Courses for Summer 2014

Courses for Summer 2014

These are the courses scheduled for Summer 2014 that count toward the Film & Media Studies minor. To determine whether other courses may count toward FAMS, please contact the director.






COMM 380 B01 40829 1B Media Criticism DISTANCE David Miller

ENGH 319 A01 40542 1A Film & Video Forms MTWR 9:30-11:20am  Robinson A243 Cynthia Fuchs 

This course focuses on how films and videos tell stories, construct subjects and shape viewers, by creating convincing, emotionally potent "realities." Looking at how different fiction films, documentaries, and forms of TV take on similar topics, we'll consider narrative and formal conventions, as well as challenges to these conventions. We'll look at how movies and videos (including TV) establish perspectives and audience positions, and especially, how they invite viewers to feel responses, including identification or antagonism with subjects on screen. As the course investigates such structural and formal issues, it also considers contexts, differences over time and in place, and the effects of budgets, technologies, audiences, and commercial concerns on film and video. The focus will be on recent films and TV, perhaps including The Act of Killing, The Imposter, Stories We Tell, HBO's True Detective, and 12 Years a Slave.

ENGH 362 A01 40552 ENGH 670 A01 41758 1A Conflict, Terrorism, Human Rights MWF 7-9:40pm Thompson Hall 1018 Jessica Scarlata | This course will look at representations of violence, protest, and questions of human rights in international film, paying particular attention to 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. For example: 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? What does it mean to consume narratives of trauma? How have filmmakers formulated alternative languages for telling traumatic stories? In studying representations of state violence, we will address the role that space (prisons, slums, plantations, border zones) and violence play in constructions of gender, class, race, and sexuality, and how these constructions work in relation to discourses of security and crisis. Screenings include (among others): Madame Satã (Brazil), The Missing Picture (Cambodia), Firaaq (India), The Magdalene Sisters (Ireland), Twelve Years a Slave (US), The Terrorist (Sri Lanka), Pan’s Labyrinth (Spain), Bamako (Mali), and Clandestinos (Cuba). (Note: countries in parentheses refer to the film’s setting). 

ENGH 371 A01 41505 1A Television Studies MTWR From: 1:30-3:20pm Thompson Hall 2021 Stephen Groening | Television has become the preeminent communications system in the world. But pervasiveness and ubiquity are not the only reasons to study television. Television calls into question many long-held ideas regarding aesthetics, ontology, and epistemology; terms normally reserved for philosophy, not the mass media. Additionally, television is emblematic of modern industrial society; pointing to capitalism as a global system. Television can also be conceived as mindless, entertaining, and superficial even as it creates communities, national imaginaries and seem to bring the world into our homes. This course will examine some of these contradictions. We will explore what television is, what television does, and how television shapes our fundamental assumptions about space, time, image and sound. This course will emphasize television's place in a larger historical context of other media forms, consumerism, and modernity.

ENGH 372 A01 41506 1A Introduction to Film MTWR 11:30am-1:20pm Robinson A243 Cynthia Fuchs 

This class considers movies as economic, aesthetic, and political texts, within historical contexts. We will look at a variety of generic and genre-bending films in order to discuss varieties of representation (as films speak to and for communities and individuals) as well as cinematic production and distribution (as films are deemed independent or mainstream, by whom and to whose benefit?). Classroom discussions will focus primarily on formal analyses and cultural frameworks. Workload includes essays, quizzes, and blackboard assignments. Films may include The Bling Ring, Chronicle, City of God, Fruitvale Station, The Interrupters, Omar, and Wadjda.

FAVS 225 B01 40639 1B The History of World Cinema DISTANCE Ben  Steger The course explores the development of world cinema from its beginnings in the late 19th century to the present day. Emphasis is placed on major directors, films and movements that contributed to the development of narrative cinema. The course will investigate several major film movements and individual films, focusing on their aesthetic, historical, technological, and ideological contributions to the evolution of the art form. The course will also connect filmmaking with the “outside forces” (economic institutions, key figures, historical events, and social issues) that shape it.  

41613 - FAVS 470 - A01 Film and Video Screenwriting MWF 7-9:40pm Robinson Hall A352 Tommy Britt | The purpose of this course is to build a strong foundation in fundamental narrative screenwriting techniques for film and video. Students will learn how to express their unique story ideas through character development, plot, visual/aural action and dialogue.​ Students will explore a variety of screenwriting strategies and supplement textbook exercises with movie clips and script excerpts. Students will develop, write, critique, and revise original short scripts. By the end of the session, each student should complete at least one draft of an original short script.

JAPA 320 A01 41469 1A Japanese Cinema: The Films of Akira Kurosawa MWF 7-9:40pm Michael Jeck Intense study of films by one of the world’s greatest directors, from early works to late period spectacles, from samurai to business suits, from the classics to unsung, little-known works. The course emphasizs the films' brilliantly cinematic focus on Promethean heroes at odds with their environments.