This course is an interdisciplinary seminar addressing the history, business, and cultural reception of media franchises. As the foundation of the course, we will distinguish between transmedia (i.e., expanding upon a single narrative across media) and multimedia (i.e., retelling the same narrative across media). Based on this distinction, we will analyze how artists, organizations, and audiences have adopted these storytelling strategies in the United States and around the world. Our analysis will be grounded in a series of critical readings taken from film studies, media studies, cultural studies, and adaptation studies. These methodologies and perspectives will guide discussions around questions such as: How have dominant approaches to franchise storytelling-including adaptation, expansion, and remixing-developed over time? How do these approaches compare across national cultural industries? How do different technologies affect the production and reception of transmedia franchises? What determines authorship in networked franchise production? To what extent do audiences shape the development of transmedia franchises? We will approach these questions and others through case studies of franchises across cinema, literature, comic books, television, and video games. Films screened will include The Avengers, Black Panther, The Matrix, Star Wars, and The Wiz, among others. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of instructor. REQUIRED SCREENING: Wednesdays @ 7pm.
Course Attributes: BU Hum; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM; EN H