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Herzlichen Dank für Ihre Mithilfe und Ihr Verständnis.

HINWEIS: Aufgrund des Jugend hackt-Hackathons ist das Amerikahaus am Freitag, den 02. Dezember 2022 ab 18 Uhr und am Samstag, den 03. Dezember 2022 ganztägig geschlossen.

Hollywood Hill from a distance ©Vincentas Liskauskas / unsplash.com

Hollywood Melodrama in the Classroom

Freitag, 21. Januar 2022, 9-14 Uhr

This teacher seminar has been canceled.

"Hollywood melodrama" usually refers to a set of iconic films and their characteristic style. The label evokes powerfully sentimental plots of suffering and sacrifice along with scenes of romantic bliss and estrangement, familial tragedy, fateful coincidences, and happy (or not-so-happy) endings. Ever since the emergence of the filmic formula in the first half of the 20th century, melodramas 'made in Hollywood' have been shown, on the one hand, to address and critique social injustices reflected in hierarchies of race, class, and gender in American society. Think, for instance, of Douglas Sirk's All That Heaven Allows (1955; starring Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson) and its critique of snobbish hypocrisy and class-based prejudice.

On the other hand, it has also been pointed out that Hollywood melodramas have nostalgically affirmed systems of inequality and have even condoned slavery. Thus, a film such as Gone with the Wind (1939) has been repeatedly at the center of harsh controversy. The sentimental politics of the melodrama are ambivalent to this day and can also be traced in remakes, sequels, and other cultural forms. In this seminar, we will discuss selected melodramas and examine the cultural work they have performed. We will also widen our perspective to look beyond Hollywood and at least briefly acknowledge more recent appropriations of the genre of the melodrama in a postcolonial world.

09:00    An Introduction to Hollywood Melodrama, Past and Present
09:30    Case Studies from the 1930s to 50s
10:30    Coffee break
11:00    Case Studies from the 1960s to 90s
12:00    After 2000: From Hollywood to Bollywood, Nollywood and beyond
13:00    Open Discussion
14:00 End

©Heike Paul

About Prof. Heike Paul

Professor Heike Paul is the Chair of American Studies at the Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg. She is renowned in the field and is the author of numerous books and articles. She currently serves as director of the Bavarian-American Academy.

Stiftung Bayerisches Amerikahaus gGmbH

Sarah Martin

Leiterin Recherchezentrum, Programme Schüler*innen und Lehrkräfte


089 55 25 37-20

Betina Bauer

Werkstudentin Recherchezentrum, Programme Schüler*innen und Lehrkräfte


089 55 25 37-20