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- Framing Femininity as Insanity: Representations of Mental Illness in Women in Post-Classical Hollywood
- From the socially conservative 1950s to the permissive 1970s, this project explores the ways in which insanity in women has been linked to their femininity and the expression or repression of their sexuality. An analysis of films from Hollywood's post-classical period (The Three Faces of Eve (1957), Lizzie (1957), Lilith (1964), Repulsion (1965), Images (1972) and 3 Women (1977)) demonstrates the societal tendency to label a woman's behavior as mad when it does not fit within the patriarchal mold of how a woman should behave. In addition to discussing the social changes and diagnostic trends in the mental health profession that define “appropriate” female behavior, each chapter also traces how the decline of the studio system and rise of the individual filmmaker impacted the films' ideologies with regard to mental illness and femininity.
- The future of local television news: Is there a possible strategic planning approach?
- 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.
- Gender, Identity, and Influence: Hong Kong Martial Arts Films
- This project is an examination of the Hong Kong film industry, focusing on the years leading up to the handover of Hong Kong to communist China. The influence of classical Chinese culture on gender representation in martial arts films is examined in order to formulate an understanding of how these films use gender issues to negotiate a sense of cultural identity in the face of unprecedented political change. In particular, the films of Hong Kong action stars Michelle Yeoh and Brigitte Lin are studied within a feminist and cultural studies framework for indications of identity formation through the highlighting of gender issues.
- Gestalt Work For the Actor: A Documentary Video Production
- Gestalt Work for the Actor is a documentary about Dr. Renee Vincent's Gestalt acting exercise. Students are trained to recall powerful emotions and then employ the conjured passions into performance. This documentary examines the Gestalt acting exercise and what benefits it affords actors. The accompanying production book explains the production processes: preproduction, production, and postproduction, as well as the theoretical approaches used in the documentary.
- 'Gimme That Ole Time Religion': Traditionalism, Progressivism and Popular Media
- This thesis examines the role of Christianity in contemporary American culture using 1990s popular media as cultural artifacts. Building on theories of ideological analysis and hegemony, this project uncovers a balance between progressive and traditionalist ideologies in American culture with progressive ideologies most often superficially acknowledged and incorporated into dominant traditionalist Christian ideologies through hegemonic negotiation. An analysis of the popular Hollywood films The Last Temptation of Christ, Leap of Faith, Michael, City of Angels, Dogma and Keeping the Faith, illustrates this process by addressing Christian dominance in multicultural America, a backlash against feminism constructed through patriarchal and “family values” ideologies, and an integration of popular culture and traditionalist Christianity.
- Girl Power: Feminism, Girlculture and the Popular Media
- This project is an interrogation of three examples from recent popular culture of girlculture, specifically texts that target young female consumers: the Spice Girls, Scream and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. These examples are fundamentally different than texts from earlier female targeted generic models because they not only reflect the influence of the feminist movement, they work on feminism's behalf. The project's methodology grows out of feminist film theories and cultural studies theories. One chapter is dedicated to each text, and each reading works to reappropriate girlculture texts for a counter-hegemonic agenda by highlighting the moments when each text manages to subvert its mass mediated conservative biases.
- Gods, Have Merced! A Documentary Film
- Gods, Have Merced! chronicles the struggle of Jose Merced, a Santeria priest, with the city of Euless, Texas, where he has been residing for 17 years in an effort to overrule an ordinance that bans the most critical element of his faith: animal sacrifice. As the city officials justify the ban on the basis of public health, Merced thinks he is merely a victim of selective code enforcement aimed a restricting his freedom of religion. Local and national media covered the lawsuit he filed against the City of Euless, and Merced seems ready to take the fight over animal sacrifice to the United States Supreme Court. He wants American justice to give his African-originated religion recognized in a city where people seem uneasy about a practice that brings back the historic fears of Voodoo and its popularly assumed malefic practices. The film explores the complex structure of Santeria, its African roots, its renaissance in the Americas and the very controversial issue of animal sacrifice in the US.
