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Presenting programs for LLS
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"The Reel" 1940s:
Using Film to Explore a Pivotal Decade of the 20th-Century
Burton Atkins

COURSE DESCRIPTION: In 1940 much of the world was already engulfed by what would become the most destructive war in human history. Still digging itself out of the Great Depression, the United States officially remained detached from the conflict raging in Europe and Asia. However, the “date which will live in infamy”, December 7,1941, fundamentally altered America’s role in the world. With the end of the war in 1945, the United States emerged as a world power having a monopoly for only a short time over nuclear weapons as the “hot” war that consumed America's energy was turned into a “cold” one with the Soviet Union. At home, the engine of economic power assembled to fight a war across the globe, transforming the domestic lives of many Americans. This lecture series will use film clips as visual texts to explore political, social, economic and cultural facets of American society between 1940 and 1949. The films will range from those that explore the monumental conflict that was World War II, to those that examine the decade's great social issues , as well as those that helped Americans escape to the movie theater for great song, dance and entertainment.  (The film selection and order of presentation are subject to change).
1. Great Issues at Home and Abroad - The Grapes of Wrath / Casablanca
2. Entertaining Ourselves at Home - Fantasia / Holiday Inn
3. World War II at the Movies -Tora Tora Tora / Lifeboat
4. June 6,1944 D-Day - The Longest Day / Saving Private Ryan
5. The Dawn of the Nuclear Age - Fat Man and Little Boy / The Day After Trinity
6. The Aftermath of the Holocaust - The Pawn Broker / Sophie’s Choice
7. Fantasy on Film - Miracle on 34th Street / It’s a Wonderful Life
8. Film Noir - Double Indemnity / Ministry of Fear
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Dr. Burton Atkins is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Florida State University (FSU). Currently he teaches political science at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and  also serves on the faculties at Virginia Tech and Penn State Universities. In his 35-year career at FSU, Dr. Atkins taught a variety of courses on, and wrote extensively about,  constitutional law and U.S. politics; served as chair of the Political Science department; lived in London from 1992 to 1997 while serving as the Director of FSU’s London Study Center; and from 1997 until his retirement in 2006, served as Director of the FSU International Affairs Program. An avid supporter of international education, Dr. Atkins has organized and led study semesters abroad in London, Brussels, and Paris for FSU and FAU.

Time: 11:30 am - 1:15 pm
Date: Thursdays, January 9, 16, 23, 30; February 6, 13, 20, 27
Location: Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Fees: $68 member / $98 non-member

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