For my class on the American Melodrama, we studied the iconic melodramas of the 20th century, the artists responsible for them, and the societal upheavals and historical events that inspired them.
During the semester, we were encouraged to screen films from the era we were studying outside of class and sought out academic works and articles to support two formal research papers. In addition, every other week, we were required to write a short essay on one or two of the films we had watched in class.
This class introduced me to a genre of film that I had completely dismissed up to that point. Watching and studying them has not only made me a stronger writer and a better-informed audience, but a stronger filmmaker as well.