Seen, Unseen and Suggested: Representation and Hollywood Film Censorship

Course Overview

Course Number: ARTH 490 section 001
Professor: Dr. JJ Bauer,
Course location and time: 117 Hanes Art Center, MWF 11:15 am-12:05 pm
Office Hours: 2-3 MW and by appointment

Course Description

In a country that prides itself on its unwavering and uncompromising commitment to the idea of free speech, voluntary and involuntary forms of censorship have been allowed to thrive, and often accepted as positively beneficial, in many different guises up to the present day in American popular entertainment in all of its forms. This course will look at the history of film censorship in the United States from the perspective of how such things as the Production Code (Hays Code), wartime restrictions, Anti-communist blacklisting, regional and local censorship boards (for example, State and Municipal Censorship Boards prior to 1968), late 1960s movements for social change, and culturally and socially-determined moral and ethical standards restricted what could and could not be seen on movie screens in American theaters. We will watch and then analyze approximately 30 films from a cross-section of the 120-year history of cinema in the US, paying special attention to the films of the “pre-code” era (1930-1934, when the Hays Office had been created but its industry recommendations were not enforced), “post-code” era, post-WWII and Cold War era, and after the shutting down of the Hays Office in 1968 and concomitant institution of the MPAA Ratings Administration. Consideration will be given to issues of gender, sexuality, race, class, and political persuasion as they affect on-screen representation, and also to specific religious (Legion of Decency/Catholic boycotts) and geographically regional (Southern segregation extended to films as well as to the experience of them in theaters) censorship practices over time. Films that fall outside the “mainstream” because of their resistance to censorship will also be viewed, for example, so-called Race pictures and X-rated films. The ultimate goal of the course will be to cover the myriad ways in which censorship determined/determines what audiences saw/see on film and how that created a seemingly culturally-unified image of “America” that was/is, for many Americans, restrictive and exclusionary of their life experiences, if not outright hostile to their participation in American cultural life.

The course will be held primarily in the classroom. Outside the classroom, students will be watching assigned films as well as reading from texts such as Thomas Doherty’s Pre-Code Hollywood: Sex, Immorality, and Insurrection in American Cinema 1930-1934 (Columbia University Press, 1999) and Hollywood’s Censor: Joseph I. Breen and the Production Code Administration (Columbia University Press, 1995), Jennifer Fronc’s Monitoring the Movies: The Fight Over Film Censorship in Early 20th Century Urban America (University of Texas Press, 2017), Gregory Black’s Hollywood Censored: Morality Codes, Catholics, and the Movies (Cambridge University Press, 1996), Jon Lewis’s Hollywood v. Hard Core: How the Struggle over Censorship Saved the Modern Film Industry as well as the 10-volume History of the American Cinema, Charles Harpole general editor (University of California Press 1990-2000) and articles and text excerpts on more specialized topics of film censorship. In the classroom, instruction will be centered on seminar-style discussion and analysis of the readings and selected film clips, as well as student responses to such topically specific documentaries as This Film Is Not Yet Rated and The Celluloid Closet.


Sheri Chinen Biesen, Film Censorship: Regulating America’s Screen, Wallflower/Columbia University Press, New York, 2018. [also on e-reserve]

Library reserve and E-resources as listed in the course calendar

Course Website


Changes to the Syllabus

The syllabus will change (with advanced notice) as the instructor deems appropriate, particularly to address student interests and incorporate input. Changes will not result in a significantly increased workload.

Course Goals and Learning Objectives

This course will enable students to:

Through assigned readings, viewing a broad range of films, lectures, and discussions, students should be able to study film with a focus on developing critical and formal analytical skills using multiple methodologies and materials. This course encourages students to be more critically aware in evaluating how visual media contribute to defining our society, for better or worse. Students will increase their research skills using primary sources, secondary sources, and digital resources to make an informed and nuanced argument about the past and the present in the form of an online exhibition.

As part of the Gen Ed Curriculum, this course will enable students to:

Aesthetic and Interpretive Analysis:

  1. Interpret and critique literary and artistic expression.
  2. Analyze artistic works in various contexts (social, political, historical, philosophical, etc.) and with regard to style, period, and the circumstances of composition.
  3. Explain how aesthetic expression enhances human experience.

