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The College Catalogue

Film Studies – Courses

First-Year Seminars

For a full description of first-year seminars, see the First-Year Seminar section.

[1025 {10} c. Cultural Difference and the Crime Film.]

1043 {23} c. East Asian Genre Cinema: Action, Anime, and Martial Arts. Fall 2013. Shu-chin Tsui. (Same as Asian Studies 1043 {23}.)

Introductory, Intermediate, and Advanced Courses

1101 {101} c - VPA. Film Narrative. Every other year. Fall 2013. Sarah Childress.

An introduction to a variety of methods used to study motion pictures, with consideration given to films from different countries and time periods. Examines techniques and strategies used to construct films, including mise-en-scène, editing, sound, and the orchestration of film techniques in larger formal systems. Surveys some of the contextual factors shaping individual films and our experiences of them (including mode of production, genre, authorship, and ideology). No previous experience with film studies is required. Attendance at weekly evening screenings is required.

[1104 {104} c. From Page to Screen: Film Adaptation and Narrative. (Same as English 1104 {104}.)]

1151 {151} c - ESD. The Literary Imagination and the Holocaust. Fall 2013. Steven Cerf.

An examination of the literary treatment of the Holocaust, a period between 1933 and 1945, during which eleven million innocent people were systematically murdered by the Nazis. Four different literary genres are examined: the diary and memoir, drama, poetry, and the novel. Three basic sets of questions are raised by the course: How could such slaughter take place in the twentieth century? To what extent is literature capable of evoking this period and what different aspects of the Holocaust are stressed by the different genres? What can our study of the Holocaust teach us with regard to contemporary issues surrounding totalitarianism and racism? No knowledge of German is required. (Same as German 1151 {151}.)

1152 {152} c - IP, VPA. Berlin: Sin City, Divided City, City of the Future. Spring 2014.
Jill Smith.

An examination of literary, artistic, and cinematic representations of the city of Berlin during three distinct time periods: the “Roaring ’20s,” the Cold War, and the post-Wall period. Explores the dramatic cultural, political, and physical transformations that Berlin underwent during the twentieth century and thereby illustrates the central role that Berlin played, and continues to play, in European history and culture, as well as in the American cultural imagination. For each time period studied, compares Anglo-American representations of Berlin with those produced by German artists and writers, and investigates how, why, and to what extent Berlin has retained its status as one of the most quintessentially modern cities in the world. No knowledge of German is required. (Same as German 1152 {152}.)

2201 {201} c - VPA. History of Film I, 1895 to 1935. Every other fall. Fall 2013. Tricia Welsch.

Examines the development of film from its origins to the American studio era. Includes early work by the Lumières, Méliès, and Porter, and continues with Griffith, Murnau, Eisenstein, Chaplin, Keaton, Stroheim, Pudovkin, Lang, Renoir, and von Sternberg. Special attention is paid to the practical and theoretical concerns over the coming of sound. Attendance at weekly evening screenings is required.

2202 {202} c - VPA. History of Film II, 1935 to 1975. Every other spring. Spring 2014. Tricia Welsch.

A consideration of the diverse production contexts and political circumstances influencing cinema history in the sound era. National film movements to be studied include Neorealism, the French New Wave, and the New German Cinema, as well as the coming of age of Asian and Australian film. Also explores the shift away from studio production in the United States, the major regulatory systems, and the changes in popular film genres. Attendance at weekly evening screenings is required.

[2222 {222} c - VPA. Images of America in Film.]

2224 {224} c - VPA. The Films of Alfred Hitchcock. Spring 2014. Tricia Welsch.

Considers the films of Alfred Hitchcock from his career in British silent cinema to the Hollywood productions of the 1970s. Examines his working methods and style of visual composition, as well as consistent themes and characterizations. Of particular interest is his adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca as a way of exploring the tensions between literary sources and film, and between British and American production contexts. Ends with a brief look at Hitchcock’s television career and his influence on recent film. Attendance at weekly evening screenings is required.

Prerequisite: One of the following: Film Studies 1101 {101}, 2201 {201}, or 2202 {202}.

2230 {230} c - VPA. The Reality Effect: Documentary Film. Spring 2014. Sarah Childress.

Examines documentary history, theory, criticism, and practice. From the “actuality” films of the Lumière brothers to the theatrical “reality” of Errol Morris, documentaries work to persuade audiences to see the world in particular ways. Focuses on the debates that surround nonfiction narrative films, especially their contentious claims to represent reality, by examining films that work with and against notions of objectivity, subjectivity, power, knowledge, and truth. Explores the textual strategies that create documentary films’ all-important “reality effect.” Attendance at weekly evening screenings is required.

[2232 {232} b - ESD, IP. Bollywood, Kollywood, and Beyond: Indian Cinema and Society. (Same as Anthropology 2601 {232} and Asian Studies 2561 {247}.)]

2248 {248} b. Activist Voices in India. Fall 2013. Sara Dickey.

Examines contemporary social and political activism in India. Focuses on film, essays, and fiction to investigate the ways that political messages are constructed through different media and for specific audiences. Case studies include activism concerning religious conflict, gender inequalities, gay and lesbian identities, and environmental issues. (Same as Anthropology 2647 {248}, Asian Studies 2562 {248}, and Gender and Women’s Studies 2250 {246}.)

