Skip to Main Content

Search for Sections – Grid View

Back to Course List

Title: The Nineties in Retrospect
Course Section Number: FRT-101-15
Department: Freshman Tutorial
Description: Jim Cherry is an Associate Professor and Chair of Theater at the College, as well as the Coordinator of the Film and Digital Media Minor. He directs students in theater production at the College, and teaches a variety of courses, with topics ranging from the films of Alfred Hitchcock to the contemporary New York theater scene. "Here we are now / entertain us" We look back at the 1990s today with a deep sense of nostalgia for a seemingly-simpler time: AOL! Tamagotchis! Brick-sized Cell Phones! By today's standards, it feels like a period of relative peace and security in the United States, one situated between two momentous collapses: The Berlin Wall in 1989 (which effectively ended the Soviet Union and the bipolar world order) and The World Trade Center in 2001 (which began the Global War on Terror and led to the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan). It was a time that cultural critic Chuck Klosterman has recently described as "a period when the world was starting to go crazy, but not so crazy that it was unmanageable or irreparable." Many of the issues we grapple with today can be seen in their nascent forms in the 1990s. The impeachment of Bill Clinton, the scorched-earth tactics of Newt Gingrich, and populist rhetoric of Rush Limbaugh pre-sage our fractious, tribalist politics. Domestic terrorism commanded the newly-minted "24-hour news cycles" following the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, and the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. The mass shooting at Columbine High School ignited a nation-wide debate about gun control and mental health before the carnage of Virginia Tech, Parkland, and Sandy Hook. The complexity of race relations in America were underscored by the O.J. Simpson trial, Rodney King verdict, the L.A. Riots, and the rise of hip hop as a dominant popular musical form. The 90s were a period of optimism about a technological future when the analog gave way to the digital, and the internet existed before social media. At the same time novels (Nick Hornby's High Fidelity, José Saramango's Blindness), theater (Tony Kushner's Angels in America, Tracy Letts's Bug), films (Pulp Fiction, Hoop Dreams), and music (gangsta rap, grunge, electronica) saw characters and artists grappling with knee-jerk cynicism, systemic poverty and racism, fear, apathy, and the construction of identity and reality. In this class, we will examine the last decade of the twentieth century as a historical period, filled with portents of the challenges seen in the first decades of the twenty-first.
Credits: 1.00
Start Date: August 24, 2022
End Date: December 17, 2022
Meeting Information: 08/25/2022-12/15/2022 Lecture Tuesday, Thursday 09:45AM - 11:00AM, Fine Arts Center, Room S206
Faculty: Cherry, Jim

Course Status

Section Name/Title Status Dept. Capacity Enrolled/
The Nineties in Retrospect
CLOSED Freshman Tutorial 16 16 / 0 / 0