Engagement with the Human Past:

  1. Develop knowledge of different spatio-temporal scales, patterns, ideas, figures, and events from the past.
  2. Evaluate primary source material and/or other historical evidence of past conditions (e.g., behaviors, events, and social, cultural, economic, and/or political structures); assess divergent or complementary methods, materials, and/or methodologies in interpreting the human past.
  3. Assess conflicting historical narratives based on evidence and methodologies.
  4. Generate and evaluate arguments based the analysis of primary and scholarly sources.
  5. Apply historical methods and knowledge to make informed judgments about the past and the present.

Research and Discover:

  1. Frame a topic, develop an original research question or creative goal, and establish a point of view, creative approach, or hypothesis.
  2. Obtain a procedural understanding of how conclusions can be reached in a field and gather appropriate evidence.
  3. Evaluate the quality of the arguments and/or evidence in support of the emerging product.
  4. Communicate findings in a clear and compelling ways.
  5. Critique and identify the limits of the conclusions of the project and generate ideas for future work.

Recurring Capacities:

  1. Pose problems and questions that require systematic thinking about evidence, argument and uncertainty;
  2. Consider its content in the context of human difference between and within societies; the full range of legitimate debate in its field; and/or change over time
  3. Require writing totaling at least 10 pages in length, or the intellectual equivalent.
  4. Require presenting material to the class, small groups, or the public through oral presentations, webpages, or other means that enable corroboration of fact and argument.
  5. Require collaborating in pairs or groups to learn, design, solve, create, build, research or similar.

NOTE: Awaiting approval for gen ed curriculum

Course Assignments and Assessments

Course Grade

Your course grade will be calculated in the following manner:

  • Class Participation 20%
  • Group Collaboration 20%
  • Class Presentation 20%
  • Final Project 40%

Grade scale: A = 100-93; A- = 92-90; B+ = 89-87; B = 86-83; B- = 82-80; C+ = 79-77; C = 76-73; C- = 72-70; D+ = 69-67; D = 66-63; F = 62-0. A final course grade that is on the cusp of a higher grade level (a numerical percentage that is .5 or higher) will be rounded up to the higher grade (for example an 82.6/B- will be rounded up to an 83/B).

Student Responsibilities

Regular class attendance is expected and is a necessity for a proper understanding of the course material. Should it be necessary to miss class for a compelling reason, it is your responsibility to borrow notes for that day from a fellow student in the class. Students arriving late to class or leaving early are disruptive. Common courtesy is expected. All cell phones must be turned off during class. Laptops must be used for course business only and will be shut down if they are not—shopping online, playing games, or chatting on Facebook during class is distracting to your peers and will not be tolerated. Participation grades will be marked down 5 points (out of 100) for any technology infraction.

Along with working on the final project, writing weekly reading response papers, and preparing presentations, you should keep up with the assigned viewings as the material is covered in class. If a reading is assigned for a particular day, you should be able to summarize the content in writing and discuss it in class. The class participation portion of your grade is based on written response papers as well as active discussion in class.

Reading Response Papers

Once per week, each student will be asked to submit a 1-page written response to 1 of the readings for half of the weeks on the calendar. You can choose which reading you wish to respond to in which weeks, but should submit at least 6 over the course of the semester. Responses will be due by 5 pm on Friday of each week.

Exhibition Assignment

Students will be divided into three groups, each of which will develop an exhibition on a specific topic related to film censorship; design, create and upload materials and accompanying explanatory text to a virtual exhibition space in Scalar; and present that exhibition as realized to the rest of the class. The goal of each exhibition will be to find and analyze specific examples of visual censorship within a narrow category of representation—for example, scenes of dressing and undressing on-screen, further subdivided into categories of male, female, cross-dressing, suggested (behind a screen) and so on—so as to begin to build up a repository of such instances of these representational moments to begin to visualize how the effects of censorship on what audiences see (or surmise, if unseen) would change depending on the narrative context, geographic region, censorship target (different standards for male and female characters!), or time period. The group together must create an introductory exhibition entry with text and media explaining how each part (a “node”) relates to the general exhibition concept. Within each group, individual students would be responsible for one “node” of the exhibition for their particular grade, including providing 6 exhibition objects (film segment, film posters, news articles, legal documents, etc.) and writing the catalog text for that object of about a page length (1000 words). Subsequent courses would add to, edit and critique these exhibitions, as well as create exhibitions on new topics under the main heading of American film censorship.

Time will be spent in the classroom during week 2 to train the class in the use of Scalar, the basic rules of copyright as they apply to film, and how to use library resources to find materials.

