Film and Media Studies Courses

General Course Listings

Sub CRSE Title
ANT 372 Visualizing Anthropology
Prerequisites & Notes

(Not offered 2016-2017; offered in alternating years.)

Instructor
Lozada

Introduction to the theories and methods necessary for making ethnographic films. Students will conduct fieldwork and make a documentary film on a particular aspect of social and cultural behavior. Emphasis is placed on developing the critical skills needed for resolving some of the ethical, technical, and aesthetic problems that may emerge during the documentation of social and cultural behavior.

One of the courses satisfying the Methods requirement for the major and minor in Anthropology.

CHI 207 Engendering Chinese Cinema
Prerequisites & Notes

Taught in English. (Not offered every year.)

Instructor
Shen

Course examines gender relations in 20th-century China through cinematic representations. By looking in detail at the films of a few key directors and reading scholarly works, the class discusses the changing social and political positions of women in cinema from the 1920s to the 1990s, and how this change affects gender relations.

Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.

CHI 405 Seminar: Topics in Chinese Cinema and Modern Literature
Prerequisites & Notes

Taught in English. May repeat for credit if the subject is different.

Instructor
V. Shen
 

Reading and discussion of selected works in Chinese literature and cinema. Discussion of individual research projects.

Students entering before 2012: satisfies Literature distribution requirement.

COM 315 Media Effects (= SOC 315)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Martinez

An exploration of relevant theories and practices of conducting media effects research in the mass mediated/disseminated communication contexts including television, radio, print, popular culture, internet, and other forms of new media. Topics include health, advertising, edutainment, stereotypes, violence, pornography, music videos, video games, news, and politics.

Satisfies a major requirement in Sociology.
Satisfies Communication Studies and Film and Media Studies interdisciplinary minor requirements.
Satisfies Liberal Studies distribution requirement.
 

DIG 215 Death in the Digital Age
Prerequisites & Notes

(Spring)

Instructor
Sample

This class explores the intersection of death and technology. What happens to our digital personas when we die? How does technology change grieving? What kind of ghosts inhabit our machines? What's the 21st century equivalent of a gothic haunted house? We will consider these questions and many more as we wrestle with the meaning of death in the digital age. Among the primary sources we will study will be historical archives, media representations of disaster, contemporary horror novels and films, and television series such as Dead Set and Black Mirror.

 

Satisfies a requirement in the Film and Media Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.

 

ENG 205 Introduction to Screenwriting
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

This course is a workshop, where virtually everything will be based upon, work from, and be inspired by, the writing that you and others in your class accomplish.  The course is based on learning the discipline and rigors of writing daily, creating and listening to dialogue, and making individual scenes work. 

Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.
 

 

ENG 211 Filmmaking
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

This course is a workshop, where virtually everything will be based upon, work from, and be inspired by, the films you and others in your class accomplish.  The course is based on learning the discipline and rigors of thinking visually, daily.

Satisfies an interdisciplinary minor requirement in Film and Media Studies and Digital Studies.
Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.
 

 

ENG 292 Documentary Film - History, Theory, and Production of Documentary
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Miller

The course will first examine the modes of the documentary genre, often described as expository, observational, interactive, and reflexive. For each mode we will read relevant history and theory, and watch representative documentaries. Students will then make a series of short documentaries as a means of understanding how these modes affect both the production and reception of a documentary. We also consider more specific sub-genres of documentary such as science/nature, politics/protest, biography, and mockumentary.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.

ENG 293 Film as Narrative Art
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor 
Kuzmanovich, Miller

This course explores the relationship of film video to other narrative media, with emphasis on authorship, genre, and the relationship of verbal and visual languages. Students will make a short video, but the course does not assume any production experience.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.
 

ENG 393 Studies in Literature and the Visual Arts: A: Film Genres or B: Love and Art or C: Film Theory or D: Word Art
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Studies in Literature and the Visual Arts

Instructor

Varies

 

393A-C Satisfy the Visual and Performing Arts distribution.
Check schedule to determine which section is being offered.
 

