HISU 382 The Mythic South in Film and Television

Hollywoods portrayal of the South stands as one of the nations central cultural myths and revolves around the tension between a mythic ideal and a tragically flawed reality. Initially, film makers beginning with the advent of epic films focused on the Souths idyllic image as an idealistic and genteel civilization ravaged by the Civil War and Reconstruction. After World War II, film makers explored the regions seamier side in southern Gothic portrayals of the regions decadence and depravity. From hillbillies to slaves, from plantation mistresses to redneck politicians, no southern stereotype has escaped film and television. This course will use these productions as primary sources in cultural history to explore the mythic South.