FT 012-P Zap, Bang, Pow
Tracey Salisbury, Department of History
From the childhood tradition of devotedly watching Saturday morning cartoon shows, to the mad dash to throw down hard-earned cash for the latest issue of the Todd McFarlane’s Spawn or Alan Moore’s From Hell, to admiring the latest artistic innovations in the most recent Hollywood blockbuster produced by Disney or Pixar studios, animated films, cartoons, comic strips, comic books, and graphic novels have evolved from an industry principally directed at children to a multi-million dollar artistic enterprise impacting large segments of American society and culture. Animation has often served as an artistic and fanciful representation of American life, yet also has served as a critical and often biting reflection of America’s history, politics, culture, and social norms, commenting on broad issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, racism, socio-economic divisions, and discrimination. This course will give students a well-rounded context for understanding the rich, unique history and groundbreaking influences of animation and anime in American history and society. In addition to learning important milestones, major figures, and technological advances in the fields of animation and anime, students will develop their own critical perspective of, and aesthetic appreciation for, this form of artistic expression. This course will study the history and theory of Hollywood studio animation, the influence of world animation, and contemporary independent animation. This course will also provide an understanding of the fundamental historical and cultural narratives found in animation and anime.