Your Federal Quarterly Tax Payments are due April 15th Get Help Now >>

Mad_Men_SA_syllabusSP11 by lanyuehua


									                                SCRIPT ANALYSIS: Mad Men 40-3238-01
                                                 1 credit
                             Mondays March 28-April 25, 12:30-3:20PM, room 709

Instructor: Sara Livingston
Phone: (312) 369-7439
Email: (email is the best way to reach me)
Office: 1403-F, 600 S. Michigan Ave
Office Hours: Tuesdays 10-12, Wednesdays 2-4 or by appointment

If you need to meet outside of class, the best way is to make an appointment in advance either before or
after class or via email: I check my email on a daily basis. In the case of an
emergency, you can call me first at my office (312-369-7439) or try to reach me through the main office of
the Television Department (312-369-7410), but generally email is faster.

This class is a special topics class that will examine the script of one episode of a television series from a
variety of perspectives. The class will conclude with each student writing an analysis related to the script,
choosing from one or more of the themes, issues or approaches utilized during the class. This class is
appropriate for students in all concentrations, though familiarity with the series in question is strongly

Course Rationale: Script Analysis was designed to provide students with an intense and extremely
focused exploration of a TV series as represented by the pilot script. Such an approach is difficult to
implement in a full-semester course; as a one-credit course, however, students can explore a series in
some detail without sacrificing other areas of study—and instead supplement their studies of art and
culture throughout the college.

There is no textbook for this class; our text will be the pilot script of Mad Men. Other scripts or script
excerpts as well as analytical readings will be distributed as pertinent to class discussions.

Because this is an intensive 5-week course, ATTENDANCE IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! You are
responsible for making up work that you miss: screenings or clips viewed will have to be rented, viewed,
and written about if you are absent, and weekly assignments still have to be completed and turned in by
their due date. You are responsible for getting copies of any readings distributed on days you are absent.
SIGNIFICANT PARTICIPATION POINTS which will adversely affect your grade.

Please note that this course relies heavily on in-class discussion of screenings, clips, readings and class
content. In addition, assignments depend on your having been here and being up-to-date with class
content, so be on top of things and be ready to contribute.


1) You will be able to evaluate a single TV episode’s script on its own merits, as an example of television storytelling.
2) You will be able to assess a single TV episode within the context of its season, the series as whole, and larger
theoretical perspectives (such as genre, industry, history, theory, and fandom).
3) You will be able to write short analyses about episodes viewed (in part or in entirety) in class in relation to class
4) You will be able to conduct and write an original analysis of an episode from the TV series at hand in relation to the
central episode using one or more of the approaches explored in the class.

The work for this course was designed to expose you to different ways of thinking about a specific
television series that has had considerable impact in TV and in U.S. culture. To that end, the readings
examine aspects of the series from different perspectives and class discussions will expand on those
perspectives, and I will encourage to incorporate your own insights as a critical scholar, emerging
professional, and “regular old viewer.” The assignments are designed with this in mind:

30 POINTS= Weekly Analysis Papers (10 pts. each)
Each week, you will be asked to write a 1 1/2- to 2-page (double-spaced, typed, 12 point font) analysis of
what we have been examining in the class.
       Analysis #1) due week 2
       Analysis #2) due week 3
       Analysis #3) due week 4

45 points = Final Analysis Paper
Due Monday, May 2 (See assignment description on the last page of syllabus)

25% = Participation
In-class participation is a key and primary component to this course. Come to class ready to discuss the
readings, ready to actively engage with others, and ready to offer your own insights and opinions. The
typical class will consist of a discussion of the readings, episodes, concepts that I introduce for our
consideration, relationships of these to the theory, readings, past sessions, and the Pilot script--ALWAYS

         Weekly analyses...............................30 points (10 points each)
         Final analysis & abstract….….........45 points
         Participation…….…………………….25 points (5 points per session)
         Total points                               100 points

         94% and above =A
         90-93%......... =A-
         86-89%......... =B+
         84-85%......... =B
         80-83%......... =B-
         77-79%......... =C+
         75-76%......... =C
         70-73%......... =C-
         60-69%......... =D
         59% below..... =F

A range = Excellent: achievement above the assignment or course requirements and objectives; exceeds expectations.
B range = Good: achieves the requirements and objectives of the assignment or course satisfactorily; meets expectations.
C range = Average: completes the minimum requirements and objectives of the assignment or course but with minor flaws and or
D range = Below Average: completes most requirements and/or objectives of the assignment or course or completes requirements
with major flaws or lateness.
F range = Failing: does not complete most of the assignment for course requirements or has absences that exceed the course

                          NOTE: All assignments are due at the beginning of class,
                                  printed/organized and ready to turn in.

If you find yourself struggling with reading or writing, or if you know you face challenges in this kind of
studying and work, please see me and please take advantage of the resources the school offers—which
you are, after all, paying for! Don’t overlook the reference librarians, who can take one look at assignment
requirements and help you find an article, journal or book.

