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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Degree Discipline: Radio, Television and Film
"Time for Teletubbies": Childhood, Child Participation, and the Struggle for Meaning

"Time for Teletubbies": Childhood, Child Participation, and the Struggle for Meaning

Date: May 2003
Creator: Cowart, Agatha
Description: The children's television program Teletubbies and its concomitant controversies are analyzed along with the media attention surrounding the program. A textual analysis is presented, including the methodologies of narrative theory, semiotics/structuralism, and poststructuralism. The context is also analyzed, using a cultural studies and historical reception approach, in order to chronicle and analyze the show's controversies and elucidate how these arguments have affected reception and interpretation of the show. Following textual and contextual analysis, a social science approach is utilized, reviewing literature and research that supports or refutes the arguments at hand. Finally, the results of a qualitative, ethnographical study are presented in order to include the child's perspectives on the show and inform the larger, cultural issues of childhood.
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In Martha we trust?: The cultural significance of the Martha Stewart phenomenon.

In Martha we trust?: The cultural significance of the Martha Stewart phenomenon.

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Date: August 2003
Creator: Chmielewska, Katarzyna
Description: The thesis examines the relationship between Martha Stewart's rendition of domesticity and a broader cultural trend of the late 1990s U.S. domestic retreatism. It argues that the mode of construction and representation of the "domestic dream" in Stewart's programs cannot be examined outside of such concepts as class and ethnicity, whose understanding depends on the cultural, social, and political context of a given era, a context, in which they become transparent as aspects of the Western (white, patriarchal) status quo. Performing a deconstructive reading of these categories as employed by Stewart in the process of creation of her media persona, the thesis examines what the negative as well as positive reactions to "Martha Stewart" convey about the condition of American society of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
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No Way Out: A Historical Documentary

No Way Out: A Historical Documentary

Date: August 2003
Creator: Holder, Elizabeth Suzanne
Description: No Way Out: A Historical Documentary is the written companion to a forty-minute documentary film entitled "No Way Out". The film deals with a 1974 inmate standoff at a prison in Huntsville, Texas known as the Carrasco Incident. The film examines the prison takeover through the eyes of those who lived through it. Composed of five interviews, "No Way Out" is a compilation of various points of view ranging from former hostages, members of the press, and law enforcement. The written companion for this piece discusses the three phases of the production for this film. These chapters are designed to share with the reader the various intricacies of documentary filmmaking. The thesis also explores theoretical issues concerning collective memory, coping behavior, and the ethics of historical documentary filmmaking.
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Our enemy, ourselves: Political conspiracy in American cinema, 1970-present.

Our enemy, ourselves: Political conspiracy in American cinema, 1970-present.

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Date: August 2003
Creator: Budziszewski, Przemyslaw
Description: This thesis is an examination of "paranoid conspiracy" films, a film noir subgenre that emerged in mainstream American cinema in the early 1970s and turns on vast, shadowy conspiracies located within U.S. "power structures" (government agencies, the military, the media) and directed against the American public. Specifically, it focuses on the emergence of these films in the 1970s, their almost complete disappearance during the Reagan presidency, and subsequent reemergence in the early 1990s. Placing representative texts in the context of U.S. political and social reality of the last three decades, it analyzes the relationship between the conspiracy theory genre, the "crisis of confidence" in the American society, and the process of formation of American national identity.
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Vieques: Island of Conflict and Dreams

Vieques: Island of Conflict and Dreams

Date: December 2003
Creator: Borges, Cristóbal A.
Description: This written thesis is a companion to a 30-minute documentary video of the same title. The documentary is a presentation of the historical conflict between the United States Navy and the people of the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. For over 60 years the island was used by the United States Navy as a military training facility. The documentary attempts to present an analysis of the struggle between citizens of the island and the Navy. This written component presents a summarized history of Puerto Rico, Vieques and the conflict with the United States Navy. In addition, the preproduction, production and post-production process of the documentary are discussed. A theoretical analysis of the filmmaker's approach and technique are addressed and analyzed as well. The thesis's goal is to provide a clear understanding of the Vieques conflict to United States audiences who do not a familiarity with the topic. The thesis is presented from the perspective of a person who grew up in Puerto Rico.
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Contemporary pirates: An examination of the perceptions and attitudes toward the technology, progression, and battles that surround modern day music piracy in colleges and universities.

