Office Hours: By Appointment course description

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Teens and American Culture in U.S. Film
Professor: Dr. Megan Biddinger

Office Hours: By Appointment


In this course, we consider U.S. films that represent teens and those that hailed teen audiences. The concept of the teenager is a relatively recent development in U.S. culture, emerging in the wake of World War II. From that moment, film has played an important role in the creation, maintenance, and revision of discourses of the teenager. Thus, one of goals will be to assess the ways that teenagers have been represented and targeted at different points in time and in different genres of film. We will place each film in its cultural, historical, and industrial context but we will also work to note recurring narrative themes, characterizations, and stylistic elements. Lastly, we will discuss the ways in which these films do (or do not) correspond to teens’ lived experiences, the ways that teens become the vessel for adults’ hopes, fears, and nostalgic longings, and the relationships (real and imagined) between teens and social change.

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