Catalogue 2014 - 2015

HIST 355 Watching War


3 cr.


Junior, senior standing.

Course Description

A constant in the contemporary instruction and understanding of American history is the centrality of war. To the American public. these wars have often manifested themselves in film. as filmmakers and audiences alike strive to find the “real  experience” or “real meaning" of a war in what is usually less than two hours. From the Revolutionarv War to the Iraq War. our understanding of history since the invention of the motion picture has been inextricably tied to what we watch. The film industry constantly revisits and even reinvents past conflicts in their movies, in the process, shifting our collective understanding of the past and changing our attitudes toward present and future conflicts. This course will examine how movies shape our understanding of American history and mythology, and will seek to place these films in a proper historical context.