Special Topics: Disney's Lands: Consuming Wonders in America
David Doris
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
270 Tappan
3 Credit Seminar
Since it opened its gates on 17 July 1955, Disneyland has held a near-mythic place in the cultural imagination of the United States. Some revere it as the Happiest Place on Earth, a magical vacation kingdom of wholesome family entertainment. Others despise it as a cathedral of fakery and commercialism, the ultimate shrine to the postmodern demise of the real. Disney theme parks, with their innovative approaches to visual storytelling and environmental theming, have had impact far beyond their boundaries; they have changed the physical and psychic landscape of American and global consumer culture. We will examine the Disney parks from several vantage points, focusing on individual themed lands within them to address broader fields of historical representation among them the depiction of the American Frontier, colonialist Adventure, childhood Fantasy, and utopian Tomorrow. Readings will be interdisciplinary. Field trips are planned. Enrollment will be by instructor permission only.

Estimated cost of materials: $150 or more. IV. 4