FAMS Courses Fall 2017

These are the courses scheduled for Fall 2017 that count toward the Film & Media Studies minor. To determine whether other courses may count toward FAMS, please contact the director.





COMM 208-002 Intro Media Production 1:30-4:10pm W David King Jr. Hall 1011B David Miller dmillef@gmu.edu | This is a beginner’s course designed to provide students with an understanding of camera operation, framing and composition, lighting, audio and editing. Grading will be heavily based on technical proficiency and artistic expression using the basic tools of media production.

COMM 208-003 4:30-7:10pm M David King Jr. Hall 1011B Nancy Mantelli nmantell@gmu.edu | This is a beginner’s course designed to provide students with an understanding of camera operation, framing and composition, lighting, audio and editing. Grading will be heavily based on technical proficiency and artistic expression using the basic tools of media production.

COMM 302-001 Foundations of Media Theory 1:30-2:45pm MW Lecture Hall 2 Richard Craig rcraig@gmu.edu | Provides a comprehensive review of mass communication and media theory, focusing on media effects and the complex relationships between media producers, messages, technologies, and users and audiences. Examines role of media in news, politics, and popular culture.

COMM 302-002 Foundations of Media Theory 1:30-2:45pmTR Krug Hall 242 Timothy Gibson tgibson1@gmu.edu | How does popular culture help shape our identities and our understanding of the social world? How does the news shape our understandings of political and social issues? How have digital networking technologies transformed media production and consumption as well as the conduct of everyday life? In this course, we will examine a variety of theories addressing the complex relationships between media producers, technologies, content, and audiences, and we will also explore how each theoretical perspective emerged in response to particular historical and political circumstances. Finally, in our discussions, we will attempt to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each perspective, and learn how each theory helps us better understand our relationship to the contemporary media environment.

COMM 302-DL Foundations of Media Theory. Nader Hussein Chaaban. Provides a comprehensive review of mass communication and media theory, focusing on media effects and the complex relationships between media producers, messages, technologies, and users/audiences. Examines role of media in news, politics, and popular culture.
COMM 360-002 Digital Postproduction 10:30am-1:10pm R Innovation Hall 233 William Creed wcreed2@gmu.edu | Offers instruction on delivering high-quality image and video products for digital media. Students will be introduced to an array of video-audio editing and digital image software for integrating video, audio, photo and graphic postproduction. Student projects focus on journalism, public relations, and advocacy contexts. Preq: COMM 208, COMM 355, or FAVS 255
COMM 364-001 Videography 4:30pm-7:10pm W David King Jr. Hall 1011B Bruce Cooke | Provides a comprehensive overview of the principles and practices of visual storytelling, encompassing short documentaries, campaigns, commercial work, news and other non-fiction narratives. Mobile, DSLR and fixed-lens cameras will be used to explore all facets of visual production that tell human stories, with emphasis on character, conflict, drama, and surprise. Preq: COMM 208, COMM 355 or FAVS 255
COMM 380-001 Media Criticism 10:30-11:45am TR Krug Hall 204 Timothy Gibson tgibson1@gmu.edu | The media and cultural industries are the most important and powerful storytellers in contemporary life. But what kinds of stories -- including stories about race, gender, and sexuality -- are told through commercial media and popular culture? How do these media images and narratives subtly shape how we understand our world? And what about digital media? How has the rise of digital networking changed how popular culture is produced and consumed? In this class, we draw on a diverse range of theories and concepts to dissect popular media texts (including film, television, and online/remix culture), and we examine our relationship to the wider digital media environment. A special unit on the production and consumption of celebrity concludes the course.
COMM 380 DL1 Media Criticism David Miller | This asynchronous online course examines practical criticism of a wide variety of media texts including television programs, newspapers, articles, films, photographs, and advertisements. This course introduces principles of major contemporary modes of analysis for systematically interpreting visual and verbal forms of communication. This course is designed to enable students to formulate their own philosophies on the role of mass media-making and popular culture through the careful analysis of key theories of communication, the meaning and interpretation of media-making and the institutions that shape our social, political, economic, cultural and social values in a contemporary society. 


