FAMS Courses Spring 2019

FAMS Courses Spring 2019

These are the courses scheduled for Spring 2019 that count toward the Film & Media Studies minor. To determine whether other courses may count toward FAMS, please contact the director. 



AVT 377-001: Cyberpunk 4:30-7:10pm TR Art and Design Building 1021 Mark Cooley mcooley@gmu.edu | “Cyberpunk is Dead, Long Live Cyberpunk!” 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.


LanceCOMM 208-001 Intro Media Production 4:30-7:10pm M David King 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 1:30-4:10pm W David King Hall 1011B David J. Miller dmillef@gmu.edu | See description above.

COMM 302-001 Foundations of Media Theory 9--10:15am W Northeast Module 107 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 4:30-7:10pm W Robinson B105 Richard Craig rcraig@gmu.edu | See description above.

COMM 302-DL1 Foundations of Media Theory Online. Nader Hussein Chaaban nchaaban@gmu.edu | See description above.

COMM 364-001 Videography 7:20-10pm M David King Hall 1011B Lance E Schmeidler lschmeid@gmu.edu | 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. May not be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: COMM 355, FAVS 255, COMM 208, L355, FAVS U255 or COMM U208. Requires minimum grade of C.

COMM 365-001 Race/Gender/Class/Sports 4:30--7:10pm T Music Theater Building (formerly Fine Arts Building) 1007 Earl Smith esmith21@gmu.edu | Introduces concepts of power, influence of mass media. Allows students to see themselves as products, producers of media influence, and gives sense of the roles in the media or lack thereof, of groups based on their gender, race and/or class. May not be repeated for credit. Recommended Prerequisite: COMM 302 or permission of instructor.

COMM 372-DL1 Sports and the Media Online Rodger Smith rsmith6@gmu.edu | Examines the role of mass media in constructing images of athletes, sport, and sports culture. Critical attention is given to broadcast, print, and film of sport media. Assesses sociological and cultural issues that shape sport media and culture. May not be repeated for credit.

COMM 380-001 Media Criticism 10:30-11:45am TR Innovation Hall 207 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 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 Online David J. Miller dmillef@gmu.edu | See description above.


ENGH 371-001 Television Studies: TV and Twitter TR 10:30-11:45am Thompson Hall 2021 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 is peak TV? How are TV -- fiction and nonfiction, series and special -- and social media together shaping political discourse? What are the relationships among art, journalism, and genre on TV? How do we watch TV with Twitter and Instagram? How might #MeToo and #TimesUp reshape TV (and other media, including social media), 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. We'll look at TV programming (reality TV, sports, news). TV shows might include Atlanta, Black Lightning, Black Mirror, Bojack Horseman, Dear White People, Flint Town, Fresh Off the Boat, Jessica Jones, Killing Eve, Legion, On My Block, Random Acts of Flyness, Seven Seconds, True Detective 3, Wild Wild Country. Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Arts. 

ENGH 372-002 Introduction to Film MW 12pm-1:15pm Music/Theater Building 1002 Jessica Scarlata jscarlat@gmu.edu | Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Arts.

ENGH 372-003 Introduction to Film TR 12pm-1:15pm Music/Theater Building 1002 Hatim El-Hibri helhibri@gmu.edu | Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Arts.

ENGH 373-001 Film and Video Forms TR 9am-10:15am Thompson Hall 1018 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 About Elly, All This Panic, America to Me, Bisbee '17, Black Panther, Black Mirror, Blindspotting, Get Out, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Gook, The Handmaid's Tale, Insecure, Leave No Trace, Minding the Gap, Phantom Thread, Shirkers, Sorry to Bother You, Train to Busan, and Whitney. Fulfills Mason Writing Intensive requirement for English and Film and Video Studies.

