Hello my darling students. Your scored discussion on the Atomic Bomb is postponed to Wednesday. Today you will rotate through stations dealing with the 1950s. Use these to contrast with your text and support, modify, or refute the common hypothesis of the fifties as an era of 'normalcy' and prosperity in the US. You may work in small groups to rotate through, be sure to put all supplies back in the appropriate folder when done.
For the last part of class, you'll watch an episode of one of the most-watched TV shows of this time, I Love Lucy. Lucille Ball was an incredible entertainer and businesswoman, helping invent the SitCom and being the first woman to run a major television studio. This show also portrays her interracial marriage to her real-life husband Desi Arnaz.
Understanding all that, you'll be watching an episode about gender roles and performance. Consider the extent to which there is a veneer of respect put over a deeply conservative worldview - in the end, all characters are happy to be back where they started, the men having realized that homemaking is hard, and women realizing they are not up for the rigors of the workforce. For bonus credit, how is commodified labor represented with respect to traditional gender roles? Consider the jobs, roles, and behaviors that Lucy and Ethel encounter and the performative aspects of Ricky's homemaking.