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RTF 386C - Reception Studies


UNIVERSITY REGISTRAR (for course times & locations)

DESCRIPTION: We will begin our class with a brief survey of the various theories of media effects; I will posit four general causal hypotheses exist in the effects literatures of film and TV studies and mass-communication research. Then I will distinguish "effects" from the broader theoretical problems of "reception" of media that considers how people interpret and use media and media texts in their lives.  We will cover fans and fan behaviors; viewers of stars, cult media, and avant-garde; the importance of identities; the complications of violence, horror, and sexually explicit images; and the functions of memories.

We will read many of the canonical works on the reception of film, radio, television, and popular music.  For instance, I expect to include in part or total:  Martin Barker and Kate Brooks, Knowing Audiences; Daniel Cavicchi, Tramps Like Us; Michel De Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life; Daniel Dayan and Elihu Katz, Media Events; Tia DeNora, Music in Everyday Life; Alexander Doty, Making Things Perfectly Queer; Susan Douglas, Listening In; Richard Dyer, Stars; Brett Farmer, Spectacular Passions; John Fiske; David Gauntlett, Moving Experiences; Torben Grodal, Moving Pictures; Henry Jenkins, Textual Poachers; Tamar Liebes and Elihu Katz, The Export of Meaning; David Morley, Family Television; Janice Radway, Reading the Romance; Murray Smith, Engaging Characters; Janet Staiger, Interpreting Films, Perverse Spectators, and Media Reception Studies; and numerous essays. 

While this course is suitable for new (and advanced) graduate students in studies and it should be accessible to smart students in screen writing and production, it is not a course for people who hold the text sacred. We will be focusing on what people do with films, radio, and television, not necessarily what we as academic scholars might think they ought to do.