Film and Video Studies

FAVS 225-001: The History of World Cinema W 4:30-7:10pm MTB 1007 Music and Theater Building Instructor TBA | This course is a survey of the history of cinema. It explores the development of world cinema from its beginnings in the late nineteenth century to the 1990s. 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" (for examples, the economic institutions, key figures, historical events and social issues) that profoundly shape and influence it. 

FAVS 225-001 Recitation: Required with in-person section, M 1:30-4:10pm, R B203 Robinson B

FAVS 225-DL1: The History of World Cinema Online Instructor TBA

FAVS 250-001 Business of Film T 7:20-10pm E 201 East Building, 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 M 10:30-1:10pm, ENGR 1107 Engineering Building Instructor 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 a modern (and postmodern) form of universal storytelling. Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Global Understanding.

FAVS 300-002 Global Horror Film F 4:30-7:10pm ENT 173 Enterprise Instructor TBA | Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Global Understanding.

FAVS 300-003 Global Horror Film T 4:30-7:10pm ENGR 1103 Engineering Building Instructor TBA | Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Global Understanding.

Modern and Classical Languages

SPAN 326-001: Multimedia Storytelling R 4:30-7:10pm Aquia Building 347 Lisa Rabin lrabin@gmu.edu | The marriage plot in 19th-century newspaper serials. The revisionist history in 20th-century revolutionary film. The working-class fable in the modern telenovela. The outlaw genre in current narco drama. In modern Latin American history, traditional and alternative forms of storytelling have developed across a variety of media formats, playing a crucial role in the formation of social identity. In this course we will contextualize the rich history of Latin American media storytelling within modern processes of industrialization, nation-building and globalization. How did newspapers, radio and film make traditional stories national as Latin American states grew in the twentieth century? How did radical films that spoke back to power develop alongside socialist discourses in the wake of the Cuban revolution? What are the consequences to identity as Latin American narratives become global on film, television and streaming services? Readings in narrative theory and cultural studies will accompany our close analysis -- and enjoyment -- of literary and media texts. Course conducted in Spanish. Recommended Prerequisite: Advanced oral and written proficiency in Spanish, to be determined by the instructor.

SPAN 375: Introduction to Spanish-Language Cinema TR 10:30-11:45am Aquia Building 347 Lisa Rabin lrabin@gmu.edu | Introduces the study of film as an art form and the academic discipline of film studies as they relate to the Spanish-speaking world. Focuses on students' acquisition of knowledge on the material and principles of film form and their practice in film analysis of discrete Spanish language films and film genres of significance within the 20th and 21st centuries. May not be repeated for credit. Recommended Prerequisite: SPAN 305 and SPAN 306 or SPAN 309 or SPAN 315. Recommended Corequisite: SPAN 370, SPAN 385, SPAN 388, SPAN 390.

FRLN 331-004 International Mysteries 3-4:15pm TR Peterson Hall 1106 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 West 1008 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.

JAPA370JAPA 370-001 Video Games and Japan 4:30-5:45pm TR Enterprise Hall 274 Kathryn Hemmann khemmann@gmu.edu | This class focuses on games originating in Japan, as well as the global fandom communities surrounding these games. We will begin with an introduction to the history of Japanese games by using Nintendo as a case study. We will then build a foundation in critical approaches to video games. In the second half of the semester we will cover international markets and gaming cultures. Along the way we will explore different approaches to the study of video games as we play The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, one of the most influential and critically acclaimed games in the world. The purpose of this course is to provide students with the means of reading and understanding video games as digital works of art and literature within the context of contemporary transnational media cultures.  

FRLN 331-002 War and Film 3-4:15pm MW Mason Global Center 1320B 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.


MUSI 301-001 Music in Motion Pictures 10:30-11:45am TR de Laski Performing Arts Bldg 3001 Instructor TBA | Intensive study and analysis of using music tracks in motion pictures to introduce the picture, set a scene, create moods, or serve as background for musical numbers. The course considers silent film scores of the 1920s to scores of the present, including electronic music. Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Arts.