FAMS Courses Summer 2019

FAMS Courses Summer 2019

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





COMM 208-A01 Intro Media Production 1:20-4:20pm MWF David King Jr. Hall 1011B | Nancy P. Mantelli nmantell@gmu.edu

COMM 302-A01 Media Theory 7-10pm TR Krug Hall 5 Timothy Gibson tgibson1@gmu.edu | How does popular culture help shape our identities and our understanding of the social world? How does the news shape our understandings of political and social issues? How have digital networking technologies transformed social interaction in everyday life? In this course, we will examine a variety of theories addressing the complex relationships between media producers, technologies, content, and audiences, and we will also explore how each theoretical perspective emerged in response to particular historical and political circumstances. Finally, in our discussions, we will attempt to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each perspective, and how each theory helps us better understand our relationship to the contemporary media environment.

COMM 302-A02 Media Theory 8:30-11:30am S Krug Hall 5 Timothy Gibson tgibson1@gmu.edu See above. 

COMM 365 A01 and WMST 300-A01: Gender, Race & Class in Media 1:30-3:35pm MTWR Peterson Hall 2408 Richard Craig rcraig@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. 

COMM 380-A01 Media Criticism David J Miller DL | 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.


ENGH 202-B01 How to Watch a Film 1:30-4:10pm TR Peterson Hall 1111 Hatim El Hibri helhibri@gmu.edu | Satisfies the English BA requirement for the concentration in literature.

ENGH 202-C03 Conflict, Terrorism, Human Rights 7-10pm MWF Thompson Hall 2022 Jessica Scarlata jscarlat@gmu.edu | Organized loosely around the idea of bearing witness, this course will look at representations of violence, resistance, and questions of human rights in international film, paying particular attention to the geography of power and violence—how space is contested, claimed, and imagined. Covering state and anti-state violence as well as non-violent resistance, we will consider the relationship between the cultural and political complexity of most conflicts on the one hand, and the narrative demands of commercial fiction film on the other. What effect does the use of heroic and/or melodramatic frameworks have on a film’s portrayal of occupation, resistance, torture, terrorism, guerrilla warfare, and civil disobedience? How have filmmakers formulated alternative languages for telling traumatic stories? In studying representations of state violence, we will address the role that constructions of gender, class, race, and sexuality play in how violence is enacted against specific bodies and specific populations. Satisfies the English BA requirement for the concentration in literature.

ENGH 372-A01 Introduction to Film DL Cynthia Fuchs cfuchs@gmu.edu | This class considers movies as economic, aesthetic, and political texts, within historical and cultural contexts. We will look at a variety of generic and genre-bending films in order to discuss representation (communities, individuals, authorities, ambitions) as well as cinematic and digital production and distribution (are films deemed independent or mainstream, and how is such a distinction made, by whom, and to whose benefit?). Online blog assignments and discussions will focus primarily on formal analyses and cultural frameworks. Films and television may include The Babadook, Bojack Horseman, Dear White People, Fruitvale Station, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Hooligan SparrowJaws, Jessica Jones, Paris is Burning, Scarface (1932), The Searchers, (T)Error, Tomboy, Train to Busan, Treeless Mountain. Fulfills Mason Core requirement for Arts. 

ENGH 373-A01 Film and Video Forms DL 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 Black Mirror, Black Panther, BurningGet Out, GirlhoodGook, Moonlight, Roma, Russian DollSeven Seconds, Shirkers, Stranger Things, Strong Island, The Umbrella Academy, Under the Shadow, The Wolfpack. Fulfills Mason Writing Intensive requirement in English and FAVS. 

Film and Video Studies

FAVS 225-B01: History of World Cinema DL Ben Steger bsteger@gmu.edu | 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” (economic institutions, key figures, historical events and social issues) that shape it. Fulfills Mason Core requirement in Arts. 

FAVS 250-A01 Business of Film DL Lisa Thrasher lthrashe@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-A02 Global Horror Film DL Thomas Britt tbritt@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.

Modern and Classical Languages

JAPA 320-A01 Japanese Cinema: Akira Kurosawa 7-10pm MWF Thompson Hall 1017 | Michael Jeck mjeck@gmu.edu | From early works to late period spectacles, from samurai to business suits, from the classics to unsung, little-known works. The course emphasizes the cinematic means by which Akira Kurosawa represents Promethean heroes at odds with their environments. This class requires no background in film studies or in Japanese language, culture, history, but it can’t hurt. All films will have English subtitles, and will be shown in their entirety during class. Fulfills requirements for the minors in Japanese Studies and Film and Media Studies. Fulfills credits toward the B.A. in Global Affairs with the Asia concentration.