Campus Life in the Movies

A Critical Survey from the Silent Era to the Present


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About the Book

Hollywood films have presented audiences with stories of campus life for nearly a century, shaping popular perceptions of our colleges and universities and the students who attend them. These depictions of campus life have even altered the attitudes of the students themselves, serving as both a mirror of and a model for behavior. One can only imagine how many high school seniors enter college today with the hopes of living the proverbial Animal House or PCU Greek experience, or how many have worried over the SAT and college admissions after watching more recent movies like 2004’s The Perfect Score.
This book explores themes of college life in 681 live-action, theatrically released, feature-length films set in the United States and released from 1915 through 2006, evaluating how these movies both reflected and distorted the reality of undergraduate life.
Topics include college admissions, the freshman experience, academic work, professor-student relations, student romance, fraternity and sorority life, sports, political activism, and other extracurricular activities. The book also includes a complete filmography and 66 illustrations.

About the Author(s)

John E. Conklin is a professor of sociology at Tufts University, where he has taught a course on college life and film. He is the author of nine other books.

Bibliographic Details

John E. Conklin
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 232
Bibliographic Info: 66 photos, notes, filmography, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3984-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5235-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

Introduction      3

1. Getting In      13

2. Freshman Year      35

3. Higher Learning      53

4. Teacher’s Pet      72

5. Love Story      95

6. Going Greek      122

7. The Big Game      143

8. The Activist      169

9. Those Were the Days      186

Chapter Notes      203

Filmography      208

Bibliography      214

Index      217

Book Reviews & Awards

“meticulous…an important book…interesting analysis…Conklin’s insights are astute and enjoyable…recommended”—Rogue Cinema.