Our next meeting is next week, Thursday, April 7 at 4:15 in 14 Glebe. Elaina Cole (Computer Science major, CofC) will be discussing her paper "Teenage Wasteland: The 1980s Teen Comedy as a Revitalized Screwball Comedy” which was accepted for presentation at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Undegraduate Conference in Boulder, CO (woohoo!). Here is what Elaina says about her paper: "When tasked with writing a paper on a specific film genre, I chose to write about teen comedies, specifically those produced in the 1980s. However, I was stunned to find the lack of academic publications on the genre. Perhaps, many do not even consider it a genre or one worthwhile to analyze. To prove its importance as a genre, I relate the 1980s teen comedy to the heavily explored screwball comedy that dominated the 1930s and early 40s. These genres, despite their radically different decades, share a similar narrative pattern rooted in the financial climate of their corresponding time periods. Both comedies base their fundamental ideologies on the romantic merging of socioeconomic classes, the promise of sex and adventure, and the role of parents. However, the 1980s teen comedy focuses more on utilitarian individualism, maximizing one’s self-interest, rather than a civic individualism, where the individual contributes to the public good, so that the journey of love does not involve a mutual education and parents are not a symbol of reformation like in the screwball comedy. Thus, the 1980s teen comedy is a distinguished genre that promotes adolescent individualism and accepts consumerism while simultaneously rebuking class conflict and adulthood.”

Looking forward to a good discussion!


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Jonathan A. Neufeld
Department of Philosophy
College of Charleston
66 George St.
Charleston, SC 29424
(843) 953-3961  
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