393A Film Genres

Instructor
Kuzmanovich

Originally a means of market differentiation, film genres now are sets of conventions with emotional payoffs, that is, formal devices that promise "repetitive reaffirmation of certain ritualistic experiences" (Gehring).  In other words, film genres are about business, art, and technology.  But they seem to me also about ways of creating or recreating emotions.  In this course we'll look at the formal and psychological markers as well as cultural consequences of a number of film genres that create, recreate, and thus keep certain emotions in circulation. 


393B Love and Art

Instructor
Kuzmanovich

This is not a course in which we parade our pain or give advice to the lovelorn. But it is an immodest and wholly foolish undertaking.  And an ambitious one, too:  though it's mostly literary analysis it is also part philosophy, part psychology, part history, part film theory, part creative writing and filmmaking.  For to begin to speak of love is to speak of desire, beauty, goodness, creation, immortality (Plato), psychic anatomy and anatomical memory, prophetic dreams, conscious irrationality, obsession, transgression, suffering, repression, sublimation (Freud), selfhood, otherness, will to power, slavery, mastery, surrender (Hegel, Sartre, De Beauvoir), prostitution (Marx and Engels), male conspiracy (Firestone),   Lines between  eros, philia, nomos, agape, and theoria grow faint and not only because they happen to be Greek words and thus equally strange. Appetites sometimes merge and sometimes squabble with reason and spirit.  Loving oneself, loving others, loving God, loving God in others, passion, intimacy, commitment, these states bring up only the first questions: Who/what should be loved? How does a lover choose a/the beloved? What causes love? What does love cause? Egotism? Idealism? Self-knowledge? Marriage? Companionate marriage? Partnership? The sense that the lovers are heroes/heroines of their own stories which they can finally tell? If one's love is a story, or becomes a story, what is the genre of that story? Does love become a story only in love's absence? Is love good? Is love a good? Is there a hierarchy of loves and lovers? What connects love to sexual desire? Do causes and connections differ among cultures and historical periods? What differentiates falling in love from being or staying in love? All of these are good philosophical questions and psychological categories, but talking about love philosophically or treating it as something amenable to psychologizing invariably causes us, as the philosopher Arthur Danto said in the Chambers Gallery, "to lose touch with the reality everyone cherishes."


393C Film Theory

Instructor
Miller

This course explores theoretical approaches to fiction and nonfiction film, television, video and other media. Though no production experience is required, we will make short storyboards  and videos, and students have the option to make a video as a final project. We then consider "ists" and "isms," including realism and reality TV; modernism; postmodernism; materialism; evolutionary criticism, and Freudianism and gender theory. Movies we may consider: Modern Times, Pervert's Guide to Cinema, Bicycle Thieves, Star Wars, Shane, Out of the Past, Waking Life,No Country for Old Men, Man with the Movie Camera, Un Chien Andalou, and a variety of shorter videos.


393D Word Art

Instructor
Churchill

You live in a highly visual culture.  To be literate, you need to read and interpret words, images & the interplay between them, both in print and online. This course examines print & digital texts that combine words & images, but it is not a course in mass communications. Instead, we'll study some of the most complex and subtle word/image interactions, including ekphrasis (poems about pictures), illuminated books, graphic memoir, and digital poetry. ENG 393: Word-Art is a double hybrid: a study of words & images via critical & creative writing. The course inhabits both print and digital realms: meet in a classroom & blog on this website; draw in notebooks & write for web publication; hack print books & design a Davidson Domain.

FMS 220 Introduction to Film and Media Studies
Prerequisites & Notes

(Fall)

Instructors
Lerner, McCarthy

An introduction to the history and analysis of screen media, with an emphasis on film (feature films, documentaries, animation, and experimental) together with an examination of ways cinematic techniques of storytelling do and do not find their ways into later media like television and video games. Lectures and discussions supplemented by theoretical readings and weekly screenings.

Students entering 2012 and after: satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.
Required course for fulfilling the Film and Media Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.