Prerequisite: Anthropology 1101 {101} or Sociology 1101 {101}, and one previous course on contemporary South Asian societies from the following: Anthropology 1138 {138} (same as Asian Studies 1625 {138}); Anthropology 2601 {232} (same as Asian Studies 2561 {247}); Anthropology 2643 {243} (same as Asian Studies 2560 {232}); Asian Studies 2501 {289} (same as Gender and Women’s Studies 2289 {289} and Religion 2289 {289}); History 1038 {26} (same as Asian Studies 1035 {26}); History 2341 {282} (same as Asian Studies 2580 {236}); History 2342 {261} (same as Asian Studies 2581 {256}); History 2343 {263} (same as Asian Studies 2582 {258}); History 2344 {280} (same as Asian Studies 2230 {230}); History 2801 {259} (same as Asian Studies 2583 {237} and Gender and Women’s Studies 2259 {259}); History 2809 {241} (same as Asian Studies 2239 {239}); Religion 2219 {219} (same as Asian Studies 2550 {219}); Religion 2221 {221} (same as Asian Studies 2553 {241}); Religion 2222 {222} (same as Asian Studies 2554 {242}); Sociology 2227 {227} (same as Africana Studies 2227 {227} and Asian Studies 2840 {263}); Sociology 2236 {236} (same as Asian Studies 2570 {233}); or permission of the instructor.

2254 {254} c - IP, VPA. Transnational Chinese Cinema. Fall 2014. Shu-chin Tsui.

Introduces students to films produced in the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Places national cinema in a transnational framework and explores how cinema as a sign system constructs sociocultural and aesthetic meanings. Students will benefit most by bringing both an open mind toward non-Western cultural texts, and a critical eye for visual art. (Same as Asian Studies 2072 {254}.)

2266 {266} c - IP. Chinese Women in Fiction and Film. Spring 2015. Shu-chin Tsui.

Approaches the subject of women and writing in twentieth- and early twenty-first-century China from perspectives of gender studies, literary analysis, and visual representations. Considers women writers, filmmakers, and their works in the context of China’s social-political history as well as its literary and visual traditions. Focuses on how women writers and directors negotiate gender identity against social-cultural norms. Also constructs a dialogue between Chinese women’s works and Western feminist assumptions. (Same as Asian Studies 2073 {266} and Gender and Women’s Studies 2266 {266}.)

[2350 {235} b - ESD. Not Just Cowboys and Indians: Examining Native Americans in Film and Media Beyond Hollywood. (Same as Anthropology 2350 {235}.)]

2426 {287} c. The Horror Film in Context. Fall 2013. Aviva Briefel.

Examines the genre of the horror film in a range of cultural, theoretical, and literary contexts. Considers the ways in which horror films represent violence, fear, and paranoia; their creation of identity categories; their intersection with contemporary politics; and their participation in such major literary and cinematic genres as the gothic, comedy, and family drama. Texts may include works by Craven, Cronenberg, De Palma, Freud, Hitchcock, Kristeva, Kubrick, Poe, Romero, and Shelley. (Same as English 2426 {289}, Gay and Lesbian Studies 2426 {287}, and Gender and Women’s Studies 2426 {287}.)

Prerequisite: One of the following: one first-year seminar or course numbered 1100–1999 {100–199} in English or gender and women’s studies; or Film Studies 1101 {101}, 2201 {201}, or 2202 {202}.

2553 c. Italy’s Cinema of Social Engagement. Spring 2014. Allison Cooper.

An introduction to Italian cinema with an emphasis on Neorealism and its relationship to other genres, including Comedy Italian Style, the Spaghetti Western, the horror film, the “mondo” (shock documentary), and mafia movies, among others. Readings and discussions situate films within their social and historical contexts, and explore contemporary critical debates about the place of radical politics in Italian cinema (a hallmark of Neorealism), the division between art films and popular cinema, and the relevance of the concept of an Italian national cinema in an increasingly globalized world. No prerequisite required. Taught in English (films screened in Italian with English subtitles). (Same as Italian 2553.)

2970–2973 {291–294} c. Intermediate Independent Study in Film Studies. The Program.

2999 {299} c. Intermediate Collaborative Study in Film Studies. The Program.

[3310 {310} c. Gay and Lesbian Cinema. (Same as Gay and Lesbian Studies 3310 {310} and Gender and Women’s Studies 3310 {310}.)]

[3317 {317} c. Almodóvar, Before and After: Reading Spanish Film.]

3321 {321} c. German Expressionism and Its Legacy. Fall 2013. Tricia Welsch.

Considers the flowering of German cinema during the Weimar Republic and its enormous impact on American film. Examines work produced in Germany from 1919 to 1933, the films made by German expatriates in Hollywood after Hitler’s rise to power, and the wide influence of the expressionist tradition in the following decades. Attendance at weekly evening screenings is required.

Prerequisite: One of the following: Film Studies 1101 {101}, 2201 {201}, or 2202 {202}.

[3322 {322} c. Film and Biography.]

[3333 {333} c. The Films of John Ford.]

[3395 {395} c - IP. Myths, Modernity, Media. (Same as German 3395 {395}.)]

4000–4003 {401–404} c. Advanced Independent Study in Film Studies. The Program.

4029 {405} c. Advanced Collaborative Study in Film Studies. The Program.

Online Catalogue content is current as of August 1, 2013. For most current course information, use the online course finder. Also see Addenda.