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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Fall 2007

AMS 311S • Walt Disney and the Disneyfication of America-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
30332 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
RLM 7.112

Course Description

This course will examine the many ways Walt Disney has influenced American culture against a larger backdrop of the history of popular amusement and recreation in the United States. We will examine precursors to the general ordered nature of amusement before Walt Disney's time and literature on Walt Disney himself from a variety of perspectives - biographical, aesthetic, celebratory and derisive.

We will also consider the nature of Disneyfication - the transformation of public and private spaces across the country into sanitized, safe and Disneylandesque environments  and their impact on the American and global landscape. Finally, this course will consider Disney films and cartoons as supplementary texts that may illuminate various events and issues throughout the twentieth century from the Great Depression and the Cold War, to the emergence of postmodernism and the development of the global economy.

Grading Policy

The course will combine lectures and discussions of topics covered in lectures and readings

3-5 Page Analytical Paper (30%) Take-Home Mid-Term Exam (25%) 10-12 Page Research Paper (25%) In-Class Response Papers, Attendance, and In-Class Participation (20%)


Kasson, John. Amusing the Million: Coney Island at the Turn of the Century Marling, Karal Ann ed. Designing Disney's Theme Parks Watt, Stephen. The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life Course Reader


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