Due dates:  Drafts of first 2 individual entries due October 7 by 5:00 pm, Group exhibition introduction entry due November 18 by 5:00 pm, Final 6 individual entries due November 30 by 5:00 pm

Any information derived from research must be properly documented with footnotes or endnotes and a bibliography in a standard format. Internet research must also be documented and should constitute less than 1/3 of your source materials. Citation should be in Chicago Style–one highly recommended manual is Kate L. Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations.

Student Presentation Assignment

At the end of the course, each student will give a 10-minute presentation about their “node” of the online exhibition, going into more depth than the online catalog entries in terms of analyzing the film segments chosen in their historical, social, and cultural context. As much as possible, each student group will be presenting their exhibition together on the same day (3 groups, 3 presentation days) so that each “node” can then be discussed by the group in relation to the others for that exhibition. After the last presentations on the Final Exam Day, the whole class will discuss each exhibition in relation to the others.

Late Papers/Assignments

A reading response paper, online entries, or presentation may be handed in late without penalty for a legitimate personal reason. Dr. Bauer will be the judge of what is legitimate, such as a serious illness or a family emergency. An unexcused late assignment will be penalized one full letter grade.

Course Calendar

August 15 (M)

Course Introduction

August 17 (W)

Readings: Biesen, pp. 7-11; Jennifer Fronc, Monitoring the Movies: The Fight over Film Censorship in Early 20th Century Urban America, chapter 1 [e-reserve]; Dan Streible, “A History of the Boxing Film, 1894-1915: Social Control and Social Reform in the Progressive Era,” Film History, vol. 3, no. 3 (1989), pp. 235-257 [e-reserve] 

Films: Fatima’s Couchee-Couchee Dance (1896, James H. White, Edison Films),  Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight (1897), Johnson-Jefferies Fight (1910) Note: Both of these fight films are partial, and the second one has modern narration, so I would turn the sound off. The original films would have included preliminary footage (of the town, of practice sparring, of people arriving, etc.) as well as every 3-minute round of each fight.

August 19 (F)

Readings: Monitoring the Movies, chapter 2 [e-reserve]; Shelley Stamp, “Taking Precautions, or Regulating Early Birth-Control Films,” A Feminist Reader in Early Cinema, ed. Jennifer M. Bean and Diane Negra, Durham: Duke University Press (2002), pp. 270-297 [e-reserve]

Film: Where Are My Children? (1916, Lois Weber, Lois Weber Productions)

August 22 (M)

Readings: Monitoring the Movies, chapter 3 [e-reserve], Dorian Lynskey, “‘A Public Menace:’ How the Fight to Ban The Birth of a Nation shaped the nascent civil rights movement,” Slate, March 31, 2015 [e-reserve]

Film: The Birth of a Nation (1916, D. W. Griffith, David W. Griffith Corp.)

August 24 (W)

Readings: Gary Alan Fine, “Scandal, Social Conditions, and the Creation of Public Attention: Fatty Arbuckle and the ‘Problem of Hollywood,'” Social Problems, vol. 44, no. 3 (1997), pp. 297-323 [e-reserve]

Films: The Roscoe Arbuckle shorts for Comique Film Corporation are collected in The Best Arbuckle/Keaton Collection Volume One and The Best Arbuckle/Keaton Collection Volume Two. Watch selections from either volume (try to watch at least one full short).

August 26 (F)

Workshop: Introduction to Scalar

August 29 (M)

Readings: Biesen, pp. 11-33, Thomas Doherty, Pre-Code Hollywood: Sex, Immorality, and Insurrection in American Cinema, 1930-1934, chapter 5 [Library Reserve]

Film: Baby Face (1933, Alfred E. Green, Warner Bros.) [Library Reserve]

August 31 (W)

Readings: Marybeth Hamilton, “Goodness had Nothing to Do With It,” Movie Censorship and American Culture, ed. Francis G. Couvares, pp. 187-211 [Library Reserve], Chris Yogerst, “Hughes, Hawks, and Hays: The Monumental Censorship Battle over Scarface (1932),” Journal of American Culture, vol. 40 no. 2 (2017), pp. 134-144 [e-reserve]

Films: Scarface (1932, Howard Hawks, The Caddo Company), She Done Him Wrong (1933, Lowell Sherman, Paramount Pictures) [Library Reserve]

September 2 (F)

Workshop: Library Research Methods

September 5 (M) Labor Day: No Class

September 7 (W)

