Discuss the evolution of a genre, in the way that we have been studying the Detective Thriller in class.

Paper Assignment
For this assignment, you will study the evolution of a genre, in the way that we have been studying the Detective Thriller in class. Working with two thematically linked films in your genre from different periods and outside research from at least three sources to help you identify the genre’s history, myths, conventions, and iconography, you will develop a thesis about the genre and how it works across time and in an ever-changing culture. Your paper should consider how genre creates meaning in these two films and how this reflects a larger argument about the genre’s relation to the culture in which it is produced (both the U.S. social culture and the Hollywood industry).
This is, first and foremost, a paper about genre. Your films are illustrative examples of the genre within a historical/cultural context that will help you understand how and why it has changed over time. They will also help limit your focus, as not every generic myth, convention, or icon will be relevant to your films and your thesis. You are not simply discussing your films’ similarities and differences. Your argument and analysis must demonstrate a historical understanding of the genre and how your films work within the genre. You should examine the generic myths, conventions, and iconography at work in the films, as well as the ways in which the style (or formal elements) influence how audiences understand and interpret these various generic elements. For example: How is the convention of the lone gunslinger different in a classical versus a modernist Western? How is this difference indicative of the broader changes in the genre between the two periods?
Choose one of the genres on the following page along with a pair of films on which to write a 6-8 page paper (~1800–2400 word), using both original analysis and outside research. As with Paper Two, you will be expected to develop your own thesis and then argue that thesis with a coherent and organized discussion of the topic. Your thesis must make a claim about how and why your genre has changed over time and engage with the class concepts on Genre and the Classical, Postclassical, and Modernist periods (whichever apply to your films). Be sure to use the terminology and concepts provided by Dr. Casper in lecture and/or those in the course readings on these issues.
Good Sources: (at least two required sources must come from this category)
o Genre theory books from academic publishers
o Academic books or journal articles about your genre/sub-genre
o Academic books or articles examining your films or filmmakers in terms of genre theory
§ Acceptable Sources:
o Popular press books on your genre
o Academic books or articles on your films or filmmakers (not necessarily about genre)
o Reviews or articles about your films from major edited publications (ex. Variety, New York
Times, New Yorker, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun-Times)
§ Unacceptable Sources: (no required sources can come from this category)
o Books or articles that do not address your genre, films, or filmmakers. o Articles published on web forums such as Wikipedia or film websites o DVD extras, blogs, documentaries, fictional books, etc.

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