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Cinema and Media Studies Courses

Learn about current and past course offerings in cinema and media studies.

Summer 2021 Courses

For more detailed information about the courses and the registration process, click HERE and HERE.

Session 1 (June 1 – July 9)

FILM329C
Digital Imaging and Storytelling in Contemporary World Cinema

Instructor: Jason Kuo
Credits: 3
Through screenings, readings, and discussions, this asynchronous online course offers students the opportunity to examine major films (such as 300, Hero, Hugo, Hulk, Life of Pi, Minority Report, and Tron: Legacy) in terms of the narrative power of digital visual effects in contemporary world cinema. We will screen films in different genres in order to understand current artistic, critical, ideological, and theoretical debates in cinema and media studies.

Session 1A (June 1 – June 18)

FILM412
Animation and Cinema

Instructor: Oliver Gaycken
Credits: 3
An examination of animation in art, cinema, and other media.
 

FILM429A
Serialized Television in the Arab World: Drama, Action, and Political Dissent

Instructor: Valerie Anishchenkova
Credits: 3
This course focuses on the genre of serialized television in the Arabic-speaking countries, including miniseries, Ramadan soap operas, and the recent category of Netflix-produced Arabic shows. We will examine the history and core elements of this genre both globally and as pertaining to the Arab world.
An important vehicle of cultural and artistic expression, Arabic television series interrogate pressing sociocultural and political issues – often in “real time.” This course focuses on a selection of critically acclaimed television shows that offer commentary on such issues as national identity; religious fundamentalism and perceptions of ISIS; gender equality and the institution of marriage; and political and cultural regional tensions in the Arab world. All course materials are in English.
Watch the trailer for the course!

Session 1B (June 21 – July 9)

FILM359J
Downton Abbey in Context

Instructor: Julie Taddeo
Credits: 3
The British TV series "Downton Abbey" is the most successful period drama program of all time, with international appeal and a tie-in marketing campaign that continues to sell Downton-branded teas, jewelry, books, fashions, and more particularly a fantasy of British luxury to American audiences. This course examines "Downton Abbey" within the larger context of the Heritage film and Nostalgia industry. How do TV programs like Downton (and its 2019 film) , The Crown, Bridgerton, and other period series market "Britishness" to American audiences, especially in the age of Brexit?

Session 2 (July 12 – August 20)

FILM459M
Science Fiction Cinema: Masterworks

Instructor: Jason Kuo
Credits: 3
Study of the masterworks of science fiction cinema. Themes and representative works may include, but will not be limited to, space fantasy (Star Wars), futuristic world ( Blade RunnerThe Matrix), alien intrusion (The ThingThe Invasion of the Body Snatchers), time travel (Back to the Future series), disasters (Twelve MonkeysArmageddon), biological science and mutations (FrankensteinJurassic Park).

Session 2C (July 12 – July 30)

FILM329T
Sports in Film

Instructor: Daniel Richter
Credits: 3
This course looks at the place of film in helping to explain the historical significance of athletes in American society and across the globe. The films under study will look at sports films as contributing to the construction of national identities, race relations, memorialization, and social criticism.

Session 2D (August 2 - August 20)

FILM319B
Disney Without Disney: The Afterlives of Children's Media Icons

Instructor: Paul Cote
Credits: 3
Children learn from a very early age to associate well-loved fictional characters with individual author-figures, and names like Jim Henson and Walt Disney become inextricably linked with iconic characters like Kermit the Frog and Mickey Mouse. What happens, however, when those characters continue to appear in new stories after their creators die? How does the absence of that signature author figure impact the audience’s relationship with those characters and new works bearing the departed author's name? This class will explore these questions by focussing on key instances in which heirs, estates, corporations, fans, or other stakeholders attempt to attempt to posthumously turn two key media figures - Walt Disney and Jim Henson - into brands designed to outlive their artists.