- Graciously We Receive
- Graciously We Receive is an ethnographic documentary film about Hearts for Homes, a volunteer Christian outreach organization that does no-cost home repairs for low income elderly homeowners. Graciously We Receive examines the symbiotic relationships between volunteers and the homeowners, addressing the need to be needed by meeting the needs of others. Using qualitative research methods derived from the social sciences, Graciously We Receive represents an advancement in media-based research methods. with the introduction of quick cine-ethnography, which combines quick ethnography methods and grounded theory for data acquisition and analysis, Graciously We Receive applies anthropological research methods to documentary film production.
- Harbor: The Act of Autobiography
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This written thesis accompanies a sixteen-minute documentary video, Harbor, in which the filmmaker explores her relationship with her father who has suffered a stroke. Detailed accounts of the pre-production, production and post-production of the video allow the reader to understand the challenging and rewarding process of making an autobiographical documentary. Theoretical issues are also discussed, including the validity, criticisms, artistic nature and ethical concerns of autobiographical filmmaking. The filmmaker stresses the universality of her story, and how, despite the film's very personal nature, it is applicable for anyone who has dealt with the illness and/or disability of a parent.
- Herb and Life: A Chinese Medical Family
- This written thesis examines the process of producing Herb and Life: a Chinese Medical Family, a thirty-minute documentary video that explores the producer's family members' relationship with Traditional Chinese Medicine. This documentary uses interviews, narration, music, and observational sequences to display documentary subjects' career choices and their experiences with Traditional Chinese Medicine. This written thesis reveals the development of this documentary, from the pre-production to production and post-production stages. It also incorporates theoretical analysis and self-evaluation of this documentary video.
- Hildegard On Rubble Mountain
- Hildegard On Rubble Mountain is a cinema verité documentary about Hildegard Modinger's childhood. She grew up in Stuttgart, Germany during World War II and immigrated to the United States at the age of nineteen. This video follows her back to her childhood neighborhood as she recalls memories of that time in her life. The accompanying production book explains the production process: preproduction, production, postproduction, theoretical approaches, style used and a self-evaluation.
- The Impact of Ownership, Regulation Issues and Technology Adoption on the Introduction of Digital Terrestrial Television: A Comparison of the United States and Mainland China
- This study compares the impact of media ownership, regulation and policy, and technology adoption on the introduction of digital terrestrial television in the United States and Mainland China. Through the use of a case study approach, a qualitative and quantitative examination is given. The results indicate that private group ownership throughout the U.S. digital terrestrial television industry and state ownership in China's television industry lead to the different paths to digital transition. Both governments, however, are deeply involved in respective digital initiatives and play an important role in the implementation from analog to digital. The technical standard adoption in the two countries places the underpinning for the future development of digital television (DTV), which also results in China lagging behind the United States by almost ten years. The differences of technological environments in households and income among consumers in the two countries further predict the intention to DTV adoption.
- In Martha we trust?: The cultural significance of the Martha Stewart phenomenon.
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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.
- It's a Wonderful Business: The Art of Production Sound
- It's a Wonderful Business: The Art of Production Sound is a documentary film that offers an inside look at what it takes to record the dialog of actors and diegetic sounds on a movie set. This is the job of the production sound crew, in charge of recording the voices of some of the most talented and prominent performers in the motion picture industry. The documentary features interviews with former and current production sound mixers and boom operators from some of the most acclaimed films in the history of cinema. The film also explores the personal demands, the working conditions, and the sacrifices sound crews have endured to succeed in the always challenging, but very exciting, world of film making.
- Jiggs is a documentary that explores how Jiggs Gaffney serves despite his mental disability. By observing Jiggs’ involvement at Pine Cove Christian Camps, and revealing his past, the documentary shows how anyone can be used for a greater good, and reveals how God can be served and glorified by anyone, no matter the individual circumstances.
- Journey for Jazz
- This written thesis accompanies a 32-minute documentary video, Journey for Jazz, which explores four Korean students who major in jazz at the University of North Texas in Denton. Detailed accounts of the pre-production, production, and post-production of the video guide the reader to understand the challenging and rewarding process of making this documentary. Theoretical issues are also discussed, including Bill Nichols's typology of documentary modes as a useful tool for analysis of hybrid documentaries and conventions of the observational and interactive mode in Journey for Jazz, which is considered a hybrid of both modes. The film focuses mainly on the scholarly and artistic experiences that the four students undergo while studying jazz in the United States.
