FAMS Courses Fall 2019

FAMS Courses Fall 2019

These are the courses scheduled for Fall 2019 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 M 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 208-002 Intro Media Production 4:30-7:10pm W David King Jr. Hall 1011B TBA | 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 302-002 Foundations of Media Theory 1:30-2:45pm TR Peterson Hall 1105 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-DL1 Foundations of Media Theory Nader Chaaban nchaaban@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-DL2 Foundations of Media Theory Nader Chaaban nchaaban@gmu.edu 

COMM 360-DL1 Digital Postproduction Nancy E Mantelli nmantell@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 365-001 Race/Gender/Class/Sports 4:30-7:10pm M West 1001 Earl Smith esmith21@gmu.edu

COMM 380-001 Media Criticism TR 10:30-11:45am NEM 107 Tim Gibson tgibson1@gmu.edu | The media and cultural industries are the most important 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 dmillef@gmu.edu | 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.

COMM 380 DL1 is a distance education section. Before registering, please review the information at the following URL: http://masononline.gmu.edu/why-online/online-learning-basics/

COMM 380-DL2 Media Criticism David Miller dmillef@gmu.edu | See description above. 


ENGH 370-001 Introduction to Documentary 10:30-11:45am MW Aquia Building 219 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 American Factory, Bestiaire, Casting JonBenet, Evolution of a Criminal, The Feeling of Being Watched, High School, Hoop Dreams, I Am Not Your Negro, Of Fathers and Sons, Pink Saris, Tower, and Wo Ai Ni Mommy. Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Arts. 

ENGH 373-001 Film and Video Forms MW 9-10:15am Aquia Building 213 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 CamerapersonFire at Sea, The FitsGet Out, Gook, LA92Moonlight, Shirkers, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Us, When They See Us, and The Wolfpack. Fulfills Mason Writing Intensive requirement for English and Film and Video Studies.

ENGH 470RS-001 Indian Cinema T 4:30pm-7:10pm Aquia Building 219 Jessica Scarlata jscarlat@gmu.edu | “Bollywood” has come to signify a variety of things beyond movies. It helps to shape and circulate images of India that are exported abroad become part of how India is imagined especially the US. Bollywood as a brand, a style, and a cinema conjures vibrancy, vitality, and globalization. But, although Bollywood has often outshone other media production in India, is only part of the story. This course takes the massive cinematic output of the world’s largest democracy and attempts to boil it down to fifteen weeks of film history. We won’t even try to pretend to be comprehensive. What we will do is spend a good portion of the course on Bombay cinema, but also dedicate time to “parallel,” auteur, and art cinema, transnational productions, and other modes of screen culture in India and abroad. Looking at film (and a little TV) produced in India and its diaspora, we will consider film’s relationship to “Indian” as a national identity that extends across linguistic, cultural, spatial, and temporal borders. We will also address questions of genre, style, the importance of stars and movie gossip to the industry, and the ways that film (and a little TV) engage with the politics of gender, sectarianism, national security, class and caste, and sexuality. Screenings include: Awaara, Deewaar, Ghoul, Gully Boy, Haider, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham,Pather Panchali, Veer-Zaara, Umrao Jaan. 

This is an RS-designated course, which means that you will work on a sustained, individual research project throughout the semester. This project (pending my approval) can be visual, written, fiction, or non-fiction, but it must be grounded in careful research. If you have questions, please feel free to email me: jscarlat@gmu.edu

Film and Video Studies

FAVS 225-003 History of World Cinema 1:30-4:10pm F Art and Design Building L008 Sam Meddis smeddis@gmu.edu and Recitation 1:30-4:10pm T | 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-DL1 History of World Cinema Online KJ Mohr kmohr4@gmu.edu | Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Arts.

FAVS 250-002 Business of Film and Video 4:30-7:10pm M Music/Theater Building 1005 Instructor TBA | 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 1:30-4:10pm M Nguyen Engineering Building 1107 May Santiago msantia7@gmu.edu and Recitation 10:30am-1:10pm or 1:30-4:10pm R | 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 300-003 Global Horror Film 4:30-7:10pm F Music/Theater Building 1005 Samirah Alkassim salkassi@gmu.edu and Recitation 10:30am-1:10pm or 1:30-4:10pm R. Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Global Understanding.

FAVS 399-003 Web Series Writers Room 1:30-4:10pm W Innovation Hall 233 Instructor TBA 

FAVS 399-012 Film and Video Concepts 4:30-7:10pm T Art and Design Building 1007 Meghan Brown mbrown86@gmu.edu

History and Art History 

History 387/INTS 375 (6 credits) History at the Movies 10:30am-1:10 pm TR Robinson Hall B208 Alison Landsberg alandsb1@gmu.edu and Matthew B Karush mkarush@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 3-4:15pm MW Innovation Hall 131 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 West 1007 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. 

FRLN 331-003: Spanish-language Film & Television (in translation) | R 4:30-7:10 pm | Aquia Building 347 Lisa Rabin lrabin@gmu.edu | Introduction to film and television from the rich and diverse regions of Spanish-speaking Latin America. Students will learn to approach Latin American film and television as both art forms and industrial products. We will also focus on the role that genres like the revolutionary film and the telenovela have played in constructing national and global identities in the 20th and 21st centuries. Course conducted in English. Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Global Understanding. 

ITAL 320-001: Modern Italian Cinema T 4:30-7pm Aquia Building 347 Nicola Di Nino | Explores Italian history through the lens of literary and cinematic movements from 1911 onwards. Compares the representations of historical movements in different artistic languages, from poetry and prose to the moving image. Topics include neorealism, Fascism, the Resistance, the Mafia and others. Taught in English. Films include Open City, Bellissima, Bicycle Thieves, Nuovomondo, Fuocoammare, Gomorrah, Habemus Papam, and La grande bellezza

JAPA 320-002 Japanese Cinema 7:20-8:35 pm TR Aquia Building 347 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. 

JAPA 360-001 Topics in Japanese Popular Culture: Intro to Anime and Manga 4:30-5:45pm TR Krug Hall 7 Kathryn Hemmann khemmann@gmu.edu | In-depth look at anime and manga in order to arrive at a deeper understanding and appreciation of the cultures and histories that generated these art forms, as well as how they continue to shape international entertainment media and fan subcultures.