I´ll just put copy the Guidelines for the essay given out by my professor here:
“Choose one of the films placed on Nas1 (in the “Essay” folder) and write a 2500-word piece that demonstrates your knowledge of the relations between Hollywood and Nazism in the period 1933-1945. Familiarity with the books by Thomas Doherty and Ben Urwand is expected, beyond the extracts discussed in class, and with their comments on your film, as the case may be. Complementary research into US or German archives, if readily available, (e.g. reviews, trade papers, MPPDA, Hays Office files, diplomatic papers—for Germany, see the kinds of archives used by Urwand) is not required but will be a plus, as will extra reading of recent scholarly or popular sources (e.g. books, articles, online essays). Your essay will demonstrate your ability to analyze film as historical evidence and as film. It will feature a list of works cited at the end and include the proper references, in footnotes or endnotes, to quotations and sources used. Please indicate the word count.
The main focus of your essay will be a film of your choice, preferably an American film, that showcases the relations between Hollywood and Nazi Germany in the period 1933-1945 (see the films available on Nas1. For quick reference on these and other films, see Internet Movie Data Base). Other films can be chosen but please submit your title to me beforehand;
Its goal is to test the extent to which Hollywood can be said to have “collaborated” with Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1939 (1941?)—if your film falls within that period—before collaborating fully with the US government in its war effort after Pearl Harbor. If your film exemplifies the propaganda against the axis, how much did Hollywood turn its back on its prior “collaboration” with the Nazis (according to Ben Urwand) by redeeming itself and addressing the painful issues it had ignored in the wake of Hitler’s rise to power, again according to Urwand (e.g. American anti-Semitism, the fate of European Jews);
Your essay will therefore demonstrate a knowledge of the issues discussed in class (e.g. historical, cultural, economic, political, diplomatic) and of the arguments by Doherty and Urwand in their books;
It will also demonstrate your ability to discuss your film as film (see “How to Read a Film” below) in relation to the arguments and the issues (which, for example, pose themselves in rather different ways in, say, 1934, 1939 or 1943);
It will go beyond a summary of the film and/or of critical views on it and draw on both to offer an original and personal take on the film and on the ways in which it addresses and helps (re)frame the Hollywood-Nazi Germany relations at the time ;
You are encouraged to make use of your knowledge of German and German history to explore further the “collaboration” between the moguls and the Nazis with complementary primary or secondary sources;
Evaluation will take into account the quality of your writing, the pertinence and originality of your comments on both the film of your choice and the critical literature, and the format of your essay (works cited, quotations, footnotes, …)
I shall send the best essays to Thomas Doherty and Ben Urwand.
Motion Picture Herald (1931- )
MPPDA Digital Archive (1922-1939)
How to Read a Film. If you want to go further: Tips on Film Viewing
Jews, Nazis and Hollywood, 1933-1939. Tom Doherty’s lecture to the Yeshiva College Honors Program (February 2014), 57 min.
Hollywood’s Pact With Hitler. Ben Urwand talks about his book (December 2013), 65 min.
Did Hollywood Collaborate With Hitler ? Discussion between Ben Urwand and Greil Marcus at the Jewish Community Center in San Francisco (January 2014), 72 min.
Hollywood, Hitler and Heroes. Live streaming discussion with film historians (including Tom Doherty) (December 2014), 72 min”.
The books “hollywood and hitler” as well as “the collaboration: hollywoods pact with hitler” must be used as as sources.
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