- Just $10 A Month: A Television Advertising Campaign
- This written thesis accompanies three television public service announcement spots. Two of the spots are 60 seconds and one of the spots is 45 seconds in length. I produced this public service television advertising campaign to highlight the issue of child illiteracy in Pakistan and to encourage expatriate and resident Pakistani's to donate to educational charities. A Website created by the filmmaker is promoted in the campaign. This Website provides information about various charities that educate children in Pakistan. Detailed accounts of pre-production, production and post-production of the campaign allow the viewer to comprehend the challenges in producing television campaigns for social causes. Theoretical issues are also discussed, including the causes of illiteracy, the importance and role of social campaigns, the history and uses of propaganda as well as the aesthetic concerns of a public service campaign producer. I discuss the importance of creating the culture of public service campaigns in a third world country like Pakistan, and states that the Pakistani community needs to look inwards to overcome the challenge of illiteracy.
- Live From New York and Straight to Washington: an Explorative Study of Internet Audience Perceptions of the Portrayals and Appearances of Presidential Candidates on Saturday Night Live
- This thesis examines if and how the Internet viewers of Saturday Night Live skits were influenced by the video skits. the viewers’ online comments were read, categorized and analyzed for content to explore and discuss how the viewers “read” the text of the online video skits. Each video in which candidates John McCain, Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama appeared is summarized and analyzed through viewers’ comments. a sample of skits including actors’ portrayals of McCain, Palin, Clinton, Obama and Joe Biden is also summarized and analyzed to find and discuss how the viewers’ perceptions were influenced by the portrayals.
- Lowest of the Low: Scenes of Shame and Self-Deprecation in Contemporary Scottish Cinema
- This thesis explores the factors leading to the images of self-deprecation and shame in contemporary Scottish film. It would seem that the causes of these reoccurring motifs may be because the Scottish people are unable to escape from their past and are uneasy about the future of the nation. There is an internal struggle for both Scottish men and women, who try to adhere to their predetermined roles in Scottish culture, but this role leads to violence, alcoholism, and shame. In addition, there is also a fear for the future of the nation that represented in films that feature a connection between children and the creation of life with the death of Scotland's past. This thesis will focus on films created under a recent boom in film production in Scotland beginning in 1994 till the present day.
- The Luxury of Tears: A Secondary Survivor's Story
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As the written accompaniment for The Luxury of Tears, a twelve-minute documentary video exploring the emotional impact of sexual assault on male survivors and their partners, this document examines the visual texts of both the fiction and nonfiction genres. Specifically, I contend that fiction film manufactures male survivorship with regard to rape events in such manner which contributes to the thematization of social silence. Such silence perpetuates the feminization of rape as a social problem, and dissolves the development of male survivor resources. A discussion of production processes, challenges, and resolutions is included.
- The making of the documentary film Women in Red.
- Though the remnants of a stereotype created over two millennia ago still thrive in American popular culture today, redheaded women are enjoying a more positive role in society than they have ever seen before. Women in Red explores the experience of the redheaded woman in America today by examining how the stereotypes have affected a small group of them, how these women relate to the stereotypes, and why, given the verisimilitude of the stereotype, a non-redheaded woman would embrace such an identity with the simple act of dying her hair red. This is the story behind the experience that is Women in Red.
- The Making of the Documentary Women at Work
- Women have fought for their rights to equal opportunity employment for more than a millennium. Even now, in the 21st century the fight continues. Women at Work explores the experiences of three women who work in male-dominated blue-collar jobs and discuses their struggles and successes within their employment. Their career choices have required each to address their individual views on feminism and femininity, as well as views on education and family.