Reading: Biesen, pp. 34-59, Furniss, Maureen, “Handslapping in Hollywood: The Production Code’s Influence on the ‘Lubitsch Touch’,” The Spectator vol. 11, issue 1 (Fall 1990), pp. 52-61, 75. [e-reserve], John Billheimer, Hitchcock and the Censors, chapter 6 [e-reserve], NOTE: The full text of the Production Code is in Biesen, Appendix, pp. 144-150

Films: The Merry Widow (1934, Ernst Lubitsch, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) [Library Reserve and Rebecca (1940, Alfred Hitchcock, Selznick International Pictures) [e-reserve]

September 9 (F)

Workshop: Choosing Virtual Exhibition groups/topics and individuals/nodes

September 12 (M)

Readings: Biesen, pp. 45-59

Film: Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939, Anatole Litvak, Warner Bros.)

September 14 (W)

Reading: Karl F. Cohen, Forbidden Animation: Censored Cartoons and Blacklisted Animators in America, chapter 1 [Library Reserve}, Heather Hendershot, “Secretary, Homemaker, and ‘White’ Woman: Industrial Censorship and Betty Boop’s Shifting Design,” Journal of Design History, Vol. 8, No. 2 (1995), pp. 117-130 [e-reserve]

Films: Betty Boop shorts, Tex Avery shorts, etc. [List with links on Sakai]

September 16 (F)

Workshop: What do you need help with in your research?

September 19 (M)

Reading: Biesen, pp. 59-82, Thomas Schatz, Boom and Bust: The American Cinema in the 1940s, chapter 8 [Library Reserve], Mark Harris, Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War, selections about Let There Be Light [Sakai]

Film: Let There Be Light (1946, John Huston, OWI) [e-reserve]

September 21 (W)

Reading: Biesen, “Censorship, Film Noir, and Double Indemnity (1944),” Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies, Volume 25, Numbers 1-2 (1995), pp. 40-52 [e-reserve]

Film: Double Indemnity (1944, Billy Wilder, Paramount Pictures) [Library Reserve]

September 23 (F)

Workshop: Digitizing materials for inclusion in Scalar

September 26 (M) No class: Wellbeing day

September 28 (W)

Reading: Patricia White, Uninvited: Classical Hollywood Cinema and Lesbian Representability, chapter 1 [Library Reserve]

Film: These Three (1936, William Wyler, Warner Bros.) [Library Reserve]

September 30 (F)

Reading: Chon Noriega, “’Something’s Missing Here!’: Homosexuality and Film Reviews during the Production Code Era, 1934-1962,” Cinema Journal, volume 30, number 1 (Fall 1990), pp. 20-41 [e-reserve]

Film: Tea and Sympathy (1956, Vincente Minnelli, MGM) [Library Reserve]

October 3 (M)

Reading: Charlene Regester, “Black Films, White Censors: Oscar Micheaux Confronts Censorship in New York, Virginia, and Chicago,” Movie Censorship and American Culture, ed. Francis G. Couvares, pp. 159-186. [Library Reserve]

Film: Body and Soul (1925, Oscar Micheaux, Micheaux Film Corporation)

October 5 (W)

Reading: Karina Longworth, “Six Degrees of Song of the South: Hattie McDaniel,” You Must Remember This podcast, October 29, 2019

Film: In This Our Life (1942, John Huston, Warner Bros.) [Library Reserve]

October 7 (F)

Reading: Cohen, Forbidden Animation, chapter 2, Ellen Scott, “Regulating ‘Nigger’: Racial Offense, African American Activists, and the MPPDA, 1928-1961,” Film History, volume 26, number 4 (2014), pp. 1-31. [e-reserve]

Film: Home of the Brave (1949, Mark Robson, United Artists) [Library Reserve], censored cartoons [List with links on Sakai]

October 10 (M)

Reading: Biesen pp. 82-88, Thomas Schatz, Boom and Bust: The American Cinema in the 1940s, chapter 9 [Library Reserve] and  Jon Lewis, Hollywood v. Hard Core: How the Struggle over Censorship Saved the Modern Film Industry, chapter 1 [Library Reserve]

Film: Crossfire (1947, Edward Dmytryk, RKO Pictures) [e-reserve]

October 12 (W) University Day: No Class

October 14 (F) Workshop: Metadata and Tagging in Scalar

October 17 (M)