FMS 321 Interactive Digital Narratives
Prerequisites & Notes

FMS 220 or ENG 293.

Instructor
Lerner

A close study of selected video games using an interdisciplinary blend of methodologies culled from cultural studies, film and media studies theory, literary criticism, and history.

Film and Media Studies Interdisciplinary Minor Credit.
Students entering 2012 and after: satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.

FMS 323 Special Topics in Digital Media and Film
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Staff

An intensive investigation of digital media and film production.  Screenings, discussions, and readings will explore the theory and practice of a selected cinematic tradition.  Significant production component will include videography, non- linear video editing, lighting, and sound recording.

Satisfies Film and Media Studies Interdisciplinary Minor requirement.
Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.
 

FMS 385 Video Game Music (= MUS 385)
Prerequisites & Notes

Normally offered in alternate years; not offered in 2016-17.

Instructor
Lerner

Historical, stylistic, and analytic study of video game music from its origins in the arcade games of the 1970s to the present. Emphases on close readings of music in relation to gameplay, and vice versa. Includes training in digital audio manipulation to create sound design and musical sequences.

Satisfies the Liberal Studies distribution requirement.

FMS 421 Seminar in Film and Media Studies: After Birth of a Nation
Prerequisites & Notes

FMS 220. (Fall)

Instructor
Lerner

This seminar will take the occasion of the 100th anniversary of D. W. Griffith's controversial film The Birth of a Nation (1915) as an invitation to conduct a close investigation of the original film and its impact on film history and U.S. culture along with a study of this film and the history and representation of racial identities in U.S. media. The historical scope of the seminar will reach back to the nineteenth century and up to the present, with attention given to Oscar Micheaux's cinematic response (Within Our Gates) and the entire twentieth century history of what have been called "race movies." Projects will include both scholarly writing along with production exercises involving editing, remixing, and re-composing. Weekly screenings expected outside of class.

NOTE: This seminar will fulfill the 400-level capstone requirement for the FMS minor in 2015-16.

FRE 366 Africa Shoots Back, in transl. (=AFR 266)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Fache

Africa Shoots Back examines West African cinema from its beginnings in the early 1960s to today.  The selection of films exposes students to new voices, perspectives and representations of Francophone West Africa from a West African perspective.  We will discuss issues of decolonization and post-colonial cultural economy, as well as analyze traditional African narrative strategies and new and unconventional images.

Satisfies distribution requirement in Visual and Performing Arts.

GER 241 Special Cultural Topics (in trans.)
Prerequisites & Notes

(Not offered in 2016-17)

Instructor
Staff

Selected topics in German, Austrian, or Swiss culture. Covers various aspects of culture and society, such as history, politics, economics, literature, film, art and architecture, music, and mass media. Sample topics include The Holocaust and Vienna at the Turn of the Century.

Satisfies the Liberal Studies distribution requirement.

GER 242 Hollywood Alternatives, From Germany and Beyond (in trans.)
Prerequisites & Notes

(Spring 2017)

Instructor
McCarthy

This course offers a sampling of historical and contemporary attempts to challenge Hollywood's dominant cinematic codes. We will watch films from the Weimar Republic and "New German Cinema" of the 1970s, as well as Russian montage, French New Wave, "art house" cinema of the 1960s, independent film of the 1990s, plus several contemporary films.  Directors include: F.W. Murnau, Maya Deren, Luis Bunuel, Jean-Luc Godard, Michelangelo Antonioni, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wim Wenders, Michael Hanecke, Todd Haynes, David Lynch, Sally Potter, Terrence Malick, and Kathryn Bigelow.  Students will write short essays and one longer research paper and also have the opportunity to make their own short experimental films. 

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.
May be counted toward the interdisciplinary minor in Film and Media Studies.

