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COMM 4183: Networking America: Assignment Guidelines

Joy Hayes

Assignment Guidelines

Assignment Guidelines

Before your start this exercise, decide which of the following radio programs and/or genres to focus on (you can change/adjust your topic later): 1) Anthology Drama (Campbell’s Playhouse, Lux Radio Theater, Mercury Theater of the Air); 2) Soap Opera (One Man’s Family); 3) News (coverage of WWII); 4) Crime (The Shadow); 5) Comedy (Jack Benny). 

1. Consult 2-3 of the reference sources (e.g., encyclopedias) discussed in the orientation or listed on the Library Guide. Find at least 2 entries or articles on your topic that give you this information:

  • A description of the program, when it aired, who starred in it, etc.
  • Scholarly books or articles on the program listed in the reference source.

List the title of the encyclopedia or other reference source, the date of publication and the title of the entry on your topic (e.g., “Radio Comedy” or “Jack Benny”).

List the author, title and date of relevant scholarly books or articles (these are often listed at the end of the article or entry on your topic).

2. Search for 2 books on your topic.  Search InfoHawk+ or Worldcat to search for books on your program or genre.  Note search terms used and books found (author, title, date).

3. Search 2-3 of the scholarly databases listed on the library resource page, including Google Scholar. List 3-4 relevant articles found, give full citation info., and note the databases they came from.

4. Look through one of the scholarly books or articles that you found in this activity. Examine the works cited or notes to find additional scholarly sources on your program/genre. List 2-3 relevant books or articles found (give full citation info).

Overall Research Project Guidelines

Instructions: Choose ONE of the radio programs listed below as the focus for your research project. Collect articles and books on your radio program or the broader genre it belongs to (crime shows, soap operas, etc.) You need a total of 8 sources for your project, 4 of which must be scholarly sources. Draw on these sources to develop a research question that you can answer by doing a textual analysis of your radio program. Use the collection of recordings of your show available on ICON as the texts that you analyze for this project. Listen to at least 4 programs and cite at least 3 episodes in your paper. Your paper should be no more than 12 pages double-spaced (3000 words), not counting Works Cited.

Program Genres, Titles and Sources

1. Crime: The Shadow

  • Battles, K. (2010). The shadow of doubt and the menace of surveillance. In Calling all cars (pp. 187-227). Minneapolis: Univ. of Minn. Press. Cox, J. R. (2002).
  • Radio crime fighters. Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Co., 2002. Loviglio, J. (2005). The shadow meets the phantom public. Radio's intimate public (pp. 102-122). Minneapolis: Univ. of Minn. Press.

2. Comedy: Jack Benny

  • Fuller-Seeley, K. (2017). Jack Benny and the Golden Age of American Radio Comedy.
  • Douglas, S. J. (1999). Listening in. New York: Times Books. McFadden, M. (1993).
  • "America's boy friend who can't get a date": Gender, race, and the cultural work of the Jack Benny program, 1932-1946. The Journal of American History, 80(1), 113.

3. Anthology Drama: Campbell Playhouse, Lux Radio Theater, Mercury Theater of the Air

  • Heyer, P. (2005). The Medium and the Magician: Orson Welles, the Radio Years, 1934-1952. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. Hilmes, M. (1997).
  • Radio voices : American broadcasting, 1922-1952. Minneapolis, Minn.: University of Minnesota Press.

4. News: World War II

  • Douglas, S. J. (1999). Listening in. New York: Times Books. Cloud, S. (1996).
  • The Murrow boys. Boston : Houghton Mifflin. Culbert, D.H. (1976).
  • News for everyman: Radio and foreign affairs in thirties America. Westport: Greenwood Press.

5. Soap Operas: One Man’s Family

  • MacDonald, J. F. (1979). Soap Operas as a Social Force. In Don't touch that dial! (pp. 231-279). Chicago: Nelson-Hall. Hayes, J.E. (2012).
  • White Noise: Performing the White, Middle-Class Family on 1930s Radio, Cinema Journal 51(3): 97-118.