1 Introduction: Television and Cultural Study

2 The Wasteland Mythology

Sohn, David, and Jerzy Kosinski. “A Nation of Videots.”

Gerbner, George, and Larry Gross. “Living with Television.”

Klein, Paul. “The Men Who Run TV Know Us Better than You Think.”

Barnouw, Erik. Tube of Plenty. 2nd ed. Chapters 1-2.

3-4 Television As A Cultural Form

Carey, James. “A Cultural Approach to Communication.”

Barthes, Roland. “The World of Wrestling.”

Thorburn, David. “Television as an Aesthetic Medium.”

Newcomb, Horace, and Paul M. Hirsch. “TV as a Cultural Forum.” In Television: The Critical View. 6th ed. Edited by Horace Newcomb.

Bennett, Tony. “Theories of the Media, Theories of Society.” (Suggested graduate reading.)

Uricchio, William. “There’s More to the Camera Obscura than Meets the Eye.”

5 The Broadcast Era

Barnouw, Erik. Tube of Plenty. Chapters 3-4.

Anderson, Christopher. “Disneyland.” In Newcomb.


Spigel, Lynn. “Women’s Work.” In Newcomb.

Brooks, Tim, and Earle Marsh. “Introduction.” In The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows. 7th ed.

8-9 TV Genres

Barnouw, Erik. Tube of Plenty. Chapter 5.

Thorburn, David. “Television Melodrama.” In Newcomb.

First paper due in Class #8

Alvey, Mark. “The Independents.” In Newcomb.

Jenkins, III, Henry. “Star Trek Rerun, Reread, Rewritten: Fan Writing as Textual Poaching.” In Newcomb.

Thorburn, David. “Detective Programs,” and “The Name of the Game.”

12-13 Midterm Quiz

Barnouw, Erik. Tube of Plenty. Chapter 6.

Newcomb, Horace. “The TV Artistry of Norman Lear.”

Williams, Phil. “Feeding Off the Past.” In Newcomb.


Gomery, Douglas. “Television, Hollywood, and the Development of Movies Made-for-Television.”

Thorburn, David. “Is TV Acting a Distinctive Art Form?”

Romano, John. “Act of Contrition.” American Dreams. (script)


Modleski, Tania. “The Rhythms of Reception.”

Reeves, Jimmie L. “Rewriting Newhart: A Dialogic Analysis.”

Gitlin, Todd. “Make It Look Messy.”

Take-home quiz distributed in Class #17

Gray, Herman. “The Politics of Representation in Network Television.” In Newcomb.

Byars, Jackie, and Eileen R. Meehan. “Once in a Lifetime: Constructing ‘The Working Woman’ Through Cable Narrowcasting.” In Newcomb.

Take-home quiz due in Class #19

Thorburn, David. “Interpretation and Judgment: A Reading of Lonesome Dove.”

McGrath, Charles. “The Triumph of the Prime-Time Novel.” In Newcomb.

Second paper due

Esslin, Martin. “Aristotle and the Advertisers: The Television Commercial Considered as a Form of Drama.”

22 After the Networks

Rogers, Marc, et al. “The Sopranos as HBO Brand Equity: The Art of Commerce in the Age of Digital Reproduction.”

Marc, David. “What Was Broadcasting?” In Newcomb.


Thorburn, David. “Web of Paradox.”

25 Summary Perspectives


27 Final Exam

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

theaters Lecture Videos
assignment Written Assignments