GER 346 Memory on Film (in trans.)
Prerequisites & Notes

(Not offered in 2016-17)

Instructor
McCarthy

Examines personal and collective memory in a variety of cultural contexts and the strategies that film and literature use to represent it. We will also analyze the roles that truth-telling, trauma and national narratives play in memory's construction. From the German context, we will look specifically at cultural and social memory in understanding Germany's twentieth-century history. More generally, and in light of James Frey's controversial autobiography, we will examine general assumptions around memory and the extent to which it can be accurately rendered.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.
May be counted toward the interdisciplinary minor in Film and Media Studies.

GER 363 Special Topics in Film
Prerequisites & Notes

German 260 or permission of the instructor.
(Not offered  in 2016-17)

Instructor
McCarthy

Selected topics primarily in German and Austrian film which introduce students to genres, historical periods, and methods of film analysis. Sample topics include an overview of German cinema, as well as German popular film. Classes are taught in German and focus on close readings and discussions.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.
May be counted toward the interdisciplinary minor in Film and Media Studies.

HIS 474 History of Indian Cinema
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Waheed

History of Indian Cinema, one of the world's most popularly viewed, from the 'golden age' of Bombay's Hindi- and Urdu- language films of the 1940s to the present.

Satisfies the Historical Thought distribution requirement.

Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.
Satisfies the Film and Media Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.

MUS 228 Film Music
Prerequisites & Notes

No music training required. (Not offered in 2016-17.)

Instructor
Lerner

Historical, stylistic, and analytic study of film music from the origins of cinema in the 1890s to the present, focusing on fictional Hollywood narratives while also considering music's function in documentary and avant-garde filmmaking. Emphasizes close reading of music in relation to film, and vice versa.  Weekly screenings.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement. 

MUS 383 Herrmann & Hitchcock
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required. Normally students will have had at least one prior semester of college-level music or related study. (Not offered in 2016-17.)

Instructor
Lerner

A seminar concentrating on the nine film scores stemming from the remarkable collaboration of composer Bernard Herrmann and filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. After an introductory section on each, the seminar will then proceed chronologically through their nine films. Particular emphasis will be placed on the ways that Herrmann's music blended together with Hitchcock's aesthetic vision to impact and complicate notions of gender identities.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.

MUS 385 Video Game Music (=FMS 385)
Prerequisites & Notes

Normally offered in alternate years; not offered in 2016-17.

Instructor
Lerner

Historical, stylistic, and analytic study of video game music from its origins in the arcade games of the 1970s to the present. Emphases on close readings of music in relation to gameplay, and vice versa. Includes training in digital audio manipulation to create sound design and musical sequences.

Satisfies the Liberal Studies distribution requirement. 

SOC 315 Media Effects (= COM 315)
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Martinez

An exploration of relevant theories and practices of conducting media effects research in the mass mediated/disseminated communication contexts including television, radio, print, popular culture, internet, and other forms of new media. Topics include health, advertising, edutainment, stereotypes, violence, pornography, music videos, video games, news, and politics.

Satisfies a major requirement in Sociology.
Satisfies Communication Studies and Film and Media Studies interdisciplinary minor requirements.
Satisfies the Liberal Studies distribution requirement.
 

SPA 352 Contemporary Latin American Cinema
Prerequisites & Notes

Spanish 260 or 270 or their equivalents. (Fall 2016)

Instructor
Peña 

Exploration of the cinema and film-making traditions of Latin America since the 1950s with specific attention to the aesthetic media, political debates, and histories of national film industries.  Conducted in Spanish.

Satisfies Area III for the major in Hispanic Studies.
Counts towards the Film & Media Studies as well as Latin American Studies.
Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.

SPA 353 Contemporary Spanish Film
Prerequisites & Notes

Spanish 260 and 270 or their equivalents. (Not offered in 2015-16)

Instructor
Vásquez

Study of Spanish film from the 1950s into the new century, within the complex matrix that is twentieth- and twenty-first-century Spain.  Cinematic theory and the lexicon of film analysis.  Spain's cinematic response to the Spanish Civil War and the subsequent exile and dictatorship years, gender definitions, and changing national identity during the democratic era. Conducted in Spanish.

Satisfies Area III for the major in Hispanic Studies.
Counts towards Film & Media Studies.