Prof. David Thorburn
MIT Course Number
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This course features exemplary video. The viewing list of representative programs distills a mini-history of prime time TV.
The subtitle of this course for the spring 2003 term is "American Television: A Cultural History." The class takes a cultural approach to television's evolution as a technology and system of representation, considering television as a system of storytelling and myth-making, and as a cultural practice, studied from anthropological, literary, and cinematic perspectives. The course focuses on prime-time commercial broadcasting, the medium's technological and economic history, and theoretical perspectives. There is much required viewing as well as readings in media theory and cultural interpretation.