FAMS Courses Spring 2018

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

Art and Visual Technology 

AVT 377-001: Cyberpunk 4:30-7:10pm MW Art and Design Building 1021 Mark Cooley mcooley@gmu.ed |This course offers an opportunity for an examination of (cyber)culture and the implications of new technologies (and the systems which produce them) through an analysis and critique of cyberpunk and post-cyberpunk science fiction. Students conduct inquiries into the dominant themes and representations pursued in cyberpunk culture through a variety of lenses including philosophy, theory and criticism, scientific inquiry and the creative process. Students are asked to participate in a trans-disciplinary discourse, which attempts, like the best science fiction, to offer insights into where we are, where we've been and where we're going. (4 credits).


COMM 208-001 Intro Media Production 1:30-4:10pm M David King Jr. Hall 1011B David J Miller dmillef@gmu.edu

COMM 208-002 Intro Media Production 1:30-2:45pm TR David King Jr. Hall 1011B TBA 

COMM 302-001 Foundations of Media Theory
4:30-7:10pm W Robinson Hall B201 TBA | 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 302-002 Foundations of Media Theory 1:30-2:45pm MW Robinson Hall B122 TBA
COMM 302-DL1 Foundations of Media Theory
 Nader Chaaban nchaaban@gmu.edu
COMM 350-001 Mass Communication and Public Policy 12-1:15pm MW Planetary Hall 127 TBA
COMM 358-001 Multi-Camera Studio Production 7:20 pm - 10:00 pm W David King Jr. Hall 1011B TBA
COMM 380-001 Media Criticism 
10:30-11:45am TR Innovation Hall 131 Tim 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 not only how popular culture is produced and consumed, but our social relationships and interactions as well? 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.


English 371 DL2 Television Studies | Cynthia Fuchs cfuchs@gmu.edu |

This course examines television today, its changing forms, venues, and appeals. We consider the ways TV addresses and creates audiences, how TV intersects with social media, and how it shapes ordinary and extraordinary experiences. What is peak TV? What are the relationships among art, journalism, and genre on TV? How do we watch TV with Twitter and Instagram? How might #MeToo reshape TV, for creators and consumers? The course looks at how TV and social media work together to convey and counter apparent truths, shape identities and communities, organize celebrity and fandom, politics and commercial culture. Shows may include Stranger Things and blackish, Jessica Jones and Black Mirror, Gotham and Supergirl, Queen Sugar and Mr. Robot, The Chi and The Alienist, Bojack Horseman and Black Lightning, reality TV, Animal Planet, and cable news, the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics. Fulfills Core Requirement for Arts.

English 372-002 Introduction to Film 10:30-11:45am MW Robinson Hall B218 Jessica Scarlata jscarlat@gmu.edu | Introduces film as an art form. Satisfies General Education requirement for arts.
English 372-003 Introduction to Film 12-1:15pm TR Peterson Hall 1109 Hatim El-Hibri helhibri@gmu.edu | Introduces film as an art form. Satisfies General Education requirement for arts.

English 373-001 Film and Video Forms 9:-10:15am TR Robinson Hall A249 Cynthia Fuchs cfuchs@gmu.edu | The course considers how movies, videos, and TV tell stories. We think about 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'll examine narrative and formal conventions, political and historical contexts, and the effects of budgets, technologies, and commercial culture. Movies and TV may include blackishThe Fits, Get Out, Head Shot, Hooligan Sparrow, I Am Not Your Negro, Jessica Jones, Moonlight, Mr. Robot, Queen Sugar, Selma, Strong Island, Under the Shadow, and Wonder Woman. Fulfills the writing intensive requirement in English and FAVS.

ENGH 472-001 Topics Film/Media Theory (Cinemas of Resistance) W 4:30-7:10pm Jessica Scarlata jscarlat@gmu.edu | What is resistance? What is cinema’s role in violent and non-violent forms of resistance? Can a film itself be an act of resistance? These questions have been a part of film theory since the silent era, but they became increasingly central to world cinema after 1945, with the success of key national struggles for independence from colonial and neocolonial domination. This course will address theories of resistance in world cinema, beginning with stylistic experiments in the 1960s in Latin America, Europe, and elsewhere. We will look at the contributions and limits of these movements and their legacy for cinematic resistance in the decades that followed. A central concern of this course will be how film challenges dominant ideologies and power structures, but we will also consider cinema’s role in supporting and shaping forms of marginalization and exclusion. Other key topics include: film’s relationship to nationalism and national identity, media constructions of martyrdom, subversive comedy, and cinema as a guardian of cultural memory. Screenings include: Omar, Heaven on Earth, Hunger, Bad Hair, The Terrorist, The Missing Picture, Selma, and Offside.

Film and Video Studies

FAVS 225-001 History of World Cinema
W 4:30-7:10pm Robinson B113 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. 