Courses for The Cinema and Media Studies Major

All Approved Courses

1. Film Form (3 credits)

ENGL 245/FILM 245 Film Form and Culture (Fulfills Gen Ed req. for Humanities)
Or SLLC 283/FILM 283: Introduction to Cinema Studies

2. Film History and Theory Foundation (6 credits)

(Prerequisite for both courses: ENGL 245/FILM 245 or SLLC 283/FILM 283.)
FILM 301 Cinema History I: The Silent Era
FILM 302 Cinema History II: The Sound Era

3. Film Criticism Core Requirement (18 credits)

Distributed as follows:

A. Film Theories (3 credits)
FILM 369 Special Topics in Film Theories
CMLT 498L/ENGL 329C Selected Topics in Comparative Studies: Sexuality in the Cinema
HIST 419F Special Topics in History: Cinema and Colonialism
FILM 361/SLLC 361 Cinema and Globalization*
FILM 362/SLLC 362 Vision, Visuality, and the Gaze in Film*
FILM 461/SLLC 461 Political Cinema*
FILM 463/SLLC 463 Screening Time: History and Memory in Cinema*

B. Genres/Auteurs/Movements (6 credits)
FILM 359 Special Topics in Genres/Auteurs/Cinema Movements
ARAB 341/FILM 341 Filming War Zones: Representations of Wars in Iraq and Chechnya
ARTH 489 Special Topics in Art History
Content varies: must be approved by Film major adviser.
CMLT 498N/ENGL 329A Selected Topics in Comparative Studies: Cinema of Liberation
ENGL 329 Special Topics in Literature: Auteurs and Poseurs: Film and the Concept of Authorship*
ENGL 468A Power, Masculinity, and Authorship in the Gangster Film*
FILM 345/ENGL 329 The Films of Alfred Hitchcock*
FILM 346/ENGL 329 The Films of Billy Wilder*
FILM 451/ENGL 468 Film Noir and American Culture*
FILM 452/ENGL 468 Origins of Cinema
HIST 304/FILM 352 The “Baddest” Decade: The 1970s in American Film and American History
HIST 408 Senior Seminar: Immigration and Cinema in the 20th Century
ITAL 336/FILM 441 Italian Cinema I: Neorealism (In Translation)
ITAL 499A Special Topics in Italian Studies: Comedy in Italian Cinema
SLLC 342/FILM 342 Film Comedy*
SLLC 343/FILM 343 Hollywood Genres after 1970*
SLLC 344/FILM 344: The Fantastic in Cinema and Media*

C. National and International Cinemas (6 credits)
FILM 329 Special Topics in National/International Cinemas
AMST 498G/USLT498A Special Topics in American Studies: Latinas/os on the Silver Screen
ARTH 488 Colloquium in Art History
ARTH 484/FILM 426: Chinese Film and Visual Culture
ENGL 329 US Latino/a Film
ENGL 329 Shakespeare on Film
ENGL 468F/CMLT498F Selected Topics in Film Studies: The Americas in Film
FREN 480/FILM 420 French Cinema: A Cultural Approach
FREN 421/FILM 421 Francophone African Film
FREN 423/FILM 423 Women and French Cinema (in French)
GERM 331/FILM 331 Kafka and Film: The Uncanny in Literature and Film
HEBR 430/FILM 430 Critical Issues in Israeli Cinema
HIST 408P/FILM 429 Senior Seminar: Writing the History of American Film
HIST 419E Special Topics in History: History through Cinema: The US 1930s to 1960
ITAL 473/FILM 431 Italian Cinema II: The New Generation of Film-makers in Translation.
ITAL 433/JWST 419R/FILM 433 Holocaust in Italian Literature and Cinema
PORT 332/FILM 332 Brazilian Cinema
RUSS 334/FILM 334 Soviet Film: Propaganda, Myth, Modernism
RUSS 336/FILM 336 Soviet Cinema and Empire
SLLC 335/FILM 335 The Arab-Israeli Conflict through Film
SPAN 427/FILM 427 Fictions and Visions from Spain (in Spanish)

D. Documentary, Animation, Experimental Cinema, and Other Visual Media (3 credits)
FILM 319 Special Topics in Documentary, Animation, Experimental Cinema, and Other Visual Media
FILM 311/ENGL 329 Documentary*
FILM 412/ENGL 468C Animation*
SLLC 410/FILM 410 Documentary and Narrative*
SLLC 411/FILM 411 Experimental Film*

FILM 388 Experiential Learning: Film Studies

FILM 388 connects the theoretical understanding of film studies that students develop in the classroom to professional experience in the workplace. The course is open to Film Studies majors who have earned at least 60 credits toward their degrees and who have obtained internship placements working with professionals in film production, exhibition, preservation, or other related fields. To be eligible for 3 academic credits, students will be expected to accumulate at least 135 hours of professional experience during the term. FILM 388 can be used to fulfill part of the Film Electives requirement for the major. Admission to the course is by permission only.

