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Film and Television Summer Institute – Media Parks: The Cinematic and Televisual History of Theme Parks

Explore theme park history, and the evolution of the relationship between moving image media and theme parks

Examine the contexts and shared histories of theme parks and screen media

In this two-week intensive program, students will explore theme park history, and the evolution of the relationship between moving image media (film, television, and video games) and theme parks. The course will examine the contexts and shared histories of theme parks and screen media, explore theoretical, industrial, and cultural issues surrounding them, and investigate how these cultural phenomena are shaping one another in today’s media landscape. The program will include lectures, screenings, discussions and guided site visits to Disneyland, Disneyland California Adventure, and Universal Studios Hollywood. In class, students will study case studies of theme park rides and theme park “lands” by researching and analyzing scholarly texts, reference films, television shows, and video games. Each guided site visit will also include an on-site behind-the-scenes lecture.

Through these topics, students will be introduced to the fundamental skills of college-level academic writing, practice reading comprehension on college-level academic sources, and be challenged to practice critical thinking and observation skills through several reading and writing assignments.

 

Fees and Payment Info

The program fee includes the unit fees for the UCLA coursework offered as part of the program and thus varies by UC student status. In addition to the program fee, students are assessed other campus and administrative fees during the summer. This is a summary of fees that commonly apply to the selected student type.

Actual tuition and fees are subject to change by the University of California. Visit the fees, payment, and financial aid section for important disclaimer, as well as more details on fees, payment instructions, and information on delinquency, refunds, and financial aid.

 

**MANDATORY HOUSING FEE** = $1,521
Students living in on-campus housing will be charged an additional housing fee.

 
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Program Fee $2,500
Registration Fee $350
IEI Fee $61
Document Fee (for first-time Summer Sessions students) $50

Meet your Instructors

Heather Lea Birdsall

Instructor, FILM TV 18 – Media Parks: The Cinematic and Televisual History of Theme Parks

Heather Lea Birdsall’s current research traces the changing relationships between film, television, and video games and the American theme park. Her dissertation considers how modern-day theme parks are increasingly becoming “media parks,” or physically and virtually immersive cinematic, televisual, and game spaces. Using Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California as a paradigmatic case study, her dissertation examines these spaces and their story worlds as significant sites of narrative and spatial exchange, of cinematic and televisual presence, and of embodied and interactive experience. She served as a UCLA Collegium of University Teaching Fellow during the 2019-2020 school year and was awarded the UCLA Dissertation Year Fellowship in 2020.