Reading: Biesen pp. 89-94, Lorraine Ahearn, “When Hollywood Crossed the Color Line,” Chapter 5 of African Americans in the History of Mass Communication: A Reader [Library Reserve]

Film: Ali Baba Goes to Town (1937, David Butler, 20th Century Fox) [Library Reserve]

October 19 (W)

Reading: Strub, Whitney, “Black and White and Banned All Over: Race, Censorship and Obscenity in Postwar Memphis,” Journal of Social History, volume 40, number 3 (Spring 2007), pp. 685-715 [e-reserve]

Film: Imitation of Life (1959, Douglas Sirk, Universal Pictures) [e-reserve]

October 21 (F) Fall Break: No Class

October 24 (M)

Reading: Biesen pp. 91-113, Jon Lewis, Hollywood v. Hard Core: How the Struggle over Censorship Saved the Modern Film Industry, Chapter 3 [Library Reserve]

Film: L’Amore, part 2 The Miracle (1948, Roberto Rossellini, Joseph Burstyn released it in the US as part of an anthology titled The Ways of Love)—streaming for rent on Amazon Prime

October 26 (W)

Film: The Man with the Golden Arm (1955, Otto Preminger, United Artists) [e-reserve]

October 28 (F)

Reading: Paul Monaco, The Sixties: 1960-1969, Chapter 4 [Sakai]

Film: Blow-Up (1966, Michelangelo Antonioni, MGM/Premier Productions) [Library Reserve]

October 31 (M)

Reading: Biesen pp. 114-118, David Cook, Lost Illusions: American Cinema in the Shadow of Watergate and Vietnam, 1970-1979, Chapter 6, section on Feature-Length Hardcore Films, pp. 271-283 [Library Reserve]

Film: Midnight Cowboy (1969, John Schlesinger, United Artists) [Library Reserve]

November 2 (W)

Reading: Lewis, Chapter 4 [Library Reserve], Karina Longworth, “Erotic 80s: Porno Chic and the Brief Heyday of X Ratings,” You Must Remember This podcast, April 4, 2022

Film: Pink Flamingos (1972, John Waters, Dreamland) [Library Reserve]

November 4 (F)

Reading: Lewis, Chapter 5 [Library Reserve]

Film: Deep Throat (1972, Gerard Damiano, Bryanston Distributing Company) [Library Reserve]

November 7 (M)

Readings: Stephen Prince, New Pot of Gold: Hollywood under the Electronic Rainbow, 1980-1989, Chapter 8 [Library Reserve]

Film: American Gigolo (1980, Paul Schrader, Paramount Pictures) [Library Reserve]

November 9 (W)

Readings: Karina Longworth, “Erotic 80s: Teen Sexploitation, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Porky’s and The Blue Lagoon,” You Must Remember This podcast, April 4, 2022

Film: Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982, Amy Heckerling, Universal Studios) [Library Reserve]

November 11 (F)

Readings: Thomas R. Lindlof, Hollywood Under Siege: Martin Scorsese, the Religious Right, and the Culture Wars, Epilogue [e-reserve]

Film: Last Temptation of Christ (1988, Martin Scorsese, Universal Studios) [Library Reserve]

November 14 (M)

Reading: Kendall R. Phillips, Controversial Cinema: the Films That Outraged America : The Films That Outraged America, Chapter 3

Film: Natural Born Killers (1994, Oliver Stone, Warner Bros.) [Library Reserve]

November 16 (W)

Reading: Chloe Nurik, “50 Shades of Film Censorship: Gender Bias from the Hays Code to MPAA Ratings,” Communication Culture & Critique, Volume 11, issue 4 (December 2018), pp. 530-547

Film: Blue Valentine (2010, Derek Cianfrance, The Weinstein Company) [Library Reserve]

November 18 (F) Workshop: Checking in on Scalar exhibits and presentation preparation

November 23 (M)

Reading: Biesen pp. 118-123, Erich Schwartzel, Red Carpet: Hollywood, China, and the Global Battle for Cultural Supremacy, chapters 1 and 10 [Sakai]

Films: Doctor Strange (2017, Scott Derrickson, Marvel Studios) [Library Reserve]

November 25 and 27 (W and F) Thanksgiving Break: No Class

November 28 (M), November 30 (W), Final Exam Period: December 9 (F), 12:00 pm

Balio, Tino. Grand Design: Hollywood as a Modern Business Enterprise, volume 5 of History of the American Cinema, Charles Harpoole general editor, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1993. Chapter 3.