- Mama D's 2 Blocks: A Documentary Film
- Mama D's 2 Blocks tells the story of a neighborhood home in New Orleans that was transformed into a distribution center and used to assist residents impacted by Hurricane Katrina's devastation in 2005. Mama D stayed at her home throughout the storm and remained there until the floodwaters had subsided. After the water had drained, socially minded youth from all over the country were drawn to Mama D's home and stayed there while supporting local renewal efforts. The film documents their joining together, without electricity or running water, and assisting in the rebuilding process undertaken by Mama D and other neighborhood residents. This film captures a community in action, how it survived, and the first steps taken towards the rebuilding of New Orleans.
- Margaret Dale, Adapting the Stage to the Screen: Aesthetic, Appropriation, and Intimacy in Ballet Programming for Post-War BBC Television
- This thesis examines the aesthetic of ballets adapted for BBC Television by producer Margaret Dale, beginning with her entrance to the BBC's training program in 1955 and culminating with her commissioned work Houseparty, which aired in 1964. A historical and organizational framework is discussed regarding the BBC's cultural mission and view of arts programming, as well as general developmental milestones in programming contextualizing Dale's working conditions. Particular focus is placed upon the appropriation of Romantic narrative ballets and their significance in reinforcing an aristocratic and culturally divisive structure in the arts. Textual analyses consider issues of restaging, camera placement, and lighting, as well as television's intimacy and relationship to characterization in ballet narratives.
- Memories of Motherland: Gender, Diaspora and National Identity in 1990s Indian Popular Culture
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This thesis examines the role of globalization, an open economy and diasporic experiences on the 1990s popular Indian culture, focusing on discourses of gender, national identity and family. Recent Indian beauty queens and international beauty contests are discussed in the context of gendered nationhood in 1990s India. Several popular films of the 1990s are discussed as narratives expressing longing for an extended family and a homogeneous national identity under the leadership of a traditional father figure. In contrast, independent films interrogate the primacy of ethnic and national identity and raise interesting questions about exilic experience. All of these forms of national and popular culture reflect the conflicting and ever-changing anxieties surrounding national identity and the role of women in India.
- My Land, My Life
- My Land, My Life is a documentary film about the woman, Jo Angela Lamb, who lives and works on Frying Pan Ranch in Texas Panhandle. the film explores the complexity of a ranch woman's experience that breaks the spell of the stereotyped image of American cowgirls. It also reflects on women ranchers’ relationship with their family members and their relationship with the land.
- A New Circle
- This reflexive documentary film explores the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Tribe of Texas and examines questions of cultural identity. The twenty-one minute film uses footage of cultural events, reservation landscape, photographs, and interviews to bring the viewer into the lives of the Alabama-Coushatta people. The written portion of this thesis details the entire processes of making the film, from the proposal stage to the post-production stage. This includes an examination of the film's evolution from using a proposed ethnographic approach to one less scientific and more personal.
- No Way Out: A Historical Documentary
- 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.
- On Objects and Affections: Contemporary Representations of the Gay Man/Straight Woman Dyad in Popular Film and Television
- This project explores the representational strategies used to depict a gay male/straight female dyad across a variety of popular media. The study problematizes and critically evaluates how the narrativization of the dyad both challenges and reinforces stereotypes of gay men and at the same time circulates a troubling image of femininity in the figure of the straight woman. This line of argument is extended to the context of "Lifestyle Television" to demonstrate how the dyad implicitly structures two particular programs. It is suggested that the prevalence of the dyad is in part indicative of an assimilation of a particular gay identity into mainstream culture. The ideological implications of the dyad are discussed throughout this thesis.
- Our enemy, ourselves: Political conspiracy in American cinema, 1970-present.
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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.
- Out of Date
- Out of Date chronicles the filmmaker's personal journey as she tries to untangle her mixed feelings on singlehood and romance, and turns to the older generation for advice, tales of love and stories of success or failure. The documentary links and contrasts different generations' experiences in love and dating. Also, the film deals with loneliness, commitment, gender differences, and social and cultural practices of love and dating.