Another excellent place to start for general assistance is The Conaway Achievement Project Center,
which offers assistance to first-generation and/or economically disadvantaged students, as well as
students with learning challenges—from general counseling to tutoring to laptops…the whole she-bang,
just about! For general information, call 312-369-8132.


Columbia College Chicago Mission:
Columbia is an undergraduate and graduate college whose principal commitment is to provide a
comprehensive educational opportunity in the arts, communications, and public information within a
context of enlightened liberal education. Columbia's intent is to educate students who will communicate
creatively and shape the public's perceptions of issues and events and who will author the culture of their
times. Columbia is an urban institution whose students reflect the economic, racial, cultural, and
educational diversity of contemporary America. Columbia conducts education in close relationship to a
vital urban reality and serves important civic purpose by active engagement in the life and culture of the
city of Chicago.

The School of Media Arts Mission:
The School of Media Arts guides, educates, and inspires students to become innovative artists and
communicators by fostering creativity, critical thinking, and social consciousness. The students in our
multi-disciplinary media programs are challenged to analyze the past, interpret the present and
collaboratively shape the future.

Columbia College’s Academic Integrity Statement:
“Students at Columbia College Chicago enjoy significant freedom of artistic expression and are
encouraged to stretch their scholarly and artistic boundaries. However, the College prohibits all forms of
academic dishonesty. For present purposes, “academic dishonesty” is understood as the appropriation
and representation of another’s work as one’s own, whether such appropriation includes all or part of the
other’s work or whether it comprises all or part of what is represented as one’s own work (plagiarism).
Appropriate citation avoids this form of dishonesty. In addition, “academic dishonesty” includes cheating
in any form, the falsification of academic documents or the falsification of works or references for use in
class or other academic circumstances. When such dishonesty is discovered, the consequences to the
student can be severe.”

All students are responsible for insuring submitted work is correctly attributed. Students must make it
clear what aspects of everything s/he presents is his/her own, and give complete and accurate
attributions for the work of others incorporated or referred to. Plagiarism will not be tolerated and may
result in failure of the course as stated in the Academic Integrity Policies section of the current Columbia
College Catalog.

In addition, papers may be submitted to, a plagiarism prevention web site. Every paper
submitted to TurnItIn is compared against the most comprehensive digital repository of potentially
plagiarizable material in the world. Their repository currently consists of three primary databases: 1. Both
a current and extensively archived copy of the publicly accessible Internet 2. Millions of commercial
pages from books, newspapers, and journals 3. Tens of millions of student papers already submitted to
Late Work, Makeup Assignments and Incomplete Grading Statement:
All assignments are due when listed on the week-to-week schedule. No late work is accepted except in
emergency situations and then, only with the instructor's permission, ideally obtained before the due date,
but in the case of day-of emergencies, as soon after the due date as possible; with the instructor's
permission, late assignments are due no later than one week after the initial due date and will be
discounted one-letter grade for being late. There are no makeup or extra credit assignments for this
course. All coursework is designed to be easily completed within the time allotted, therefore no
Incompletes will be given as a final course grade.

Conaway Center Statement:
Students with disabilities are requested to present their Columbia accommodation letters to their
instructor at the beginning of the semester so that accommodations can be arranged in a timely manner
by the College, the department or the faculty member, as appropriate. Students with disabilities who do
not have accommodation letters should visit the office of Services for Students with Disabilities in room
520 of the Congress building (312-369-8134/V or 312-360-0767/TTY). It is incumbent upon the student
to know their responsibilities in this regard.

Writing Center Statement
The mission of the Columbia College Chicago Writing Center is to provide a comfortable, supportive, and
instructional environment in which Writers work closely with Writing Consultants to develop and
strengthen writing skills. The Center hosts a community of writers, readers, and thinkers working in a
collaborative effort to understand and appreciate the exciting dynamics of the English language. The
goals of this effort are to improve communication skills and empower all writers. The Center is open to the
Columbia College Chicago Community—the only requirement is a desire to enrich language skills and
become a more confident writer (33 E. Congress Bldg., 1 floor; 312-369-8130).

Please note that individual class sessions are subject to change. The instructor will make every effort to
keep the students informed of changes in the schedule. Some items may change at the instructor’s
discretion, but the overall workload will not change.

In order to pass this course, students must:
        read all required script drafts and handouts.
        attend class; attendance is expected; there are no excused absences; two tardies equal one
         absence. Keep in mind that missing one class session is the equivalent of missing 3 weeks of a
         15-week course. ANY absence or tardy will affect the student’s grade.
        be on time for class and stay until the teacher dismisses class.
        come to class prepared (scripts read, homework done).
        turn off all pagers and cell phones during class time.
        participate in all classroom discussions and critiques.
        complete all in-class and homework assignments.
        present assignments in a manner that meets professional standards as described in class.
        attach copies of relevant scenes to homework assignments.
        use a typewriter, computer or word processor for written assignments.
        all assignments are due at the BEGINNING of class.