Belton, John ed. Movies and Mass Culture, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1996.

Bernstein, Matthew ed. Controlling Hollywood: Censorship and Regulation in the Studio Era, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1999.

Biesen, Sheri Chinen. Blackout: World War II and the Origins of Film Noir, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005.

Biltereyst, Daniel and Roel Vande Winkel eds. Silencing Cinema: Film Censorship Around the World, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013

Black, Gregory D. Hollywood Censored: Morality Codes, Catholics, and the Movies, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

Bogle, Donald. Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies, and Bucks: An Interpretive History of Blacks in American Films, New York: Continuum, 2001.

Courtney, Susan. Hollywood Fantasies of Miscegenation: Spectacular Narratives of Gender and Race, 1903-1967, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005.

Couvares, Francis G. “The Good Censor: Race, Sex, and Censorship in the Early Cinema,” Yale Journal of Criticism, volume 7, number 2 (January 1, 1994), pp. 233-251.

Crafton, Donald. The Talkies: American Cinema’s Transition to Sound, 1926-1931, volume 4 of History of the American Cinema, Charles Harpoole general editor, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1997. Chapter 18.

Cripps, Thomas. Slow Fade to Black, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977.

_____. Making Movies Black: The Hollywood Message Movie from World War II to the Civil Rights Era, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Doherty, Thomas. Projections of War: Hollywood, American Culture, and World War II, New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.

_____. Hollywood’s Censor: Joseph I. Breen and the Production Code Administration, Columbia University Press, 2009.

Geltzer, Jeremy. Dirty Words and Filthy Pictures : Film and the First Amendment, Austin: University of Texas Press, 2016.

Gilbert, Nora. Better Left Unsaid: Victorian Novels, Hays Code Films, and the Benefits of Censorship, Stanford University Press, 2013.

Grainge, Paul ed.  Memory and Popular Film, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003.

Grieveson, Lee. Policing Cinema: Movies and Censorship in Early-Twentieth-Century America, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004.

Hansen, Miriam. Babel and Babylon: Spectatorship in American Silent Film, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994.

Haygood, Wil. Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films in a White World, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2021.

Kuhn, Annette. Cinema, Censorship and Sexuality, 1909-1925, London: Routledge, 1988. [British censorship]

Lehman, Christopher P. The Colored Cartoon: Black Representation in American Animated Short Films, 1907-1954, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2007.

Lev, Peter. Transforming the Screen: 1950-1959, volume 7 of History of the American Cinema, Charles Harpoole general editor, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2003. Chapter 4.

Lewis, Jon. “Real sex: aesthetics and economics of art-house porn,” Jump Cut, volume 51 (2009), archived version.

Lyons, Charles. The New Censors: Movies and the Culture Wars, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1997.

Maltby, Richard, Melvyn Stokes, and Robert C. Allen eds. Going to the Movies: Hollywood and the Social Experience of Cinema, Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2007.

Merritt, Greg. Room {1219}: The Life of Fatty Arbuckle, the Mysterious Death of Virginia Rappe, and the Scandal That Changed Hollywood, Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2013.

Olsen, David S. “The New Religious Right versus Media Wrongs: AFA Fights Temptation,” Journal of Film and Video, volume 53, number 2/3 (Summer/Fall 2001), pp. 3-22.

Ooten, Melissa. “Censorship In Black And White: The Burning Cross (1947), Band Of Angels (1957) And The Politics Of Film Censorship In The American South After World War II,” Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, volume 33, number 1, 2013, pp. 77-98.

Peiss, Kathy. Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn-of-the-Century New York, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1985.

Petrie, Ruth ed. Film and Censorship, London: Cassell, 1997.

Quart, Leonard and Albert Auster. American Film and Society since 1945, 5th Edition, ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2018.

Rich, B. Ruby. “Maedchen in Uniform.” Jump Cut, no. 24/25, winter 1981, pp. 44+

Ross, Steven J. ed. Movies and American Society, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2002.

Russo, Vito. The Celluloid Closet, New York: Harper and Row, 1987.

Scott, Ellen C. Cinema Civil Rights: Regulation, Repression, and Race in the Classical Hollywood Era, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2015.

Sperb, Jason. Disney’s Most Notorious Film : Race, Convergence, and the Hidden Histories of Song of the South, Austin: University of Texas Press, 2012.

Streible, Dan. Fight Pictures: A History of Boxing and Early Cinema, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008.

