FAMS Courses Spring 2020

FAMS Courses Spring 2020

These are the courses scheduled for Spring 2020 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 TR 4:30-7:10 AB 1021  Mark Cooley mcooley@gmu.edu | Traces the ways that cinema, music, fiction, cultural theory, visual art, television, theater, and performance have embraced and been shaped by cyberpunk and cyberculture. Includes readings, writings, discussion, screenings, guest speakers, and research projects.




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 12-1:15 pm MW Innovation Hall 136 Instructor 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 and audiences. Examines the role of media in news, politics, and popular culture.

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

COMM 380-001 Media Criticism 3-4:14pm TR Northeast Module 107 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 digital culture), and we examine our relationship to the wider 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 | 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/


ENGH 308-003 Theory and Inquiry: Watching the Middle East 4:30-7:10pm M Robinson Hall B102 Hatim El-Hibri helhibri@gmu.edu | This course will examine critical perspectives on two interrelated topics – the common forms through which the Middle East is most often perceived in the US, and film, media, and cultural expression from the region. We will encounter key critical terms, such as spectatorship, Orientalism, and decolonization, and utilize them in apprehending a range of phenomena. We will reflect on the possibilities that different kinds of watching have for creating new ways of relating to the Middle East.

ENGH 372-002 Introduction to Film MW 1:30-2:45pm MW Nguyen Engineering Building 1107 Hatim El-Hibri helhibri@gmu.edu | Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Arts.

ENGH 372-003 Introduction to Film TR 12-1:15pm TR Nguyen Engineering Building 1107 Jessica Scarlata  jscarlat@gmu.edu | Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Arts.


ENGH 373-002 Film and Video Forms MW 9am-10:15am Enterprise Hall 174 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 the TV series BatwomanMr. Robot, Our Boys, Random Acts of Flyness, and Watchmen; and the movies Angels Wear White, Burning, Burning Cane, The Feeling of Being Watched, Fire At Sea, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Hale County This Morning, This Evening, Shirkers, Sorry to Bother You, and Us. Fulfills Mason Writing Intensive requirement for English and Film and Video Studies.

Film and Video Studies

FAVS 225-003: The History of World Cinema 4:30 pm - 7:10 pm R Innovation Hall 136 Sam Meddis smeddis@gmu.edu | 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 in-person section, 1:30-4:10pm F Enterprise Hall 173

FAVS 225-DL1: The History of World Cinema Online Instructor KJ Mohr kmohr4@gmu.edu 

FAVS 250-001 Business of Film 4:30-7:10pm T Innovation Hall 132 Virginia Bertholet vberthol@gmu.edu | 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 4:30-7:10pm W Planetary Hall 212 May Santiago msantia7@gmu.edu | 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 300-003 Global Horror Film 4:30-7:10pm F Enterprise Hall 173 Samirah Alkassim salkassi@gmu.edu | Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Global Understanding.

FAVS 300-301 Recitation: Required in-person section, 10:30am-1:10pm W Nguyen Engineering Building 1107

Modern and Classical Languages

FRLN 331-004 International Mysteries 3-4:15pm TR Nguyen Engineering Building 1107 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 320-001 Japanese Cinema 3-4:15pm TR Innovation Hall 207 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.

FRLN 331-002 War and Film 3-4:15pm MW Nguyen Engineering Building 110 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.

SPAN 482-001: Mass Media and Popular Culture in Latin America. Online. Lisa Rabin lrabin@gmu.edu | As the enduring and ever-evolving telenovela shows -- from its origins in the radio drama; to its coming-of-age on national networks; to its reshaping on globalized formats -- Latin American mass media and Latin American popular culture are closely entwined. At the university, scholars have researched the Latin American mass media from various angles: as industrial products; as popular culture; and also as works of the imagination. This advanced course in the Spanish B.A. and M.A. program introduces students to several of these approaches in the academic disciplines of communication studies, cultural studies and film and media studies. Students will have an opportunity to apply these approaches in their analysis of historical and contemporary media narratives, including newspapers of the early republics; turn-of-the-century serial novels and radio dramas; comics and industrial film musicals in the age of nationalisms; national telenovelas in the dawn of television and globalized telenovelas in the digital present.

Recommended prerequisites: SPAN 370, 385, and 390; students may also register with professor’s permission. Course taught in Spanish and entirely online | Cross-listed with SPAN 512 DL. 


MUSI 301-001 Music in Motion Pictures 10:30-11:45am TR de Laski Performing Arts Bldg A327C Jeremy Freer jfreer@gmu.edu | 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. 

Women and Gender Studies

WMST 375: Gender, Race, Sexuality, and TV. Crosslisted AFAM 390/COMM 399/INTS 375. MW 3-4:15pm James Buchanan Hall D023 David Corwin dcorwin@gmu.edu | This course focuses on constructions of race, gender, and sexuality in contemporary and classical television and how these identity groups are represented on television today. Examines the genres of television programs and how the platform affects the reception of a series (including Prime Time and Netflix).