HIST247 - MARTIANS IN NEW JERSEY: MEDIA, PERFORMANCE AND AMERICA IN 1938

Description: 
In the most famous of Halloween pranks, in 1938, Orson Welles broadcast the annihilation of the world, and in doing so, blurred the bounds between fiction and reality. Told through a series of newscasts, the program, “The War of the Worlds,” led many to believe that Martians had indeed attacked the United States. Aired as radio was becoming a leading source of entertainment and news, this radio play would become one of the new medium’s most recalled, and most controversial, programs. In this course, we will use the story of Welles’s play to open a window into the United States in the Great Depression and on the eve of World War II. That story will help us consider America’s early engagement with radio and the mass media, the possibilities for storytelling on the air, and the connections between media and manipulation. To explore such topics in depth, performance will be a key compenent of the course: Students will develop and deliver a “broadcast” of the play, through which we will consider radio theater and the world of “War of the Worlds.”
Instructors: 
MALAGUE, ROSEMARY
LENTHALL, BRUCE
Day and Time: 
TR 0300PM-0430PM
Room: 

FISHER-BENNETT HALL 419

Activity: 
SEM
Cross Listings: 
    Registration Notes: 
    BENJAMIN FRANKLIN SEMINARS