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Out of Order

Description: Out of Order is a documentary film that explores the emotional and physical aspects of living with polycystic ovarian syndrome. This reproductive disorder affects between 5 and 10% of all women of reproductive age. This film features an animated, autobiographical look at director Kimberly Davis' personal experience with this condition.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Davis, Kimberly D.

The Paradox of Creativity and Business in Feature Hollywood Filmmaking: The Relationship Between Motion Picture Production and Budgeting

Description: 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.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Dean, Adam T.

Piracy on the Ground: How Informal Media Distribution and Access Influences Cultures in Contemporary Hanoi, Viet Nam

Description: 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.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Tran, Anthony

Political Agenda-Setting in Cable News as a Possible Technique for Securing an Audience Niche

Description: 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.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Mott IV, W.E.

Programming for the Latino Youth: a Content Analysis of Prime Time Television Programs By Three Spanish-language Broadcast Networks

Description: This study reviews U.S. Spanish-language broadcast networks' prime time programming content targeted to the Latino youth audience. It explores the relationship between the Latino youth and prime time programming by Spanish-language broadcast networks and how they seek to attract this market as is reflected in the characteristics and quantity of their content and preferred formats by using the strategic management theory. This study identifies the amount and type of prime time programming that was catered to the Latino youth audience between 2003 and 2012 by the three major Spanish-language networks: Univision, Telemundo, and Telefutura. An observed pattern reveals that prime time programming targeting Latino teenagers is relatively smaller and older in comparison to programming delivered through the general programming.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Vazquez, Gabriel

Provincial Heroism: Hunanese Audiences and Sylvester Stallone

Description: 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.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Kuang, Jun

A Question of Queerness: Case Studies of Contemporary American Television

Description: 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.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Bentley, Jon Alexander

Reality Television: Using Para-Social Relationship Theory and Economic Theory to Define the Success of Network Reality Programming

Description: 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.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Dyer, Caitlin Elizabeth

REEL NAZIS a propaganda history

Description: 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.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Lambert, James K.

Religious Television and New Technologies: Managing Change in the Broadcast Environment

Description: 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.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Upchurch, Jeremy Eugene

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.

Description: 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.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Way, Heather C.

Rickshaw Man

Description: This documentary film tells the story of Mohammad in India, and Mike in the United States, who are separated by social, economic, cultural, linguistic and religious differences, and yet there is an inanimate object that connects them-the rickshaw. The film examines how rickshaw men are viewed and treated by the society they live in and also illuminates the threads of commonality between these two men to show that they are not so different from each other after all.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Thomas, Denny G.

Room 2046: A Political Reading of Wong Kar-Wai's Chow-Mo Wan Trilogy through Narrative Elements and Mise-en-scene

Description: 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.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Baldwin, Jillian

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

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.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Minnick, Susan L.

Side By Side: Reinventing Mother/Daughter Relationships

Description: 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.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Holzgraefe, Sandi

Snakes Alive!

Description: 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.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Greer, Daniel

Social Networking: the Benefits of Twitter for Music Fans and Consumers

Description: 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.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Perrilliat, Jessica A.

Stage and Scream: The Influence of Traditional Japanese Theater, Culture, and Aesthetics on Japan's Cinema of the Fantastic

Description: 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.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Petty, John E.

Standing Up to Experts: The Politics of Public Education

Description: 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.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Thurman, Scott

Street Chords and the Truth: A Street Level View of Country Music

Description: 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.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Bevins, Thomas

Tactile Media: Factors Affecting the Adoption of Touchscreen Smartphones Among Consumers with Vision Loss

Description: 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.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Bradley, Sapora L.

Teacher Perceptions of the Flipped Classroom: Using Video Lectures Online to Replace Traditional In-class Lectures

Description: 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.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Snowden, Kelly E.

Teen ages: Youth market romance in Hollywood teen films of the 1980s and 1990s

Description: This thesis examines the differences between teen romantic comedy films marketed to Generation X teenagers in the 1980s and Generation Y teenagers in the 1990s, focusing on the presentation of gender roles, consumptive behavior, and family. The 1980s films are discussed within the social context of the Reagan era and the conservatism of the New Right. The 1990s films are examined as continuing a conservative sensibility, but they additionally posit consumption as instrumental to achieving an idealized romance. Romantic comedy is traditionally a conservative genre, but these films illustrate female liberation through consumption. The source of difference between the cycles of teen romantic comedy is attributed to the media's attempt to position Generation Y teenagers as ideal consumers.
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Date: May 2001
Creator: Murphy, Caryn E.

A Textual Analysis of the Closer and Saving Grace: Feminist and Genre Theory in 21St Century Television

Description: Television is a universally popular medium that offers a myriad of choices to viewers around the world. American programs both reflect and influence the culture of the times. Two dramatic series, The Closer and Saving Grace, were presented on the same cable network and shared genre and design. Both featured female police detectives and demonstrated an acute awareness of postmodern feminism. The Closer was very successful, yet Saving Grace, was cancelled midway through the third season. A close study of plot lines and character development in the shows will elucidate their fundamental differences that serve to explain their widely disparate reception by the viewing public.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Stone, Lelia M.