Waller, Gregory A. ed. Moviegoing in America: A Sourcebook in the History of Film Exhibition, Oxford, Blackwell Publishers, Ltd., 2002.

Walsh, Frank. Sin and Censorship: The Catholic Church and the Motion Picture Industry, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996.

Weiss, Andrea. Vampires & Violets: Lesbians in Film, Penguin Books: London, 1993. 

Williams, Linda. Screening Sex, Durham: Duke University Press, 2008.

Course Policies and Resources

Accessibility Resources

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Accommodations are determined through the Office of Accessibility Resources and Service (ARS) for individuals with documented qualifying disabilities in accordance with applicable state and federal laws. See the ARS Website for contact information: or email

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As stated in the University’s Class Attendance Policy, no right or privilege exists that permits a student to be absent from any class meetings, except for these University Approved Absences:

  1. Authorized University activities
  2. Disability/religious observance/pregnancy, as required by law and approved by Accessibility Resources and Service and/or the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (EOC)
  3. Significant health condition and/or personal/family emergency as approved by the Office of the Dean of Students, Gender Violence Service Coordinators, and/or the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (EOC).

Instructors may work with students to meet attendance needs that do not fall within University approved absences. For situations when an absence is not University approved (e.g., a job interview or club activity), instructors determine their own approach to missed classes and make-up assessment and assignments.

University Approved Absence Office (UAAO): The UAAO website provides information and FAQs for students and faculty related to University Approved Absences.

Note: Instructors have the authority to make academic adjustments without official notice from the UAAO. In other words, it is not required for instructors to receive a University Approved Absence notification in order to work with a student. In fact, instructors are encouraged to work directly with students when possible.

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Plagiarism will not be tolerated.

IT Acceptable Use Policy

By attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, you agree to abide by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill policies related to the acceptable use of IT systems and services. The Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) sets the expectation that you will use the University’s technology resources responsibly, consistent with the University’s mission. In the context of a class, it’s quite likely you will participate in online activities that could include personal information about you or your peers, and the AUP addresses your obligations to protect the privacy of class participants. In addition, the AUP addresses matters of others’ intellectual property, including copyright. These are only a couple of typical examples, so you should consult the full Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy, which covers topics related to using digital resources, such as privacy, confidentiality, and intellectual property.

Additionally, consult the University website “Safe Computing at UNC” for information about the data security policies, updates, and tips on keeping your identity, information, and devices safe.

Policy on Non-Discrimination

The University is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our community and to ensuring that educational and employment decisions are based on individuals’ abilities and qualifications. Consistent with this principle and applicable laws, the University’s Policy Statement on Non-Discrimination offers access to its educational programs and activities as well as employment terms and conditions without respect to race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, genetic information, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Such a policy ensures that only relevant factors are considered and that equitable and consistent standards of conduct and performance are applied.

If you are experiencing harassment or discrimination, you can seek assistance and file a report through the Report and Response Coordinators (see contact info at or the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office, or online to the EOC at

Title IX Resources

Any student who is impacted by discrimination, harassment, interpersonal (relationship) violence, sexual violence, sexual exploitation, or stalking is encouraged to seek resources on campus or in the community. Reports can be made online to the EOC at Please contact the University’s Title IX Coordinator (Elizabeth Hall, interim–, Report and Response Coordinators in the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (, Counseling and Psychological Services (confidential), or the Gender Violence Services Coordinators (; confidential) to discuss your specific needs. Additional resources are available at

Undergraduate Testing Center

The College of Arts and Sciences provides a secure, proctored environment in which exams can be taken. The center works with instructors to proctor exams for their undergraduate students who are not registered with ARS and who do not need testing accommodations as provided by ARS. In other words, the Center provides a proctored testing environment for students who are unable to take an exam at the normally scheduled time (with pre-arrangement by your instructor). For more information, visit

Writing Center and Learning Center

For free feedback on any course writing projects, check out UNC’s Writing Center. Writing Center coaches can assist with any writing project, including multimedia projects and application essays, at any stage of the writing process. You don’t even need a draft to come visit. To schedule a 45-minute appointment, review quick tips, or request written feedback online, visit  

Want to get the most out of this course or others this semester? Visit UNC’s Learning Center at to make an appointment or register for an event. Their free, popular programs will help you optimize your academic performance.  Try academic coaching, peer tutoring, STEM support, ADHD/LD services, workshops and study camps, or review tips and tools available on the website.