Your goal as a Script Analysis student is not just to understand the concepts but also to develop a
professional standard of presentation for your ideas and analyses. You may find it helpful to think of each
assignment as an opportunity to further develop those standards and skills of presentation.
                                               COURSE Schedule
                           This syllabus subject to change; I will inform you of any change
                       **Remember to have readings done BY the date they are listed**
                 ***Remember that you should be coming to every class with your analyses***

Week 1            Course Overview, Projects and Analysis methods,
03/28/11          The Mad Men Universe: Identity Crisis and Cultural Upheaval

                  Screening:  Mad Men Pilot, “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”
                              Table read in class.
                  READ: Why We Love Mad Men by Lauren Goodlad

                  Homework: Analysis # 1 Write a response about the Mad Men title sequence. “That 36
          seconds of Mad Men’s animated black silhouette, borrows visual style from the 60’s but also
          captures the full intensity and unease of our time. What does his fall represent? What images
          does he pass as he falls? What current events and emotion can you link with this animation? As
          the protagonist lands smoothly on his chair, he strikes a confident pose with a cigarette dangling
          from his fingers.” Are we supposed to think of this as a “happy landing?”

Week 2            Mad Women
4/04/11           Screening: Selections from Ladies Room & Babylon
                  READ:          Entire Script -- Babylon
                                 Feminine Mystique --Chapter 1
                                 “Mad Women…”
                                 “Mad Men and Race”

         Homework: Analysis #2
Mad Men is significant because it captures, as a time capsule, a moment in history when our country was
on the brink of social change. Three seismic changes were in progress and were coming to fruition in the
early 60’s: The Civil rights Movement, The Women’s Movement and the Gay Rights movement. Do you
think that much has changes from these early days? Write a response about one of the movements
comparing the situation THEN to the situation NOW using examples for our discussion.

Week 3            Aesthetics/Mise-en-scene/Advertising
         Screenings: The Hobo Code
Homework: Analysis #3
Choose one or more scenes from The Hobo Code and do a close analysis of the aesthetic considerations
(lighting, costume, set, shot choices, shot duration, camera movement) as they relate to the characters’
needs and motivation at this time. Are there any symbolic, social, or historic considerations?

Pitch ideas for final paper—Abstract due next week

Week 4         Family, Identity, and the Generation Gap
04/18/11               The Wheel—5G
               READ:             Script, The Wheel
               READ:             “The Past Isn’t What It Used To Be” by Mark Taylor
                                 “Soft Selling-Intergenerational Intimacy” by Leigh Goldstein
Final Paper Abstract Due (200 words-5 points)

Week 5            Raising Provocative Questions—The Pleasure of Analysis
04/25/11          Screening: Class Choice
                  READ: On Disliking Mad Men by Jason Mittell
                  READ: You’ll Love the Way It Makes You Feel by Mark Greif
Final Project Description
Due Monday, May 2, 2011 12:30 pm
Your final analysis paper will be 4-6 pages and should consist of the following:

        - Choose any episode from the entire run of the series that you find to be an important one.
        Discuss how this episode can be related to our pilot episode in terms of themes (see
        below), contexts, structure, and tone—focusing on how your episode is similar to AND/OR
        different from the primary episode.

        - Analyze your episode using one or more of the approaches or situate it in one of the contexts or
        themes we have been discussing. (both are listed below)
        - Incorporate one of our class readings in your analysis
        - Find an additional article from outside of the class to use in your analysis
        - In addition to the paper, you will summarize your analysis to the class in a 15-minute
        presentation on October 18 .

Types of Critical Approaches for Mad Men
Genre—EXAMPLE: Is Mad Men a Soap Opera, Melodrama, Drama, Historic Drama or all of the above?

Auteur—EXAMPLE: What features of this Mad Men episode tell us that it is a classic example of
Matthew Weiner’s style?

Visual Rhetoric—Aesthetic Analysis –EXAMPLE: Through shot selection, camera movement, music,
pacing, color, etc. -- How does this episode paint a picture of the institution of Marriage/Home? The
workplace? The home vs. the girlfriend’s place or hotel?

Cultural Criticism—EXAMPLES: How does this episode “Naturalize” alcohol consumption and
smoking? How does Mad Men or this particular episode embrace Hegemony (everyday mechanisms that
affirm the dominance/power of one group over another) as a normal state in the areas of gender, race,
class, and sexual preference?

Social roles—EXAMPLE: What characters are transgressive in the social role arena? Why does Peggy
make everyone uncomfortable—men, women, coworkers, her family, her priest, her boyfriends, her boss?
Is Midge transgressive in the same ways?

Mythic Analysis—EXAMPLE: Often take the form of comparing Binaries-There are accepted
mythologies about The City vs. The Suburbs--The Madonna vs. the Whore—Wise Elders vs. Reckless
Youth, etc. Does Mad Men reinforce or undermine of any of these mythologies?

Contexts & Themes we have explored:
Identity crisis (who you ARE vs. who you pretend to be)
Youth Culture (Beat Generation, SDS, youth culture)
Social Upheaval (King, Kennedy Assassination)
Institutions questioned (Marriage/Church/Family)
Women’s Social Role (The Feminine Mystique/Sex and the Single Girl)
Civil Rights
Gay Rights
Social Class
Aesthetics/Production values

To top