Contemporary pirates: An examination of the perceptions and attitudes toward the technology, progression, and battles that surround modern day music piracy in colleges and universities.

Date: August 2004
Creator: Latson, Christopher Craig
Description: The pilot study used in this thesis examined the attitudes and perceptions of a small group of students at the University of North Texas. The participants in this pilot study (n=22) were administered an online music file sharing survey, a Defining Issues Test (DIT), and participated in a small focus group. This thesis also outlined the history and progression of online music piracy in the United States, and addressed four research questions which aimed to determine why individuals choose to engage in the file sharing of copyrighted music online.
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A shanda fur de Yehudim: Jewishness in network sitcom television.

A shanda fur de Yehudim: Jewishness in network sitcom television.

Date: August 2004
Creator: Minnick, Susan L.
Description: This thesis is a cultural study of Jewishness in network sitcom television. Sources for the study included: historical film analysis, sociological studies on stereotyping and Jewish culture. The thesis studies how past forms of Jewishness impacted the current depictions of Jewishness on the television sitcom. After an introduction discussing Jewishness in general, the second chapter studies Jewishness in Vaudeville and early Hollywood film. The third chapter studies Jewishness in the first 40 years of network sitcom television. The fourth chapter studies Jewishness in the network sitcoms of the 1990s. The conclusions of the study focus on the state of Jewishness on network sitcom television at present, and ask what must be done within the industry to maintain a viable Jewish identity on network sitcom television in the future.
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Documentary Film: I Named Her Angel

Documentary Film: I Named Her Angel

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Date: May 2005
Creator: Dinc, Nefin
Description: Recent political developments in the world show us that different cultures need to know and understand each other better. Even though technological developments like the Internet, satellites, cable television and conglomeration of big media entities have made mass communication more effective and faster, we cannot easily say that these developments help to bring world cultures together. As a result, mass audiences are not very much able to see what few productions do speak to these issues in a constructive manner. The main aim of this documentary film project is to serve as a small step towards helping different cultures to understand each other better. This documentary film conveys the basics of Mevlevism by following the formal gatherings of a Mevlevi den in Istanbul, Turkey. A den or tekke is a place where Islamic people gather and perform their religious activities. During these gatherings they do the sema, they pray, they listen to music, and they discuss spiritual matters. Sema is the entire ritual they perform as part of their ceremonies including listening to music, singing and chanting to attain a state of religious emotion and ecstasy or vecd. The documentary film is structured around a twelve year old girl, Elif, ...
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Education for Education's Sake? Exposing the Arts District of Downtown Dallas

Education for Education's Sake? Exposing the Arts District of Downtown Dallas

Date: August 2005
Creator: Gormly, Robin K.
Description: This thesis discusses the relatively new approach of art education, by paralleling it to Marxist ideology on art. The Dallas Arts District is one example of a city where museum art education is in conflict: being adopted more vigorously by some and with less acceptance by others. In order to provide a glimpse into the museum ideology of downtown Dallas, previous schools of thought regarding the role of curators and the introduction of educators into museums will be detailed, as well as conflicts between these two factions. The following questions will be addressed: Is museum art education truly a movement which strives to infuse the American culture with a greater appreciation of art? Is there a link to overcoming Marx's key issue of class? How is the movement affecting the Dallas Arts District and to what extent is museum art education being utilized within this forum? Is the emphasis toward museum art education greater in Dallas than in other large cities across the United States, and if so, how has that affected the cities' patrons?
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The future of local television news: Is there a possible strategic planning approach?

The future of local television news: Is there a possible strategic planning approach?

Date: August 2005
Creator: Slocum, Phyllis R.
Description: This study compared the characteristic of strategic planning as used in the corporate world with the planning process used in a sample of television news departments. The purpose was to determine if commonalities exist; in what circumstances, and whether techniques and approaches used for many years by businesses could advance the process of planning in the fast-paced environment of local television news. In-depth interviews were conducted with a sample of highly experienced local news managers. The results indicated some similarities in planning approaches but suggested significant differences in how the two industries approach key elements of traditional strategic planning. The primary conclusion drawn from the research suggests the local television news industry has informally adapted strategic planning processes to their needs with heavy emphasis on tactical execution.
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