The academic component of the course consists of reading and written work designed to provide a theoretical framework for the experiential learning. Students will submit a portfolio of writing, reflections, and evaluations where they connect these readings to their on-site experiences.

Spring 2021 Courses

FILM245
Film Form and Culture

Instructors: Jeffrey Moro, Valentina Rosales
Credits: 3
Also offered as: ENGL245.
Introduction to film as art form and how films create meaning. Basic film terminology; fundamental principles of film form, film narrative, and film history. Examination of film technique and style over past one hundred years. Social and economic functions of film within broader institutional, economic, and cultural contexts.

FILM298D
Film Art in a Global Society

Luka Arsenjuk
Credits: 3
Also offered as: CMLT280.
Comparative study of a variety of film traditions from around the world including cinema from Hollywood, Europe, Asia and developing countries, with a stress on different cultural contexts for film-making and viewing.

FILM298V
Heroes and Villains in American Film

Susan Pramschufer
Credits: 3
We will examine the complex, changing, and ever-present representations of heroes and villains in American film. Beginning with a foundational understanding of how heroes and, conversely, villains have been defined through classic Hollywood film, we will explore how these definitions have shifted throughout the 20th and 21st century in various narrative genres, including westerns, war films, film noir, fantasy, science fiction, and, of course, superhero movies.

FILM302
Cinema History II: The Sound Era

Marianne Conroy
Credits: 3
Introduction to the international history of cinema from sound around 1930 to the present.

FILM329I
American Jewish Comedy: From the Marx Brothers to The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Experimental Cinema

Eric Zakim
Credits: 3
Students will explore comedy as an expression of both American Jewish identity and American culture writ large, across several media: literature, television, film, graphic literature, stand-up, and theater.

FILM329N
Politics and Memory on Screen: A History of Latin American Cinema

Daniel Richter
Credits: 3

FILM332
Brazilian Cinema

Thayse Lima
Credits: 3
Brazilian films from the late 1950s to the present with a special view to the relationship between cinema, society, historical dates, and social changes in Brazil. Taught in English.

FILM336
Soviet Cinema and Empire

Elizabeth Papazian
Credits: 3
Examination of the concepts of "empire" and "nation" through their representation in Soviet cinema. Taught in English.

FILM359A
Writing About Cinema

Eric Zakim
Credits: 3
An examination of various ways that critics, writers, and filmmakers have written about cinema, with special emphasis on the practice of popular film criticism. Includes a large practicum component in writing film criticism, blogging and vlogging, and workshopping other creative and essayistic writing around cinema and cinematic topics.

FILM359C
Disaster Cinema

Daniel Richter
Credits: 3
Exploration of disaster films in Hollywood and global cinema during the past century. The course will examine disaster films, such as Godzilla, King Kong, and Contagion, as a form of cinema's critical encounter with war, colonialism, and scientific development.

FILM369P
Paranoia and Conspiracy Narrative in Contemporary Cinema

Luka Arsenjuk
Credits: 3
Exploration of conspiratorial narratives in contemporary cinema with the aim of understanding conspiracy as a political and philosophical concept, a dominant cultural trope, and an expression of social crisis.

FILM388
Experiential Learning: Film Studies

(Perm Req)
Credits: 1-3
Contact department for information to register for this course.

FILM419M
Babylon Berlin

Hester Baer
Credits: 3
Touted as the most expensive German series ever made, Babylon Berlin has reached audiences around the globe since its inception in 2017. Set in Berlin during the final years of the Weimar Republic, the series offers viewers a panoramic take on class, gender, and sexual relations in the German capital. This course will develop a critical approach to Babylon Berlin as a blockbuster production of neoliberal media culture by examining a range of topics, including its aesthetic form and citational style; the role of digital media in its international distribution, reception, and fandom; and its transhistorical mode of representation. A key focus will be the show's intermedial engagement with Weimar film theory, culture, and politics. Taught in English.

