Syllabus: Summer 2005
Marketing Goes to the Movies

Instructor: Alton Miller
Home: 312-280-0884
Office: 312-344-7603
Email: alton@mail.com
Student Conference Area


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Marketing Communication Department
Columbia College Chicago
600 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60605


Textbook: None Required. One of the texts to which we will refer frequently is Adcult USA, by James Twitchell. Students would also benefit from the use of any pocket-size grammar/style handbook.



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COURSE OBJECTIVES AND SYLLABUS:

Class Introduction: The shapes and colors of Advertising, the whirr and spin of Public Relations, and the savvy strategies of Marketing have excited the imagination of writers and filmmakers for over 100 years. In this survey course, students get a whirlwind history of our marketing communication culture by watching popular movies with marketing themes. Then they sharpen their college writing skills through group discussion and writing critical annotations for online publication.


Course Description: In this course, students view movies from the popular culture of the 20th century, chosen for their treatment of marketing themes in American life. They join in a discussion of each film, and write a short critique, intended for posting online as part of their class portfolio.


Course Objective: This is a critical writing course, designed to help the high school student make the transition from high school writing to college writing. Using the movies as their subject matter, students will be led through a progressively more advanced introduction to a skill that will greatly enhance their college experience.


Class Information: Students will meet in the Torco Building (624 S. Michigan), in room 806. Students should arrive a few minutes early, and allow time to negotiate the sometimes slow elevators, as the work begins promptly at 9:30 a.m. There will also be an online site for communicating with, and among, the members of the class, at the Student Conference Area.


Class Requirements: Over the course of the summer term, students will write 8-10 short papers, with rewriting required. Students should allow for about an hour of homework for each hour of class time.


Class Policies: Each class may begin with a short quiz, to review the previous lesson. Attendance is important and absences or tardiness will affect the final grade. In addition, High School Institute policy requires the teacher to immediately inform the Columbia College H.S. Institute Coordinator of the absence of any student staying in the College Residence Center. Our department policy is zero tolerance for cheating and plagiarism. Students should always keep copies of all written work, as assignments may not always be returned.


Abbreviated class schedule outline: (This syllabus may change during the term, as new opportunities arise. You will be notified of any changes.)


Tuesday, Class #1 - 9:30-12:30

9:30-10:00, discussion of marketing culture in American life, oriented on one or two points generated by the movie for today

10-12:15, Film: Bamboozled

12:15-12:30: Brief discussion of themes and assignment

Assignment: write a three-page (double-spaced) annotation.


Thursday, Class #2 - 9:30-12:30

9:30 to 10:30 or 11:00, students will read papers in class, and discuss how they used the guidelines to shape their work.

10:30-11:30: Film: The Candidate

Assignment: write a three-page (double-spaced) annotation.


Tuesday, Class #3 - 9:30-12:30

9:30-10:30, read from some assignments; discussion oriented on one or two points from today's movie.

10-11:30, Film: The Hucksters

11:30-12:30: Class discussion of themes. Discussion of assignment

Assignment: write a three-page (double-spaced) annotation.


Thursday, Class #4 - 9:30-12:30

9:30-10:30, discussion oriented on one or two points from today's movie.

10:30-12:00, Film: The Traveling Saleslady

12:00-12:30: Class discussion of themes. Discussion of assignment

Assignment: write a three-page (double-spaced) annotation.


Tuesday, Class #5 - 9:30-12:30

9:30-10:30, read from some assignments; discussion oriented on one or two points from today's movie.

10-11:30, Film: Putney Swope

11:30-12:30: Class discussion of themes. Discussion of assignment

Assignment: write a three-page (double-spaced) annotation.


Thursday, Class #6 - 9:30-12:30

9:30-10:30, read from some assignments; discussion oriented on one or two points from today's movie.

10-11:30, Film: Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?

11:30-12:30: Class discussion of themes. Discussion of assignment

Assignment: write a three-page (double-spaced) annotation.


Tuesday, Class #7 - 9:30-12:30

9:30-10:30, read from some assignments; discussion oriented on one or two points from today's movie.

10-11:30, Film: Sweet Smell of Success

11:30-12:30: Class discussion of themes. Discussion of assignment

Assignment: write a three-page (double-spaced) annotation.


Thursday, Class #8 - 9:30-12:30

9:30-10:30, read from some assignments; discussion oriented on one or two points from today's movie.

10-11:30, Film: Crazy People

11:30-12:30: Class discussion of themes. Discussion of assignment

Assignment: write a three-page (double-spaced) annotation.


Tuesday, Class #9 - 9:30-12:30

9:30-10:30, read from some assignments; discussion oriented on one or two points from today's movie.

10-11:30, Film: Bob Roberts

11:30-12:30: Class discussion of themes. Discussion of assignment

Assignment: write a three-page (double-spaced) annotation.


Thursday, Class #10 - 9:30-12:30

9:30-10:30, read from some assignments; discussion oriented on one or two points from today's movie.

10-11:30, Film: Network

11:30-12:30: Class discussion of themes. Discussion of course implications. Suggestions for further work.


Alternative syllabus entry

9:30-10:30, read from some assignments; discussion oriented on one or two points from today's movie.

10-11:30, Film: What Women Want

11:30-12:30: Class discussion of themes. Discussion of course implications. Suggestions for further work.