FAMS Courses Fall 2018

These are the courses scheduled for Fall 2018 that count toward the Film & Media Studies minor. To determine whether other courses may count toward FAMS, please contact the director. 



COMM 208-001 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 208-002 Intro Media Production 4:30-7:10pm W David King Jr. Hall 1011B Lance E Schmeidler lschmeid@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 Enterprise Hall 276 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 3-4:15pm TR Peterson Hall 2413 Tim Gibson tgibson1@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 360-001 Digital Postproduction 7:20--10pm R Innovation Hall 233 TBA | 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 365-001 Race/Gender/Class/Sports 4:30--7:10pm R Innovation Hall 209 Earl Smith esmith21@gmu.edu

COMM 380-001 Media Criticism 10:30-11:45am TR Peterson Hall 2413 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 399-001 Gender/Race/Sexuality/TV 3-4:15pm Nguyen Engineering Building 1108 David Corwin dcorwin@gmu.edu 


ENGH 362-003/ENGH 570-001 Global Voices: Film and Media of the Middle East W 4:30pm-7:10pm Peterson Hall 1105 Hatim El-Hibri helhibri@gmu.edu | This course introduces key concepts in the study of film and media from the Middle East and North Africa, and examines the cultural and political contexts that have given shape to a range of historical and contemporary voices. Some topics will include cinema and decolonization, the recent Uprisings and social media, gender and nationalism, Turkish TV melodrama, feminist and queer activism, experimental and documentary film, war and memory, the cultural politics of diaspora and transnational solidarity, and class and popular music in Egypt and Iran. Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Global Understanding.

ENGH 370-001 Introduction to Documentary MW 10:30am-11:45am Peterson Hall 1109 Cynthia Fuchs |cfuchs@gmu.edu  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. What are documentaries’ relations to news, reality TV, or user uploads on YouTube? How do documentaries evoke emotional responses or make political appeals, and how are these effects and strategies related? 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 Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Amy, Faces, Places, Grizzly Man, Hoop Dreams, Jane, Making a Murderer, Minding the Gap, The Rachel Divide, Return to Homs, The Thin Blue Line, 13th, Traffic Stop, and Wild Wild Country. Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Arts

ENGH 371-001 Television Studies: The US and Global TV MW 1:30pm-2:45pm Thompson Hall 2022 Hatim El-Hibri helhibri@gmu.edu | This class introduces students to key concepts in the study of television. How has US programming been shaped by television from beyond its borders? How has US television travelled? And how do the social, cultural, and political tensions of the experience of globalization find expression in contemporary programming? Possible TV shows may include: Queen of the South, The Night Of, Black Mirror, Sherlock, Magnificent Century, Wallander, Winter Sonata, Roots, The Walking Dead, and Skins. Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Arts. 

ENGH 372-001 Introduction to Film TR 12pm-1:15pm Music/Theater Building 1002 Jessica Scarlata jscarlat@gmu.edu Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Arts.

ENGH 373-001 Film and Video Forms MW 9am-10:15am Thompson Hall 1018 Cynthia Fuchs |cfuchs@gmu.edu  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 Black Panther, Black Mirror, Cameraperson, The Chi, Dope, Get Out, Gook, I Am Not Your Negro, Jessica Jones, Last Men in Aleppo, Mad Max: Fury Road, Moonlight, O.J.: Made in America, On the Beach at Night Alone, Seven Seconds, Train to Busan, and The Wolfpack. Fulfills Mason Writing Intensive requirement for English and Film and Video Studies.

ENGH 472-001 Film and Colonialism T 4:30pm-7:10pm Thompson Hall 1017 Jessica Scarlata jscarlat@gmu.edu | John Oliver once referred to the British Museum as “a living crime scene,” pointing out the close connection between culture and colonial power. This course explores that connection in depth through global film and visual culture. We will take a close look at movies that deal with colonialism and resistance to it, postcolonial nationalism, and neocolonial domination. The course will consider the global impact of colonialism on conceptions of history, geography, and identity as well as the ways in which anti/postcolonial nationalisms challenge and repeat colonial power structures. Some central questions will deal with the role of gender and sexuality in representations of martyrdom and suffering; the importance of subversion and improvisation for colonized and postcolonial cultures; connections across diasporic and migrant communities; insurgency, national security, and human rights; and the relationship between memory and geography. Screenings include: Mangal Pandey: The Rising, Jodhaa-Akbar, The Wind that Shakes the Barley, Xala, Daughters of the Dust, Silences of the Palace, The Magdalene Sisters, Smoke Signals, Rabbit-Proof Fence, Even the Rain, Breakfast on Pluto, and Jhansi ki Rani.

Film and Video Studies

FAVS 225-001 History of World Cinema W 4:30-7:10pm Engineering Building ENGR 1107 Sam Meddis smeddis@gmu.edu | This survey explores the development of world cinema from its beginnings in the late 19th century to the 1990s. The course traces the evolution of language of cinema in order to connect the art of filmmaking with the "outside forces," including economic institutions, key figures, events and social issues. Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Arts.

FAVS 225-002 History of World Cinema F 10:30am-1:10pm Engineering Building  ENGR 1107 Rob Farr rfarr@gmu.edu Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Arts.

FAVS 225-DL1 History of World Cinema Online KJ Mohr kmohr4@gmu.edu Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Arts.

FAVS 250-001 Business of Film Lisa Thrasher lthrashe@gmu.edu Art Building AB 1007 | This course provides an overview of the film industry from a business perspective. Students learn basic business practices, film financing, business plans, film distribution, and management and marketing techniques appropriate for the film industry.

FAVS 300-001 Global Horror Film M 10:30am-1:10pm Engineering Building  ENGR 1107 Samirah Alkassim salkassi@gmu.edu | Taking a 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 F 1:30-4:10pm Engineering Building  ENGR 1107 Ziad Foty fziad@gmu.edu Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Global Understanding.

Modern and Classical Languages

ARAB 360-001: Topics in Arabic Cultural Production 12:30-1:20pm MWF Krug Hall 242. Naglaa Hussein | Focuses on major trends and issues in modern Arabic cultural production. In addition to material from the Middle East and North Africa, the course surveys works of art, cinema, media, and literature from across the global Arabic diaspora. Taught in English. 

FRLN 331-001: War and Film 3-4:15 pm MW Robinson Hall B218| 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 1002 [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 7:20-10: pm TR Innovation Hall 103 [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.