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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Integrative Arts (INART)

INART 220 (GA;US) Stand-Up Comedy: A Cultural History (3) An American cultural history from mid-19th through mid-20th Century as seen through the prism of stand-up comedy.

INART 220 Stand-Up Comedy: A Cultural History (3)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

Stand-up comedy, the art of making an audience laugh through primarily the spoken word, is a vital and revealing part of American cultural history. The best American comedians from Mark Twain and his sardonic monologues to Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor’s unexpurgated free form rants not only entertained, but illuminated, challenged, reflected the times, and at their best influenced the culture for the better.
This course, through rare uncensored video and audio clips, readings, and lecture, offers an American cultural history through the lens of stand-up comedy covering a span from the mid-19th through the 20th Century.
Topics of consideration include the art of the joke and stand-up comedy performance, the evolution of American comedy genres and venues, the significant performers, the impact of technologies such as radio and television, as well as a variety of issues ranging from racism, ethnic, and gender stereotyping to freedom of speech and political and social change.

General Education: GA
Diversity: US
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Summer 2013
Prerequisite: sophomore standing

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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