FILM431
Italian Cinema II—In Translation

Mauro Resmini
Credits: 3
A study of Italian society and culture through the medium of film from the mid 1970's to the present. Taught in English.











Fall 2020

FILM245
Film Form and Culture

Mauro Resmini
Credits: 3
Also offered as: ENGL245.
Introduction to film as art form and how films create meaning. Basic film terminology; fundamental principles of film form, film narrative, and film history. Examination of film technique and style over past one hundred years. Social and economic functions of film within broader institutional, economic, and cultural contexts.

FILM298B
Special Topics in International Film Studies; Iranian Cinema

Matthew Miller
Credits: 3
Credit granted for PERS283, FILM283, or FILM298B.
Introduction to Iranian cinema, society, and culture. Taught in English.

FILM298D
Film Art in a Global Society

Credits: 3
Also offered as: CMLT280.

FILM301
Cinema History I: The Silent Era

Elizabeth Papazian
Credits: 3
Examines the development of silent cinema from the 1890s to the early 1930s drawing on at least five distinct national traditions (French, German, Russian, British, and American). Introduces students to key cinematic conventions as they emerged around the world.

FILM319K
The Disney Studio and the Animation Industry

Paul Cote
Credits: 3
Also offered as ENGL329L.

FILM329E
Soviet Film: Soviet Cinema and Culture after Stalin

Elizabeth Papazian
Credits: 3
Also offered as: RUSS398F.

FILM329G
Hollywood and Politics in the 20th Century

Saverio Giovacchini
Credits: 3
How the American film industry, American films, and the Hollywood community have interacted in the course of the 20th century.

FILM329R
The Mafia: From Corleone to Hollywood

Mauro Resmini
Credits: 3
Also offered as ITAL499M.

FILM359B
TV Genres in Context: Israeli Serials and American TV

Eric Zakim
Credits: 3
Also offered as ISRL329B.

FILM359P
The Films of Martin Scorsese

Marianne Conroy
Credits: 3
Also offered as ENGL329P.

FILM359X
Classic Foreign Films

Jason Kuo
Credits: 3
Also offered as ARTH389Q.
Students will explore classic foreign films from India, Japan, China, France, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, and other countries. This course is designed to enable students to examine historically and artistically significant films made since 1945 by some of the most important directors in world cinema. By examining these representative examples of classic foreign films (such as The 400 Blows, Bicycle Thieves, Red Sorghum) in their geopolitical and institutional contexts, students will learn and understand how these films embody as well as give expression to modern and contemporary culture, society, and history. All films are subtitled.

FILM369N
Sound, Voice, Music

Eric Zakim
Credits: 3

FILM385
German Cinema

Hester Baer
Credits: 3
Also offered as GERM385.

FILM388
Experiential Learning: Film Studies

(Perm Req)
Credits: 1-3
Contact department for information to register for this course.

FILM421
Francophone African Film

Valerie Orlando
Credits: 3
Also offered as FREN421.
Imagination and Memory in the reality of Francophone African Film from 1960-present. Taught in English.

FILM429G
Global Art Cinemas

Jason Kuo
Credits: 3
Also offered as ARTH489Q.
Global art cinemas often challenge their audiences and demand more active engagement because of their unconventional modes of story-telling and their emphases on the directors personal expressions. Students will critically examine some of the most talked-about and engaging art films; they will also consider the influence of art history on the films by such great directors as Wong Kar-wai, Bresson, Visconti, Scorsese, Figueroa, Varda, Campion, Reichardt, Potter, Tarantino, Greenway, and Resnais.

FILM469G
Cinema in the History of Media

Luka Arsenjuk
Credits: 3
A study of the place of cinema in the history of optical and audiovisual media from the early modern period (Renaissance) to the present.

FILM499
Directed Study in Film Studies

(Perm Req)
Credits: 1-3
Contact department for information to register for this course.

Spring 2020

FILM245
Film Form and Culture

Instructor: TBD
Credits: 3
Also offered as: ENGL245.
Introduction to film as art form and how films create meaning. Basic film terminology; fundamental principles of film form, film narrative, and film history. Examination of film technique and style over past one hundred years. Social and economic functions of film within broader institutional, economic, and cultural contexts.

