Topical Seminar in Industry and Management: Twilight Zone

MSCH-M 453 — Fall 2017 — Themester

Inger Stevens in a Twilight Zone episode
Steven Krahnke
Radio and TV Building 226
Days and Times
1:00P-2:15P TR
Course Description

Also see MSCH-X 490 Projects in Media: Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone was created at a pivotal time in American history. The Cold War, red scare, Cuban Missile Crisis, the space race, and other realities were the inspiration behind many of the most famous Twilight Zone scripts.

  • The Shelter addresses how fear of the unknown, coupled with human nature for survival can destroy communities;
  • The Monsters are Due on Maple Street addresses similar themes, but in a way that is a clear metaphor for agent provocateurs who make use of paranoia and lack of critical thinking;
  • Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up addresses how “otherness” is often more complicated than simple dichotomy.

The question “who is one of us?” is important whether we are discussing religion, immigration, forced migration, race, gender, economics, mental health, disease, politics and even biology. The “morals” stated at the end of each episode make clear that Serling intended these scenarios to be cautionary tales (as were most Twilight Zone episodes). So while Serling’s cautions serve to suggest that 1960’s problems could not be solved by simply choosing “who belonged,” such cautions are also welcome today.

Students may take one of two courses, or may simply volunteer.

The class (3 credits “topics” course) MSCH-M-453 will be primarily related to production and production management. As such, the class will operate much as a production company. We will learn how to produce television programs, ostensibly by actually producing three iconic episodes of Twilight Zone.

Independent Studies (1, 2, or 3 credits) taken under the existing umbrella of X490. Key production personnel will register for independent studies related to the production of these Twilight Zone episodes. Students are encouraged to consider this opportunity to be a kind of “capstone” to their academic career.

Some students may be encouraged to register for both the topics course AND an independent study. Others may simply choose to volunteer their time. Casting will be open to students, faculty and members of the community.

Interested in this course?

The full details of this course are available on the Office of the Registrar website.

See complete course details