ENGH 362-001 Migration, Space, and Place 7:20-10pm T Innovation Hall 136 Jessica Scarlata jscarlat@gmu.edu | This course will focus on international film and visual media that represent borders and the act of crossing them—as tourists, migrants, immigrants, and asylum seekers. We will consider the audio-visual representation of space and how this representation engages with questions of mobility and social and spatial justice. How does film construct spaces and places as welcoming, alienating, foreign, or familiar? How have film, TV, and photography challenged xenophobic, anti-refugee, and anti-immigrant ideologies? How have they reproduced those ideologies? How does visual culture distinguish tourism from migration? In considering these questions, we will also address how identity categories (such as race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion, class, sexuality) intersect with issues of space, place, and mobility. Screenings include: Sin Nombre, Who is Dayani Cristal?, Ramchand Pakistani, Nuovo Mondo (The Golden Door), Desierto, Omar, and La promesse. Fulfills Mason Core requirement in Global Understanding.
ENGH 370-001 Introduction to Documentary 10:30-11:45am TR Robinson Hall A249 Cynthia Fuchs | This introduction to the study of documentary considers form, style, and subject matter, as well as aesthetic, political, and ethical issues. We'll watch movies and TV in order to address some key concepts, including how documentaries raise particular ethical and interpretive questions, during production and consumption. We will also ask: What are documentaries’ relations to news, reality TV, or YouTube? How is documentary political? How do documentaries tell stories, for whom and about whom or what? How do they create or convey subjective and objective "truths"? Films and TV might include the US presidential campaign on TV and the internet, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Grizzly Man, Heart of the Game, Hooligan Sparrow, Hoop Dreams, Making a Murderer, Return to Homs, Senna, The Thin Blue Line, 13th, Tickled, When We Were Kings, Winter on Fire, and Zero Days. Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Arts.

ENGH 371-001 Television Studies:  Love and Hate in Global TV
 12-1:15pm MW Robinson Hall A249 Hatim El-Hibri | How has globalization affected the television industry? How have the social, ethnic, and political tensions of globalization found expression in contemporary programming? And why do we hate some characters, and love others? This class will introduce students to the critical study of television by interrogating the imaginaries underpinning depictions of family and kinship, romance and intimacy, diaspora and immigration, and xenophobia and exoticism. The course will examine new forms of financing and distribution, as well as a programs and genres from around the world. Topics may include British-US co-productions, Korean Hallyu serials, narcodramas, Turkish and Syrian historical fiction, Indian soaps, US scifi and fantasy drama, and Scandinavian crime shows. Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Arts. 

ENGH 372-001 Introduction to Film 12-1:15pm TR Robinson Hall A247 Jessica Scarlata | Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Arts.

ENGH 373-001 Film & Video Forms 
9-10:15am TR Robinson Hall A243 Cynthia Fuchs cfuchs@gmu.edu | The course focuses on how movies, videos, and TV tell stories, how they construct subjects and position viewers, by creating convincing, emotionally potent "realities." Looking at how fiction films, documentaries, and television take on similar topics, we examine narrative and formal conventions, political and historical contexts, and the effects of budgets, technologies, and commercial cultures. Films and TV might include American Honey, Cameraperson, Colossal, Get Out, Hidden Figures, I Am Not Your Negro, Jackie, Jessica Jones, Lemonade, Mad Max: Fury Road, Moonlight, Neruda, O.J.: Made in America, The Other Side, The Salesman, Tower, and The Wolfpack. Fulfills Mason Writing Intensive requirement for English and FAVS. 
ENGH 470RS-001 Science and Technoculture 4:30-7:10pm M Robinson Hall B122 Alex Monea amonea@gmu.edu | This course focuses on representations of science and technoculture in the history of film. In particular, we will examine film's role in speculating about the future impact of new sciences and technologies and in imagining their integration into future cultures. Possible films for this course include Metropolis, Dr. Strangelove, World on a Wire, Brazil, Solaris, Akira, Primer, Snowpiercer, Tetsuo: Iron Man, 2046, Hard To Be A God, A Scanner Darkly, and Interstellar. As this is a 470 RS course, no prior film analysis experience is necessary. We will begin the course by developing critical tools and concepts for analyzing films based on cinematography, editing, sound, set design, narrative, and production budget. The course will also focus on developing academic research practices and the development of an in depth research project over the course of the semester.

Film and Video Studies 

FAVS 225-001 History of World Cinema
10:30am-1:10pm F Art and Design Building 1007 Robert Farr rfarr@gmu.edu | The course will enable students to comprehend the evolution of the history and language of cinema in order to connect the art of filmmaking with the “outside forces” (economic institutions, key figures, historical events and social issues) that shape it. Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Arts.