- The Paradox of Creativity and Business in Feature Hollywood Filmmaking: The Relationship Between Motion Picture Production and Budgeting
- This study examines the relationship between movie budgeting and the creative process in Hollywood filmmaking. To understand the effects of this relationship on the creative product, several films are analyzed within the production process where conflicts between the investors and creators are observed. A case study approach is guided by theories of the production of culture, which state that creative products manufactured in the cultural industry must be analyzed in relation to their surrounds society. Findings suggest previous indicators of box office success are becoming primary influences in the filmmaking process. The study also finds that financial standards in Hollywood potentially inhibit innovation among creative participants within a limited Hollywood creative sphere.
- Piracy on the Ground: How Informal Media Distribution and Access Influences Cultures in Contemporary Hanoi, Viet Nam
- This thesis explores how pirate cultures and “informal” distribution circuits operate on the ground level and integrate global media texts (mainly Hollywood films) into a small section of the local everyday society of Hanoi, Viet Nam. Situating the pirate stores and its components as active and central, this thesis will examine the physical flow of media through these store sites. In addition, by exploring the interactions between media texts, store owners and workers, customers, and the store’s design itself, this thesis will reveal how media piracy (as a form of distribution and “normal” access) influences and negotiates modernity, cultures, identities, and meanings in Hanoi and Viet Nam.
- Political Agenda-Setting in Cable News as a Possible Technique for Securing an Audience Niche
- In an effort to better understand the motivations behind perceived biases in the US cable news industry, 72 hours of CNN, FOX, and MSNBC during the week preceding the 2006 congressional election were analyzed. First- and second-level agenda-setting theories are used to examine how long and in what way federal politicians are portrayed. The results indicate distinct differences in political presentations between the three networks.
- Provincial Heroism: Hunanese Audiences and Sylvester Stallone
- The thesis focuses on analyzing and discussing Hunanese audience members’ receptions of three of his films – Rocky IV (1985), Cliffhanger (1993) and The Expendables (2010) to reveal the audiences’ motivations of admiring him and his movies. The analysis is based on Hunanese male characteristics because Hunanese culture is a male centric culture. In the Rocky IV film, Hunanese fans like his manhood, nature of soldier, and determination. In the response to Cliffhanger, some audience members appreciate his manhood, family value. Some members think his character is a coward, some of them even support the bad guys. In the audience’s reception of The Expendables, audiences have different opinions for different action actors. For example, Barney Ross (Stallone) was perceived as an extraordinary military leader. The thesis is divided into six chapters, and conducted upon Stuart Hall’s Encoding & Decoding theory.
- A Question of Queerness: Case Studies of Contemporary American Television
- This project utilizes a case study approach to explore the various ways in which the portrayals of gay people have changed on American television. Three contemporary programs - Will & Grace, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and The L Word - are examined as examples of how far American television has progressed in terms of treating gay people with respect. Whether those shows move beyond merely presenting gay characters and into a level of actively challenging mainstream views on gay people is also examined. Findings suggest different factors affect the ability of the individual programs to test said views - including the genres to which each belongs, and their presence on network television (Will & Grace), basic cable (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) or premium cable (The L Word). While all three programs show some tendencies toward queerness, they also take steps toward negotiating with mainstream culture, indicating that complete queerness may be an unattainable goal on American television.
- Reality Television: Using Para-Social Relationship Theory and Economic Theory to Define the Success of Network Reality Programming
- This study seeks to use a dual-theoretical approach, through the use of para-social relationship theory and economic data analysis, to explain the success of reality television since the early 2000s. This study uses both qualitative and quantitative components to understand the growth of reality television. This study includes a literature analysis of both methodologies used. Focus groups were used to seek to find a strong level of para-social interaction in viewers of reality television. Two focus groups were conducted with participants 18-35. There were a total of 16 participants who attended the focus group sessions. The information collected suggested that viewers of reality television formed para-social relationships. It appeared that female viewers were more likely to form para-social relationships than male viewers.
- REEL NAZIS a propaganda history
- This thesis film is an overview of Nazi Germany, primarily told through the use of their own propaganda images, and structured in such a way as to make the viewer question what they think they know about the past, present, and future. This paper is a discussion of the process that went into making the film and some of the ideas connected to it that could not be brought out in the documentary.
