Film Courses

Courses for 2013-14

Art 295 ST: Photography: The Camera Craft

Special Topic: Digital Photography. This class is an introduction to the tools and techniques of photography and the language of photo criticism. Work will include photographing with a DSLR camera, creating clean and simple digital workflow models, 8" x 10" print production, readings, discussion and critique of student work. As this is a critique-based class, we will spend far more time discussing our colleagues' work than learning to use digital imaging programs. Dates November 7 to November 26. Short course deadlines apply. Prerequisite: ART-111

JPN-195-01 ST: Japanese Popular Culture & Society

Special Topic: Japanese Popular Culture & Society. This course will explore Japanese society and its cultural identity through their various manifestations through popular culture, including food, fashion, visual culture, comedic entertainment, pop music, and otaku fandom. Through the examination of various artifacts of Japanese popular culture and the reading of critical essays, students will gain an in-depth knowledge about Japanese popular culture and familiarize themselves with some important concepts in cultural studies. Prerequisite: None

RUS-195-01 ST: An Intro to Modern Russian Culture

Special Topic: From Pushkin to Pussy Riot: An Introduction to Modern Russian Culture. Also listed as HUM 195 and GLS-195. This course is intended to give students an introduction to the major issues in development of Russian Culture from 1800 to the present, with some attention to earlier periods. The particular focus will be on the thorny relationship between the artist and the state. Drawing on a range of literary texts, music, art, film, and popular culture, students will gain insights into the development of major trends of Russian Culture. All course materials are in English translation. No prior knowledge of Russian necessary. Prerequisites: none.

GLS Prspctv in 20th C Cntrl & East Euro Lit

Cross-listed as: GLS 291. This course examines a number of 20th-century works in translation from several countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Attention is devoted to how writers, artists, poets, and others attempt to understand and respond to major events and issues in the region in general: war, genocide, revolution, totalitarian- ism, political repression, clashes of religion and culture, and quests for (self-identity). Film comprises an important aspect of this course, as they are important aesthetic responses to issues in the region. Students will view many landmarks in the development of what Lenin called 'the most important art,' including Before the Rain, Underground, Europa Europa, Divided We Fall, Man of Marble, Daisies, Kolya, and Death of Stalinism in Bohemia.

HUM 185

Film Analysis, Theory & Criticism This writing-intensive course examines foundational concepts and methodologies in Cinema Studies, introducing students to a number of theoretical approaches central to the study of film, including semiotics, psychoanalysis, and cultural studies. Our focus is not film appreciation but rather the analysis of film as a language and "reading" film texts for their meanings. Since film is a system of representation, the study of gender, sexuality, race and class will be crucial to our interpretive practice throughout. Films screened include: The Matrix, Fight Club, Touch of Evil, American Beauty, Mulholland Dr., and Singin' in the Rain. Prerequisite: One course in English, Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies, American Studies, Philosophy, or Art History.

REL 228 Gods of Bollywood

From the mystical Upanishads to the rain-drenched saris of Bollywood heroines, the sacred, the erotic and the spectacular have long been intertwined in South Asia. This course will explore themes of love, performance and identity in India both historically and by using Bollywood films as visual texts. We will examine religion's intimate connections to culture, gender and meaning in the modern world as we ask, "What is Indian about Indian Cinema?"Prerequisite: REL 111, REL 117, REL 220, GWS 111, or HUM 185.

SPN 385 Studies in Contemp Span Lit & Film

Advanced study of aesthetic, cultural, and historical facets of the avant-garde period in Europe, with intensive focus on the various manifestations of the vanguardia in Spain. Literary and artistic movements of interest include dadaism, ultraism, creationism, cubism, and surrealism. Emphasis given to poetic and dramatic texts. Conducted in Spanish.

THE 111 Intro to Performance Studies

An examination of dramatic performance in its broadest cultural contexts. This foundational course is designed to encourage critical thinking about the inclusive field of performance and how it is created, including orality, festivals, living history museums, trials, political conventions, and sporting events. Students explore both texts and performance events to analyze "What makes an event performance?" and "How is performance made and understood?" Because knowledge is embodied as well as textualized, students will both write and perform components of their final class projects.

THE 211 Performance Studies: Traditions and Innovations

This course examines non-naturalistic forms of theatre and performance-making. It explores the work of foundational avant-garde director/theorists and performance practices that have developed since the 1960s, including performance art and community-based theatre. It also focuses on non-Western performances, including textual and nontextual practices, and the ways in which Western and non-Western theatre have intersected interculturally during the last century.  Prerequisite: 100 level Theatre and Dance course

THE 235 Directing

A theoretical and practical investigation of the responsibilities and techniques of the director in the theatre. Classroom exercises are supplemented by readings addressing different theories of directing. The final project is the directing of a one-act play.

