HC431H - Reality Television

Professor: Bish Sen

4.00 credits

CRN 35746: Tuesday & Thursday, 10:00-11:50am @ GSH 131

This course will look at reality television in order to examine the critical role it plays in contemporary culture. In the first section of the course we will begin with an overview of the history of reality television and look at some classic shows that preceded and anticipated reality television. We will then examine reality television’s relationship to the current cultural and political order by analyzing shows like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Nanny 911, Judge Judy and Survivor. In the third section of the course we will perform an extended analysis of popular shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and The Bachelor to bring out how reality television engages with issues of class, race, gender and sexuality. Finally, we will look at some contemporary hits –Love is Blind, Catfish – in order to theorize the meaning and implication of reality television today.