- Religious Television and New Technologies: Managing Change in the Broadcast Environment
- This study examines the process of technological change in the religious television environment. The study also focuses on managerial response to said change. Through the use of a survey instrument, a quantitative examination is given, illustrating a managerial embrace of change principles, a positive attitude toward the idea of change, and a system of change behavior that matches several previously theorized change models. Also examined is how different station funding types correspond with types and rates of technological change, with the results reflecting that more funding sources for a station generally indicate a greater likelihood of technological change.
- The reshaping of the traditional television advertising model: An analysis of media agency perceptions and decision-making processes regarding the effects of digital video recorders on television commercial effectiveness.
- This research analyzes media agency executives' perceptions and strategic decision-making processes when accessing the impact of digital video recorders (DVRs) on the traditional television commercial spot. Strategic decision-making models, as well as major industry research, forms the theoretical framework used to guide the study. The research takes a quantitative approach using a survey in order to obtain the perceptions and decision-making processes of the media agency executives'. The findings are presented while a discussion of the findings is detailed. The thesis concludes with a summary of the overall thesis research as applied to the field of study.
- Room 2046: A Political Reading of Wong Kar-Wai's Chow-Mo Wan Trilogy through Narrative Elements and Mise-en-scene
- As ownership of Hong Kong changed hands from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China in 1997, citizens and filmmakers of the city became highly aware of the political environment. Film director Wong Kar-Wai creates visually stimulating films that express the anxieties and frustrations of the citizens of Hong Kong during this period. This study provides a political reading of Days of Being Wild (1991), In the Mood for Love (2000), and 2046 (2004) through analyzing various story elements and details within the mise-en-scene. Story elements include setting, dialogue, character relationships, character identities, thematic motifs, musical references, numerology, and genre manipulation. Wong also uses details within the films' mise-en-scene, such as props and color, to express political frustrations. To provide color interpretations, various traditional aesthetic guidelines, such as those prescribed by Taoism, Cantonese and Beijing opera, and feng shui, are used to read the films' negative comments on the handover process and the governments involved. When studied together the three films illustrate how Wong Kar-Wai creates narrative and visual references to the time and atmosphere in which he works, namely pre-and-post handover Hong Kong.
- A shanda fur de Yehudim: Jewishness in network sitcom television.
- 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.
- Side By Side: Reinventing Mother/Daughter Relationships
- Beginning with mother/daughter film classics such as Stella Dallas (1937) and Mildred Pierce (1945), and moving to consider recent mother/daughter texts, Anywhere But Here (1999) and "Gilmore Girls" (2000 -), this thesis, in both its written and visual components, examines the multiple and often contradictory ways in which mothers and daughters have been represented in popular culture. Challenging the discourses that singularly stress struggle and separation, this research highlights representations that emphasize mother/daughter connection, and examines how such identification empowers mothers and daughters. This project is guided by cultural studies and feminist film theories. The first two chapters outline past and present paradigms of mothers and daughters respectively; the third chapter examines the goals and findings of the visual component.
- Snakes Alive!
- On three days in March each year, the sleepy little town of Sweetwater, Texas transforms into the rattlesnake capital of the world. Snake hunters and curious tourists converge on the town of 12,000 for the Annual Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup. On the outside of the Nolan County Coliseum, the smell of funnel cakes and hot-dogs fills the air as vendors sell snacks and souvenirs. However the real action is inside where snakes collected from all over the state lay in piles by the thousands, waiting to be sexed, milked and ultimately killed. Through interviews and observational footage, "Snakes Alive!" explores the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup, those that participate in the event, and the elements that make it an unabashed West Texas tradition.
- Social Networking: the Benefits of Twitter for Music Fans and Consumers
- Due to the evolution of new media technologies, social networking websites have become major avenues for online media consumption. Twitter is one of many proven beneficial for online users. It is utilized for many different reasons, one of which includes music. It is then necessary to know how beneficial Twitter is for music fans and consumers. This study attempts to analyze the benefits of Twitter for music fans and consumers. Using an online survey, different gratification items are measured. Results reveal that some music fans and consumers do use Twitter for music purposes and that there is a statistically significant difference in terms of gratifications between those who use Twitter for music purposes and those who do not.
