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HIS 370 Syllabus

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1 AMS/ HIS/ WGS 370: Advertising and American Society Mon./Wed. 8:30 A.M.-9:50 A.M., KEI 210, Spring 2010 Professor: Dr. E. Westkaemper E-mail: [email protected] Office: Stager 309 Office Hours: Mon. 10:30-11:30 AM; Mon. 3:00-4:00 PM; Wed. 10:30-11:30 AM. Other days and times arranged by appointment. Office phone: 291-3906 This course evaluates the history of advertising in the U.S., paying particular attention to the creation and reception of national, mass-mediated marketing from the late nineteenth century through the mid twentieth century. Print, radio, and television ads sold more than products themselves, promoting images and ideals that consumers used to communicate their social identities. Selections from literature, film, television, and art will provoke discussion of the American advertising industry’s functions as both an employer and a symbol. In addition, students will consider the intersections of advertising, politics, and art. Assignments require close analyses of advertisements from the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries, using these primary sources to assess scholarly works on the history of consumer culture. Grade Distribution: Class participation/ discussion: 20% Midterm exam: 15% (in class March 10) Final paper proposal: 5% (completed in class March 29) Final paper: 20% (5-7 pages minimum, due in class April 28) Final exam: 15% (date determined by registrar) Analytical response papers: 25% (five 2-3 page papers over the semester, each paper 5% of final grade) Reading assignments: T. J. Jackson Lears, Fables of Abundance: A Cultural History of Advertising in America (Basic Books, 1995). Bruce Barton, The Man Nobody Knows (Ivan R. Dee Publisher, 2000). Joe McGinniss, The Selling of the President: The Classic Account of the Packaging of a Candidate (Penguin, 1988). Sloan Wilson, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (Da Capo Press, 2002). Selections from the following, in pdf format, course e-Disk folder: Beth Bailey, America’s Army: Making the All-Volunteer Force (Harvard University Press, 2009). William L. Bird, Jr., “Better Living”: Advertising, Media, and the New Vocabulary of Business Leadership, 1935-1955 (Northwestern University Press, 1999). Jason Chambers, Madison Avenue and the Color Line: African Americans in the Advertising Industry (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008).2 Simone Weil Davis, Living Up to the Ads: Gender Fictions of the 1920s (Duke University Press, 2000). Thomas Frank, The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism (The University of Chicago Press, 1997). Erving Goffman. Gender Advertisements (Harper & Rowe, 1979). Vicki Howard. Brides, Inc.: American Weddings and the Business of Tradition (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006). Roland Marchand. Advertising the American Dream: Making Way for Modernity, 1920-1940 (University of California Press, 1985). Herman Melville, “The Lightning Rod Man” (1856). Kathy M. Newman, Radio Active: Advertising and Consumer Activism, 1935-1947 (University of California Press, 2004). Jennifer Scanlon, Inarticulate Longings: The Ladies’ Home Journal, Gender, and the Promises of Consumer Culture (Routledge, 1995). Course Requirements: At all times, students are expected to show respect to their classmates and to their professor. Cell phone use, internet use, talking, and tardiness are disruptive to others and detrimental to all students’ success in the course. Do not disrupt others by speaking when someone else is speaking. Silence cell phones before class. Do not access computers or phones during class. (This includes checking and sending text messages.) Do not arrive to class late. Important announcements occur at the beginning of class, and you must be there. The only justifiable reason for leaving the room in the middle of class is a true medical emergency. Attendance and Participation: Readings, class discussions, lectures, films, and writing assignments all play a crucial role in the course. Class attendance is mandatory. Reading assignments do not repeat the information covered in class, and you will need the information from lectures to contextualize your readings for exams and papers. Reading assignments must be completed before the indicated class. I will assess class discussions and in-class activities for application of substantive material from reading and lecture as background for original analysis. Students can consult me about their in-class performance at any time during the semester. Each student is allowed three unexcused absences without penalty. These absences allow for classes missed due to minor illnesses or small personal emergencies. Each late arrival or early departure from class (by five minutes or more) counts as one-half of an absence. There will be a ten percent deduction from the discussion grade for each unexcused absence over the allowed limit. Only students who miss class due to religious observance, court appearance, inter- collegiate athletic competition, or an extenuating circumstance documented by3 communication to me from a dean or from Health Services can be “excused” for class absences or for late assignments. Invalid excuses for missing/late work include (but are not limited to) commitments to an employer, technological difficulties, oversleeping, and vacations. Make-up exams are possible only in the case of justified emergencies. Students should notify me about excused absences as soon as possible, and all documentation of absences must be received no later than April 28. Analytical response papers: Each student must complete five short analytical papers before the end of the semester, selecting from seven possible due dates. These papers (between two full double-spaced pages and three double-spaced pages, 12 or 10 point font, one inch margins) must apply material from readings and lectures to analyze an advertisement located through the student’s original research. Acceptable sources for these advertisements are the academic web resources listed on this syllabus (pages 5-6), and bound copies of periodicals available on the lowest level of the Shadek-Fackenthal Library. All other sources (including any websites not introduced in class) must be approved in advance. With these papers, students must submit a printed copy of the advertisement being analyzed, and they must identify the website or periodical used, along with all information


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