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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jennifer Ann Myers
T FILM 485
Tacoma Campus

Media Genres

Study of genre, the thematic classification of films (e.g. westerns, musicals) and television programming. Topics vary, but can include comedy, news/documentary, musical, and social-problem melodramas.

Class description

Defined by crime, violence, and charismatic, street-savvy anti-heroes, Gangster films have been and continue to be one of the most popular film genres since their inception in the 1930s. In addition to providing an overview of the development of the genre, this course will explore each film’s historical context as well as the mythology and ideology – through the lenses of race, class, ethnicity, and gender – of the gangster narrative. Moreover, we will consider how the gangster film has developed in accordance with other genres, styles, and mediums, including Film Noir, the Western, the melodrama, the blockbuster, the Hollywood Renaissance art film, the rise of the cable television series, and the current image of the “gangsta” in popular culture. Films may include: The Public Enemy (Wellman, 1931), White Heat (Walsh, 19949), The Godfather (Coppola, 1972), Mean Streets (Scorsese, 1973), Goodfellas (Scorsese, 1990), Boyz n the Hood (Singleton, 1991), American Gangster (Scott, 2007); as well as episodes from The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Jennifer Ann Myers
Date: 02/08/2014