FAVS 225-002 History of World Cinema 4:30-7:10pm W Robinson Hall A106 Sam Meddis smeddis@gmu.edu | Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Arts.

FAVS 225 DL-1 History of World Cinema KJ Mohr | Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Arts. 

FAVS 300-001 Global Horror Film 10:30am-1:10pm M Art and Design Building 1007 TBA | Taking an historical approach through various national and international cinemas, the course begins with horror film’s literary and theatrical origins and traces its development into modern and postmodern forms of storytelling. Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Global Understanding.

FAVS 300-002 Global Horror Film 1:30-4:10pm F Art and Design Building 1007 Ziad Foty | Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Global Understanding.

FAVS 365 Documentary Filmmaking
4:30-7:10pm M de Laski Performing Arts Bldg 3019 Yi Chen ychen28@gmu.edu

FAVS 378 Web Series 4:30-5:45pm TR Art and Design Building 2001 TBA

FAVS 399-005 Contemporary Chinese Film
 7:20-10pm T East 122 Carmelita Hinton | This course is an introduction to Chinese cinema from its beginnings to the present, focusing on productions from Mainland China, with a section on films of Taiwan. Class is taught in English. No prior knowledge of Chinese history, culture, film, or language is required. 

399-007 Interactive Storytelling for Social Change 10:30am-1:10pm T de Laski Performing Arts Bldg 3019 Giovanna Chesler gchesler@gmu.edu | Students study the craft of transmedia storytelling while producing projects for impact and action. Transmedia is a way of telling stories across media platforms, for both fiction and non-fiction. This allows creators to engage television and film audiences for greater impact. Students will also study transmedia as a readily used marketing tool in our industry.

Integrative Studies

INTS 375-007 History at the Movies 10:30am-1:10pm TR Robinson Hall A246 Matthew B Karush mkarush@gmu.edu and Alison Landsberg alandsb1@gmu.edu | Many of our ideas about the past, and our images of what it looked like, come from the movies. This course explores how film might represent a serious and complex engagement with the past. We will watch movies from the US, Europe and Latin America -- about slavery, revolution, the Holocaust, and dictatorship -- to uncover how they represent the past in ways not possible in written form. We will explore not only what these films tell us about the past but also what they reveal about the political and historical moments in which they were produced. Why do certain historical episodes become “popular” at certain moments? What work do historical films do in the present?

Modern and Classical Languages

FRLN 331-001: War and Film 3-4:15 pm MW Music/Theater Building 1004 | Michael Jeck mjeck@gmu.edu | The depiction of war is especially fitted to film, with its capacity for real time and physical reenactments. This course aims to follow its depiction in movies from around the world, from early silents to present day spectacles, and from ancient warfare to the US war in Vietnam, discussing each film in the context of the time when it was made and the time it depicts. Our aim will be to gain a basic understanding of military history (via fiction films) as well as critical reading skills. Films will include Alexander Nevsky, Kagemusha, Glory, Stalingrad, and Platoon. Fulfills Mason Core requirement in Global Understanding.

FRLN 331-002: International Mysteries 3-4:15pm TR Music/Theater Building 1004 | Michael Jeck mjeck@gmu.edu | Policier, serie noire, giallo, krimi, astinomika, suiri: arguably now the most universal of genres, the mystery, cop show, detective story, or thriller is also one of the most flexible and accommodating, providing the opportunity for stylistic pyrotechnics by great directors, the dramatization of classic stories and characters, and a specific window into other cultures. Students will discover these films' richly cinematic values, acquire critical reading skills, and, perhaps, gain a greater facility in spotting the killer. Films will include M, The Third Man, the Russian Sherlock Holmes, High and Low, and the complete Finnish miniseries Raid. Fulfills Mason Core requirement in Global Understanding.  

JAPA 320-002 Japanese Cinema 5:55-7:10pm TR Room TBA Michael Jeck mjeck@gmu.edu | This course aims for a very broad survey of one of the world’s richest cinemas, from the silent era to the relatively recent, touching on a wide range of genres and subjects, from lightning fast samura action to the beautiful stillness of Ozu. It is also a course on film, and not on Japanese culture through film, and the emphasis will be on discovering the particularly filmic values to be found in the works of some of the world’s greatest directors, while also acquiring critical skills in reading film and Japanese culture. Films may include: Late Spring, Godzilla, Samurai Rebellion, I Live in Fear, and Tampopo. Fulfills Mason Core requirement in Global Understanding.