FAVS 225-002 History of World Cinema F 10:30am-1:10pm Art and Design Building AB 2026 Rob Farr rfarr@gmu.edu

FAVS 225-DL1 History of World Cinema
 KJ Mohr kmohr4@gmu.edu
FAVS 300-001 Global Horror Film M 10:30am-1:10pm Art and Design Building AB 2026 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 in Global Understanding.
FAVS 300-002 Global Horror Film F 1:30-4:10pm Art and Design Building AB 2026 Ziad Foty fziad@gmu.edu 

FAVS 352-001 Ethics of Film & Video TR 1:30-2:45pm Engineering Building ENGR 1107 Tommy Britt tbritt@gmu.edu | Prerequisite(s): Completion or concurrent enrollment in all other required Mason Core courses and completion of 21 credits within the FAVS program. Fulfills Core Requirement for Synthesis. Open to FAVS majors only

FAVS 352-002 Ethics of Film & Video M 10:30am-1:10pm Music/Theater MTB 1007 Lorraine Blackwell lblackw@gmu.edu | An examination of ethical issues associated with image production and consumption. Topics include the technological development of the film apparatus, privacy, the pursuit of objectivity, excess, consent, and representing others. All issues highlight the increasingly sophisticated and powerful role of film and media authorship. Students will develop a more complex view of the ethics of screen representation (both fiction and nonfiction) and be encouraged to take stock of the ethics of their own media literacy. Prerequisite(s): Completion or concurrent enrollment in all other required Mason Core courses. Fulfills Core Requirement for Synthesis. 

FAVS 399-002 Curating & Programming for the Moving Image 10:30am-1:10pm T Art & Design Building 1007, KJ Mohr kmohr4@gmu.edu | This hybrid in-person/Distance Learning undergraduate seminar explores the rich and often overlooked history of independent exhibition of short film and video. Through reading, writing, viewing, and discussion, students engage both critically and practically with ideas of venue and context, programming theory, curatorial ethics, distribution, and promotion. Student curators will learn to program, plan, promote, budget for, collaborate on, and host screenings. This includes working with archives, distributors and artists, calling for submissions of work, and crafting programs that explore themes and subjects of interest to you. Events will include off-site screenings and on-campus programs. Please pay careful attention to meeting times and schedule. 

The course is created and taught by KJ Mohr, a festival programmer and video/film curator with over 25 years experience at institutions and micro-cinemas. Mohr is the Director of Programming for the Tampa International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, served as Film Curator for National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC, curated the Conversations at the Edge series at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, and worked with Women in the Director’s Chair in Chicago for many years. 

Modern and Classical Languages

CLAS 390-001 The Antigone Theme on Screen 10:30-11:45am TR Planetary Hall 127 Martin Winkler mwinkler@gmu.edu

FRLN 331-001 Topics in World Cinema: Latin American Film 4:30-7:10pm T Planetary Hall 124 Lisa Rabin lrabin@gmu.edu | This course offers an historical survey of the films produced across the Latin American regions from the introduction of sound in the late 1920s to the contemporary period. We will be taking a special look at the film movement known as "New Latin American Cinema," or films from the 1960s to the 1980s that were considered “revolutionary,” both for their engagement with social and political themes like poverty, racism, gender, and violence and for their departure from conventional film genres inherited from the Hollywood industries. The direct influence of the New Latin American Cinema on contemporary filmmaking is a linked focus of the course. The survey covers a range of film across the diverse regions of Latin America, including Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Mexico, and Cuba. Students will be introduced to basic concepts of film analysis and major trends in film studies. The course is taught in English.

FRLN 331-004 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 a requirement for the BA in Global Affairs. 

JAPA 320-002 Japanese Cinema 5:55-7:10pm TR Location 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 samurai action to the beautiful stillness of Ozu. Our emphasis will be on discovering the cinematic values in the works of some of the world’s greatest directors, while developing critical skills in reading film and Japanese culture. Films may include Late Spring, Godzilla, Samurai Rebellion, I Live in Fear, and Tampopo. The course fulfills a requirement for the BA in Global Affairs with the Asia concentration.

RUSS 470-001 Soviet Film in the Times of Eisenstein and Tarkovsky | 3:00-415 pm MW Thompson Hall 1017 Michael Jeck mjeck@gmu.edu | This course examines two core decades of Russian cinema: the early Soviet period of the great silent films and early talkies, focusing on Sergei Eisenstein; and the immediate post-War and post-Thaw flowering, focusing on Andrei Tarkovsky. We will analyze works of some of the world’s most distinctive and controversial directors, while considering the culture, history, and politics of Russia’s very difficult last century. Films will include Battleship Potemkin, Man with a Movie Camera, King Lear, I am Cuba, and Solaris. Fulfills requirements for the major or minor in Russian and Eurasian Studies and the BA in Global Affairs with a Russia/Eurasia concentration.

SPAN 482-001 Mass Media and Popular Culture in Latin America 4:30-7:10pm R Thompson Hall 1018 Lisa Rabin  lrabin@gmu.edu | Modern mass media and popular culture are deeply riven into the social fabric of Latin America and the Latinx United States. Studying newspapers of the early republics to turn-of-the-century radio dramas to industrial film musicals to the much-loved telenovela, this course focuses on the history of mass media in these regions and its significant role in constructing modern local, national and transnational identities. Students will learn to situate different forms of mass media within historical processes, including nation-building and industrialization; technological innovation; migration and urbanization; and the upheavals of civil wars, revolutions, and counterinsurgencies. Recommended prerequisites are SPAN 370, 385, and 390; students may also register with professor’s permission. 


MUSI 301-DL1 Music in Motion Pictures Instructor TBA | Intensive study and analysis of using music tracks in motion pictures to introduce the picture; set a scene, create moods, or for musical numbers. From the silent film scores of the 1920s to the present (including electronic music). Fulfills Mason Core requirement in Arts.