Joint-honours information for 2017 entry

Hollywood Comedian Comedy

Module P3052

Module details for 2017/18.

30 credits

FHEQ Level 6

Module Outline

One of the most persistent and most popular of Hollywood genres, the comedian-comedy has until recently received little serious scholarly attention. Drawing on diverse critical, theoretical and historical paradigms, the module examines a range of individual performers and the diverse historical, cinematic and extra-cinematic contexts in which they worked, from silent cinema to the contemporary period. Most of the module focuses on the period up to the 1960s, but we conclude with a workshop on 'postclassical' Hollywood comedians and their social, cultural and cinematic contexts. We look not just at comic performance in itself but also at the various ways in which it has been mediated (including cultural codifications of identity, the body, gender, class, ethnicity and race). Among the topics we may address are: the key fictional and extra-fictional features of the genre, and their historical modulation; the relations established between performance, gags and narrative; the shifting relationships between comedy in film and other media (such as vaudeville and television); and the mainstreaming (and domestication) of female comic performance in 1950s television.

Module learning outcomes

Demonstrate a coherent and detailed familiarity with Hollywood comedian films and with various ways in which these films have been discussed in critical and theoretical work on film

Demonstrate a systematic awareness of the institutional, cultural and aesthetic determinants of Hollywood comedian-comedy, and of its ideological operations

Demonstrate appropriate capacity for individual research and skills in written communication

Apply skills in the analysis of film comedy texts by producing written work that responds to the intellectual challenges of the course

Coursework components. Weighted as shown below.
EssayT1 Week 9 30.00%
EssayA1 Week 2 70.00%

Submission deadlines may vary for different types of assignment/groups of students.


Coursework components (if listed) total 100% of the overall coursework weighting value.

TermMethodDurationWeek pattern
Autumn SemesterFilm3 hours111111111110
Autumn SemesterSeminar2 hours111111111110

How to read the week pattern

The numbers indicate the weeks of the term and how many events take place each week.

Dr Frank Krutnik

Convenor, Assess convenor

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