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FILM 7.15 Women & Comedy in Film.

This is a course guide for FILM 7.15 with Joanna Rapf.

Course description

This seminar focuses specifically on women in film comedy in the United States, from the early twentieth century to the present day. In exploring this subject, students will be asked to think and write about what cultural factors have led some to argue that women aren’t funny, and why the field of comedy has traditionally been dominated by men. We will interrogate Hollywood's hegemony by calling attention to and studying the attitudes women endorse, the roles women play, and the stereotypes they reinforce or challenge. With an emphasis on writing, students in this class will be asked to keep a journal dealing with specific topics each week. There will also be three papers of increasing complexity: a response paper, an argument, and a substantial research paper, the topic of which will be developed with the instructor around the middle of the term. With all three, there will be ample opportunity for revision. Through close “readings” of films, students should not only improve their writing, but also their visual literacy. Our approach encourages a reassessment of film history and new ways of thinking about the potential women have for influencing society through laughter. A society without laughter is not a free society.

[Source:IWR, Winter 2024]

In the Library's collections

You can use one of these subject headings to start your research in the library's online catalog:

Introductory reading(s)

Selected book title(s)

Other library resource(s)

Finding scholarly articles & journal title(s)

You can find scholarly literature for women and comedy in film in a variety of journals. However, if you want to do targeted searching, you can use a subject specific data such as Film & Television Literature Index. You can also use the search box at the top of the page.

Internet resource(s)

Citing and Tracking Your Bibliographic References

Use this guide to help you learn how to correctly cite and keep track of the references you find for your research.

Keeping up with Film Studies journal literature

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