- Stage and Scream: The Influence of Traditional Japanese Theater, Culture, and Aesthetics on Japan's Cinema of the Fantastic
- Although widely viewed in the West, Japanese films are often misunderstood, as they are built on cultural, theatrical, and aesthetic traditions entirely foreign to Western audiences. Particularly in regards to Japan's "fantastic" cinema - including giant monster pictures, ghost stories, and "J-Horror" films - what is often perceived as "cheap" or "cheesy" is merely an expression of these unique cultural roots. By observing and exploring such cultural artifacts as kabuki, noh, and bunraku - the traditional theatrical forms of Japan - long-standing literary traditions, deeply embedded philosophical beliefs, and even more recent developments such as the controversial dance form butoh, these films, including Gojira (1954), Daimajin (1966), Kwaidan (1964), Onibaba (1964), Testuo the Iron Man (1989), and Ju-On (2002), can be placed in their proper perspective, leading to a reevaluation of their worth not merely as commercial products, but as uniquely Japanese expressions of that society's unique place in world culture.
- Standing Up to Experts: The Politics of Public Education
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In a small room in Austin, Texas, a group of 15 people are single-handedly deciding what is taught to the next generation of American children. The highly politicized 15 member Texas Board of Education is currently going through the once-in-a-decade process of rewriting the teaching and textbook standards for its nearly 5 million schoolchildren. Texas is also unbelievably influential on the standards that textbook publishers use as a basis for their textbooks nationwide. Over the last 10 years, the textbooks adopted by this board found their way in upwards of 65% of American classrooms. My goal is to shed light on this important issue and the key players in this process - I explain their goals, explore the scope of their influence, and delve into the personal motivations behind their actions, which will affect public education throughout the country.
- Street Chords and the Truth: A Street Level View of Country Music
- Singers and songwriters come to Nashville, Tennessee because they consider it the center of the country music universe and the best place to perform their songs as they try and break into the music business. Though few ever experience success in this competitive field, artists continue to arrive in Nashville and many don't have the commercial potential that would allow them the opportunity to perform anywhere but on the city's streets. The film, Street Chords and the Truth: A Street Level View of Country Music, focuses on these interesting performers and their music. Country music has been examined by a handful of ethnomusicologists and is often called the music of everyday life. Many recognize its dependence on ordinary singing styles, common phrasings, southern accents and traditional costuming as central to its identity and critical source of its value as a commodity. While many studies have been conducted focusing commercially popular country music singers and the music industry, few studies been conducted on singers who meet all the critical criteria for country music except commercial viability. This documentary examines country music more as a critical element of cultural identity and less as a commodity.
- Tactile Media: Factors Affecting the Adoption of Touchscreen Smartphones Among Consumers with Vision Loss
- Touchscreen technology is on the rise as the new standard in smartphone design. But, the usability of touchscreen is hindered for consumers that lack the physical ability to navigate such devices. Two focus groups were conducted in order to identify specific uses and gratifications that people with visual impairments had when using mobile phones. Additional questions were presented to the participants to determine if touchscreen technology limited access to communication and entertainment. The responses revealed an upward trend in touchscreen smartphone adoption among the participants. These users chose to adopt touchscreen smartphones that had built-in and downloadable assistive features which contributed to user-friendly designs.
- Teacher Perceptions of the Flipped Classroom: Using Video Lectures Online to Replace Traditional In-class Lectures
- Advancements in media technologies have resulted in increased student usage causing teachers to struggle to be able to engage and hold student’s interest in a typical classroom. As students’ needs change, the field of education changes. One strategy that is gaining in popularity among teachers is the implementation of the “flipped classroom” also known as the “inverted classroom” or “reverse instruction” - a method incorporates technology to “flip” or “reverse” what is typically done in class with what is typically done as homework. Through teacher interviews of eight core teachers, this study attempts to discover teacher perceptions of the use of this method. Results of the study reveal that perceptions of the method are more positive among teachers who typically use lecture as a primary mode of information dissemination.