2005
Professor Michele Hilmes                                               
Monday 1:00-3:30                                                                   3155 Vilas

 Too often histories of media, particularly broadcasting, are written from a narrowly national perspective.  This is not surprising, since radio and television have been structured and controlled as national enterprises since the 1920s.  Even for media (usually) less centrally guided by individual nation-states -- such as film, publishing, and the Internet -- state intervention, subsidy, and regulation have been common, often centrally concerned with preserving elements of national cultures and creating defenses against the cultural incursions of other nations.

 This seminar will attempt to overcome the nationalist bias in media historiography by taking a transnational approach:  recognizing media, particularly broadcasting, as engines of national cultural production that are nevertheless centrally concerned with transnational negotiations of culture, power and identity.  Starting with the assumption that cultures define themselves relationally, often in specific opposition to or alliance with aspects of other cultures (both external and internal), we will examine the ways that the media of the twentieth and twenty-first century have gone about this enormous project of nation-building and culture-definition, not in a vacuum but in close contention with other, competing nations and cultures.  We will focus on histories of transnational influence, resistance, hybridity, opposition, and cooperation.  We will ask question such as:  what can a transnational approach add to our understanding of media?  Of national and diasporic cultures?  What historiographical problems do transnational histories pose, and how can we solve them?  Of particular interest will be the problem of Americanization,since the impact of US media and culture around the globe has often played a formative role in the cultural production of other nations.

Tentative/partial reading list/selections from:

The Television History Book, ed. Michele Hilmes (British Film Institute, 2003)

Jeffrey Miller, Something Completely Different: British Television and American Culture (Minnesota 2000)

The Media of Diaspora, ed. Karim H. Karim (Routledge 2003)

Jane Stokes, On Screen Rivals: Cinema and Television in the United States and Britain (Macmillan 1999)

Global Repertoires:  popular music within and beyond the transnational music industry ed. Andreas Gebesmair and A. Smudits (Ashgate 2002)

Rob Kroes, If Youve Seen One Youve Seen the Mall:  Europeans and American Mass Culture

At Full Speed: Hong Kong Cinema in a Borderless World, ed. Esther Yau

Hollywood and Europe:  Economics, Culture, National Identity 1945-1995 ed. Geoffrey Nowell-Smith and Steven Ricci (BFI 1998)

Jostein Gripsrud, The Dynasty Years: Hollywood Television and Critical Media Studies (Routledge 1995)

Michele Hilmes
Professor of Media and Cultural Studies
Director, Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research
Department of Communication Arts
University of Wisconsin-Madison

6040 Vilas Hall
821 University Ave.
Madison, WI  53706

608-262-9953 fax

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