1. Contact Information
  2. Prerequisites
  3. Course Description and Credit Hours
  4. Required Texts
  5. Course Objectives
  6. Student Learning Outcomes
  7. Other Course Materials
  8. Outline Of Topics
  9. Exams and Assignments
  10. Grading Policy
  11. Policy on Missed Exams and Coursework
  12. Attendance Policy
  13. Notification of Changes
  14. Custom Sections
  15. Statements on Academic Misconduct
  16. Statement On Disability Accommodations
  17. Severe Weather Protocol
  18. Pregnant Student Accommodations
  19. Religious Observances
  20. UAct Statement

Understanding and Deconstr. TV

BUI 301-009Fall 2020 | 3 Credit Hours


Jeremy Butler

Contact Information

UA Campus Directory:


UA Course Catalog Prerequisites:

No prereqs found

Course Description

Course Description and Credit Hours

No description found

Section 009 will focus on the analysis of television programs.

Required Texts

Required Texts from UA Supply Store:
  • BUTLER / (eBook) Television (E - Book)
  • BUTLER / (eBook) Television (Choose One)
  • BUTLER / TELEVISION (Choose One)

Course Objectives

The professor will present analytical methods for deconstructing and understanding television.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  1. Dissect TV narrative and non-narrative structures;

  2. Understand how stylistic elements (e.g., cinematography; set, lighting, and costume design; editing) have an impact on our understanding of TV; and

  3. Evaluate theories and critical methods applied to the understanding of television.

Other Course Materials

A variety of TV material will be screened during class time. Some programs are available through streaming services and some through Blackboard.

Outline of Topics

Please browse to the online course schedule for assignments, illustrations, and other resources: bit.ly/b301f20 .

Exams and Assignments

Students' progress will be assessed through:

  1. Two critical analyses (worth 40 points each)

  2. A final (essay) exam (worth 15 points)

  3. Class participation score (worth 5 points)

Grading Policy

Grades will be posted on Blackboard Learn.

Grading scale, based on 100 possible points:

A+ 97-100   C+ 77-79    F  59 and below
A 93-96 C 73-76
A- 90-92 C- 70-72
B+ 87-89 D+ 67-69
B 83-86 D 63-66
B- 80-82 D- 60-62

Policy on Missed Exams and Coursework

Late assignments will be accepted at the discretion of the instructor. If you are sick or you have been exposed to COVID-19, please contact the instructor immediately (jbutler@ua.edu). And visit healthinfo.ua.edu and/or call the COVID Hotline (205-348-2819) for further assistance.

Attendance Policy

The class will be 100% online, but we will be (virtually) meeting during the time for which BUI 301-009 was originally scheduled: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00-3:30 p.m. The class sessions will be conducted via Zoom.

BUI 301-009 has been officially designated as using "Interactive Audio/Visual Instruction" (AV).

This means that attendance is required at its online Zoom sessions.

Absences from the Zoom sessions will be treated the same as absences from an in-person class.

Each absence beyond four for the semester will result in one point being deducted from your final total. (Up to five points may be deducted.)

If you are absent because you are sick or you have been exposed to COVID-19, please contact the instructor immediately (jbutler@ua.edu). And visit healthinfo.ua.edu and/or call the COVID Hotline (205-348-2819) for further assistance.

Notification of Changes

The instructor will make every effort to follow the guidelines of this syllabus as listed; however, the instructor reserves the right to amend this document as the need arises. In such instances, the instructor will notify students in class and/or via email and will endeavor to provide reasonable time for students to adjust to any changes.

Zoom Session Policies & Etiquette

  • Leave your video on throughout the session. If you would rather that other students do not see your living space, you may use a Zoom virtual background. If you have another reason for not wishing your camera to be on, please contact Dr. Butler (jbutler@ua.edu).

  • Mute your audio, unless you have the floor to speak.

  • We'll rely on Zoom's hand-raising function or placing your hand on your head to request the floor--so that participants don't talk over one another.

  • Find a quiet spot for your Zoom session, one where pets and fellow residents (roommates, family members, et al.) are not likely to interrupt. Poolside or while you're driving are not judicious choices.

  • Try disabling Zoom's "self view" so that you don't look at an image of yourself during the class session. You may find it makes you feel less self-conscious and eases your participation in class discussions.

  • Open your Zoom app 5-10 minutes before class time so that you're not rushed and you don't risk being late. Each class session will be available at least 15 minutes before class time.

  • The formal part of the class, from 2:00 to 3:15, will be recorded and made available on the BUI 301-009 Blackboard site. This enables students who have missed a class to see what was discussed. It also means that you should think before you speak, because there will be a recording of your comments. But then, you do that anyway.

