FS30170 Whiteness,Ethnicity&US Culture

Academic Year 2021/2022

In the last twenty-five years “whiteness” has become a critical keyword in humanities scholarship. Entering into current debates about the nature and function of whiteness while maintaining both a historical and a critical focus, this course invites students to reflect on the cinematic fictions of whiteness while considering that category as hierarchical, contested and unstable

The module is designed to raise questions concerning the representation of a variety of ethnicities in American film from the silent cinema to the classical period and New Hollywood. Using a variety of films from as early as 1915 and as recent as 2008, we will examine depictions of ethnic identity (Irish, Italian, French, Hispanic, Polish, Greek, Arab, Jewish, etc.) and consider the ways ethnicity is claimed and disclaimed, repressed, romanticized and nostalgically rendered. We will look at the complex relationship between American popular culture and immigration and assimilation issues and investigate the ways ethnicity intersects with issues of genre, stardom, nationalism/citizenship, nostalgia and tourism.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Enrolled students will become conversant with theories of race and ethnicity learning to apply these theories in relation to popular cinema, in the process expanding their knowledge of the interconnections between Hollywood history and social history.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Teaching methods include lectures and critical seminar discussions and analysis. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Presentation: Presentation of Topic Unspecified n/a Graded No


Essay: 2000 word essay midterm Unspecified n/a Graded No


Essay: 3000 word essay final paper Unspecified n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.