Spring 2014 Film Studies and Related Courses

AMS 235 The Anthropology of American Culture

Cross-listed as: AMS 235. Focus on the U.S. American cultural meanings about national identity and citizenship, intersections of race and class consciousness, and the power of media to shape social attitudes, values, lifestyles, and political opinions.

AMS-295-01 ST: Placing, Projecting, and Protecting American Identities in Movies

Special Topic: Placing, Projecting, and Protecting American Identities in Movies. This course explores representations of American identities and the binaries generated by these explorations including here/there, foreign/local, abroad/ home, American/Other. Films and readings will highlight the theme of amalgamation as an alchemic process (the melting pot) shaping Americanness and its association with characteristics such as respectability, recognition and respect. Questions to be addressed include: who are the models and what are the multiple meanings of "being AN American," being IN America and imagining these distinctions in different circles and at different moments? Prerequisite: Second-year standing.

ANT-395-01 ST: The Cultural Politics of Fashion

Advanced Special Topic: The Cultural Politics of Fashion. Also listed as AMS-395. Everyone gets dressed: the creation of desire and cultivation of a consumer culture transcends geographic boundaries (from Dubai to Delhi, Paris to Tehran and NY to Tokyo). Fashion is personal, public and profitable. This seminar considers fashion and taste as a dialectic shaped by local and global networks: we consider links between companies and consumers, bodies, brands and boutiques, luxury malls and museums, and examine fashioning identities (age, gender, class, ethnicities)in print and moving images. Prerequisite: A 200-level course in HUM or SST division.

GLS/RES 261 History of Russian Cinema

 

HUM 185 Film Analysis, Theory and Criticism

This writing-intensive course examines foundational concepts and methodologies in Cinema Studies, introducing students to a number of theoretical approaches central to the study of film, including semiotics, psychoanalysis, and cultural studies. Our focus is not film appreciation but rather the analysis of film as a language and "reading" film texts for their meanings. Since film is a system of representation, the study of gender, sexuality, race and class will be crucial to our interpretive practice throughout. Films screened include: The Matrix, Fight Club, Touch of Evil, American Beauty, Mulholland Dr., and Singin' in the Rain. Prerequisite: One course in English, Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies, American Studies, Philosophy, or Art History.

HUM-365-01 Studies in Film Theory (new course previously offered as HUM-395)

Domestic Cinema--Feminist Film Criticism and Practice This seminar is deeply interdisciplinary, engaging with several fields of inquiry. Specifically, we will study in detail three principle areas of research-film theory & history, feminism, and human geography. The central focus throughout will be the ways space, particularly domestic space, shapes constructions and embodiments of gender, race, nationality, and sexuality. While such investigations will familiarize students with both the theories of human geography and even some knowledge of architectural history, it will also demand in-depth study of a range of feminist knowledge. We will read in detail about the history of second wave feminism and its engagement with other theoretical methodologies, such as Marxism, psychoanalysis, postmodernism, postcolonialism, critical race studies, literary and cultural theory. We will engage these complex feminist topics through the academic discipline of film studies, in which feminist film theory specifically has played a central role in its history. The course begins by addressing representations of women in dominant cinema; however, we will spend most of the semester engaging with films by women, and the many forms global women's cinema has taken over the years. Textbooks for the course are--Film and Theory: An Anthology; Feminist Film Theorists; Women's Pictures: Feminism and Cinema; and Gender, Identity, & Place: Understanding Feminist Geographies. Representative directors include Deepa Mehta, Ulrike Ottinger, Ousmene Sembene, Maya Deren, Alfred Hitchcock, Todd Haynes, Tracey Moffat, Stanley Kubrick, Chantal Akerman, Mika Ninagawa, among others. Prerequisite: third-year standing and HUM-185.

JPN-295-01 ST: Japanese Horror: Past & Present

Special Topic: Japanese Horror: Past and Present. Japanese horror films focus on psychological horror and often draw on traditional folk ideas of the supernatural, such as spirit possession. Why does folk imagery persist in contemporary horror, and what does Japanese horror tell us about the nation's culture, society, and history? Through the study of classical literature and folklore alongside the analysis of modern contemporary films, we will examine the genealogy of Japanese horror, from medieval times to the present. Prerequisite: second-year standing.