    • In lawyer-speak: "If a student participates in recorded online class sessions with their camera engaged, or utilizes a profile image, they are agreeing to have their video or image recorded. If a student is unwilling to consent to have their profile or video image recorded, it’s their responsibility to keep their camera off and to not use a profile image. Likewise, students who un-mute their audio input during class and participate orally are agreeing to have their voices recorded. If students are not willing to consent to have their voices recorded during class, they must keep their mute button activated and communicate exclusively using the "chat" feature, which allows students to type questions and comments live. All recorded lectures, presentations, and class discussions are for viewing by members of this class section only, and may not be posted in any public forum or shared with anyone not enrolled in this class. Any student violating these rules may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for disciplinary action."

  • Only Dr. Butler is permitted to audio- or video-record our class sessions--unless a student has a specific accommodation to do so from the Office of Disability Services.

    • More lawyer-speak: "without prior approval from the instructor of this course, students may not record course content and/or post course content publicly, including on social media sites. Students who record and/or post course content without instructor approval may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for disciplinary action."

  • The class Zoom sessions will remain open after class is over--for free discussion among students. This part of the Zoom session will not be recorded. Dr. Butler will remain "in" the room, because, as the host, if he leaves, the session will close; but he will turn off his computer speakers. (But you never do know when he might drop in again...)

  • Every Tuesday and Thursday class session will use the same Zoom meeting ID, which is available in Blackboard.

  • Finally, in the words of our fearless Blount leader, Dr. Whiting, "I ask that you draw on the substantial resources of your best selves in these plaguey days and err on the side of mercy in navigating the complex logistics of everyday life. Equanimity, good humor, and concern for the other fellow's predicament, ever in short supply, might be understood in our current context as an existential form of personal—and collective—protection equipment."

Technology Requirements

Before the semester begins, please make sure you have a strong enough and reliable enough Internet connection to support Zoom and the streaming of online movies.

A laptop or desktop computer is strongly recommended. Accessing class sessions via cellphone will be difficult.

Statement on Academic Misconduct

Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to the official Academic Misconduct Policy provided in the Online Catalog.

Statement On Disability Accommodations

Contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) as detailed in the Online Catalog.

Severe Weather Protocol

Please see the latest Severe Weather Guidelines in the Online Catalog.

Pregnant Student Accommodations

Title IX protects against discrimination related to pregnancy or parental status. If you are pregnant and will need accommodations for this class, please review the University’s FAQs on the UAct website.

Religious Observances

Under the Guidelines for Religious Holiday Observances, students should notify the instructor in writing or via email during the first two weeks of the semester of their intention to be absent from class for religious observance. The instructor will work to provide reasonable opportunity to complete academic responsibilities as long as that does not interfere with the academic integrity of the course. See full guidelines at Religious Holiday Observances Guidelines.

UAct Statement

The University of Alabama is committed to an ethical, inclusive community defined by respect and civility.  The UAct website (www.ua.edu/uact)  provides extensive information on how to report or obtain assistance with a variety of issues, including issues related to dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, sexual violence or other Title IX violations, illegal discrimination, harassment, hate or bias incidents, child abuse or neglect, hazing, threat assessment, retaliation, and ethical violations or fraud.

Statement on COVID-19

All University faculty, staff, and students are expected to maintain a commitment to the health and safety of our campus community. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, specific health and safety standards are in place to minimize exposure and community spread on campus. In the interest of your health and safety and that of all UA students, faculty and staff, the University reserves the right to change the mode of instruction or schedule of instruction at any time, based upon prevailing public health and other guidance. While the method of delivery may change, educational instruction and opportunities will continue. As such, the University will not provide a refund of tuition, in whole or in-part, based on any such changes. Detailed information on changes in format or schedule can be found at studentaccounts.ua.edu and financialaid.ua.edu.

All students must be familiar with and abide by the requirements outlined in the UA Return Plan | UA System Comprehensive Health and Safety Plan. Students must (1) wear a mask or face covering at all times while participating in face-to-face class; (2) adhere to social distancing standards; and (3) comply with all other health and safety restrictions. If a student refuses to comply with the requirements, the student will be asked to leave the class and reported for a conduct violation. Unless a student has an exemption from the requirement to wear a face covering, (more information can be found at ods.ua.edu/covid-19-disability/), the student will be reported to Student Life for further disciplinary action. More information on these requirements and UA Healthcheck system and screening can be found at healthinfo.ua.edu/returnplan. You are expected to visit the site and comply with all noted requirements related to in-person class attendance.