Spring 2019





MLA Proseminar: That 70s Movie

Term: 
Spring 2014
Online: 
No
Subject Area: 
ART HISTORY (ARTH)
Course Number: 
ARTH 505 640
Schedule: 
Thursday 5:00pm-8:00pm
Day(s): 
Thursday
Instructor: 

SHAW, GWENDOLYN D

Primary Program: 
Master of Liberal Arts
Course Description: 

The decade of the 1970s was marked by a rise in exceedingly lurid and socially transgressive independent films that challenged conventional ideas of race, gender, and sexuality. Melvin Van Peeble’s Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971), Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971) and John Water’s Pink Flamingos (1972) began a wave of filmmaking that pushed the limits of moviegoers' taste, while simultaneously encouraging them to liberate themselves psychologically, sexually, and sartorially from the conformity and prudishness that had characterized mainstream culture since the end of the Second World War. This seminar will examine the impact of various films that achieved cult status upon the larger popular culture of the 1970s. We will study the new social practices and fashion trends that these films initiated, as well as the concurrent rise of other cinematic genres, such as dystopic science fiction, gross-out comedy, and slasher films. Why were the 1970s such a fertile moment for the popularization of transgressive culture and what are its legacies for us today?