American Musicals: Twentieth-Century Show Business (LI)

Department of American and Canadian Studies, School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies

College of Arts and Law


Code 14972

Level of study Second Year

Credit value 10

Semester 1

Pre-requisite modules You must have completed at least one year of appropriate study in this discipline.’

Module description

The course explores the changes in leisure pursuits in a culture dominated by the commercial 'mass' market and by the technology of reproduction of sound and vision. It considers the role of the promoter in show business of all kinds - theatre, film, music, spectacles and amusement parks - and explores representations of gender, race and ethnicity. It pays particular attention to Florenz Ziegfeld and the Follies shows of 1907-1930, and to his displays of female beauty. The second part explores musicals, mostly both stage and film: Show Boat, The Broadway Melody, Gold Diggers of 1933, On The Town and West Side Story.

Teaching and learning methods