Film Electives

FALL 2014

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. Prerequisite: One course in English, Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies, American Studies, Philosophy, or Art History. Instructor: Geller

HUM 290 - Film Genres

This course will examine the theory, criticism, and history of film genre. We will take a comparative approach, analyzing the stylistic and narrative conventions of specific genres, and their relationship to culture, race, sexuality, gender and national identity. We will discuss various film genres, including the musical, screwball comedy, melodrama, and film noir. The objective of this course is to explore the question of genre through a range of theoretical rubrics (structuralism, psychoanalysis, feminism and ideological criticism) to address both the social implications and aesthetic properties of cinema. This course requires weekly screenings (usually two films per week) along with the assigned class reading. Prerequisite: HUM 185. Instructor: Geller

AMS 245- Shaping American Identities in Moving Images

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. Prerequisite: one 100-level course in Humanities or Social Studies. Instructor: Gibel Mevorach.

GWSS 235- Feminism and Popular Culture

This course examines various popular cultural forms using feminist criticism/ theory as a critical lens. Through an intersectional and intertextual investigation of TV, film, advertising, and popular music, students will explore how representation both reflects and produces sociocultural phenomena and ideas about race, gender, class, and sexuality in society. Prerequisite: GWS 111. Instructor: Johnson.

HUM/GWSS 395- ST: Queer Cinema/Queer Theory        

Advanced Special Topic: Queer Cinema/Queer Theory. This seminar will provide an intensive exploration of contemporary queer theory, with particular attention given to key terms and on-going critical debates in the field. The theoretical concepts of queer theory will be examined in relation to queer cinema, grounding theoretical insights in the textual analysis of dominant and avant-garde cinema. Films screened for this course include: Suddenly Last Summer, Brokeback Mountain, Edward II and Freak Orlando and key figures of queer cinema such as Kenneth Anger, Isaac Julien, Bruce La Bruce, Ulrike Ottinger, and Sadie Benning. Prerequisite: GWS-249, ENG-274 or HUM-185. Instructor: Geller

HIS-336-01- The European Metropolis        

This seminar examines the blossoming of new urban spaces in Europe from roughly 1850-1930, spaces characterized by unprecedented population density and diversity, radical shifts in infrastructure and communication, and vertiginous social and cultural developments. Using London, Paris, Vienna, and Berlin as case studies, we examine political developments, social theory, the visual arts, film, literature, architecture, consumer culture, and music. Concentrating in particular upon the ways that artists and intellectuals grappled with the idea and the experience of the metropolis, we consider such themes as community and alienation, the fluidity of the self, spectacle and entertainment, disease and criminality, and gender and class. Prerequisite: Any 100-level history course and any 200-level European history course including British or Russian history. Instructor: Maynard

SPRING 2015

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. Prerequisite: One course in English, Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies, American Studies, Philosophy, or Art History. Instructor: Geller

RUS-295-01- ST: Modern Russia and the Culture of Revolution and Change (cross-list GLS-295 & HUM-295) 

Special Topic: Modern Russia and the Culture of Revolution and Change. Also listed as GLS-295, HUM-295. This course offers an exploration of the intersection of culture and revolution in Russia, from its beginning in the 1900s to the present day. In the first part of the course, students will consider the vibrant literary and artistic world of the Russian Avant-Garde; the cataclysmic change ushered in by the Russian Revolution; and the establishment of the totalitarian doctrine of Socialist Realism. The second part of the course will explore the Soviet experience - Stalinism, World War II, the Thaw, ad the Cold War, as reflected in Russian aesthetic traditions. The final part of the course will consider the culture of post-Soviet Russia, which emerged in the revolution of 1991 and which has seen the rise of authoritarianism and Putin's regime - and a new culture of dissent with the appearance of oppositional voices like those of Pussy Riot and other. Prerequisites: one 100-level course in the Humanities division. Instructor: Armstrong

FRN-350-01- Advanced Topics in Literature & Civilization        

Representing the Body in Contemporary Literature and Film.  Conducted in French. Examines representations of the body in novels and films from diverse areas of the French-speaking world. Explores topics such as sexuality, gender roles, inter-generational relations, migration, illness, aging, love, war, masculinity and femininity, and cultural constructions of the body. Works studied may include Venus noire, Une affaire de femmes, Amour, Chaos, Moolaade, Les intouchables, Satin rouge, Ce pays dont je meurs, Les muscles, and La femme sans tete. Prerequisites: FRN 312 or 313. Instructor: Ireland.