FILM298D
Film Art in a Global Society

Luka Arsenjuk
Credits: 3
Also offered as: CMLT280.
Comparative study of a variety of film traditions from around the world including cinema from Hollywood, Europe, Asia and developing countries, with a stress on different cultural contexts for film-making and viewing.

FILM302
Cinema History II: The Sound Era

Luka Arsenjuk
Credits: 3
Introduction to the international history of cinema from sound around 1930 to the present.

FILM319E
Experimental Cinema

Eric Zakim
Credits: 3

FILM329N
Politics and Memory on Screen: A History of Latin American Cinema

Daniel Richter
Credits: 3

FILM359E
Hollywood in the Golden Age, 1930-1950

Marianne Conroy
Credits: 3

FILM359O
New Wave Cinemas of the Soviet Bloc

Elizabeth Papazian
Credits: 3

FILM359R
Cinema and Religion

Eric Zakim
Credits: 3

FILM369A
Post-War Film Theory

Mauro Resmini
Credits: 3

FILM388
Experiential Learning: Film Studies

(Perm Req)
Credits: 1-3
Contact department for information to register for this course.

FILM412
Animation and Cinema

Oliver Gaycken
Credits: 3
An examination of animation in art, cinema, and other media.

FILM441
Italian Cinema I: Neorealism

Mauro Resmini
Credits: 3
Explores representations of Italy in cinema with special focus on identity formation and the movement of Italian neorealism and post neorealism. Taught in English.

FILM429L
Contemporary Transnational Chinese Cinemas and Art

Jason Kuo
Credits: 3
Through critical screenings and viewings, readings, discussions, we will examine cinemas and art by directors and artists in the Greater China (PRC, Taiwan, Hong Kong), the “cultural China”, and the Chinese diaspora. Students will consider representative works by directors such as Ang Lee, Ann Hui, Chen Kaige, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Wang Kar-wai, and Zhang Yimou, and artists such as Ai Weiwei, Gao Xingjian, and Xu Bing.

FILM499
Directed Study in Film Studies

(Perm Req)
Credits: 1-3
Contact department for information to register for this course.

Fall 2019

FILM245
Film Form and Culture

Eric Zakim
Credits: 3
Also offered as: ENGL245.
Introduction to film as art form and how films create meaning. Basic film terminology; fundamental principles of film form, film narrative, and film history. Examination of film technique and style over past one hundred years. Social and economic functions of film within broader institutional, economic, and cultural contexts.

FILM298B
Special Topics in International Film Studies; Iranian Cinema

Matthew Miller
Credits: 3
Credit granted for PERS283, FILM283, or FILM298B.
Introduction to Iranian cinema, society, and culture. Taught in English.

FILM298D
Film Art in a Global Society

Shalom Rosenberg
Tung-An Wei
Credits: 3
Also offered as: CMLT280.

FILM298T
Merchants, Rabbis and Schmaltz: The Politics of Jews and Film

Adi Mahalel
Credits: 3
Also offered as JWST219T.
What are the different ways Jews and Jewishness have been represented in Cinema over time? How have Jewish filmmakers used the cinematic medium to construct or deconstruct Jewish identity? Students will investigate different types of representations of Jews, asking how they operate in the context of the broader film traditions, and more.

FILM301
Cinema History I: The Silent Era

Oliver Gaycken
Credits: 3
Examines the development of silent cinema from the 1890s to the early 1930s drawing on at least five distinct national traditions (French, German, Russian, British, and American). Introduces students to key cinematic conventions as they emerged around the world.

FILM329G
One Hundred Years of Hollywood and Politics

Saverio Giovacchini
Credits: 3
Also offered as HIST319W.

FILM334
Soviet Film: Propaganda, Myth, Modernism

Elizabeth Papazian
Credits: 3
Also offered as: RUSS334.
A Survey of Soviet film from the 1920s to 1991, focusing on important directors, genres, themes, and styles. Taught in English.

FILM345
The Films of Alfred Hitchcock

Marianne Conroy
Credits: 3
An examination of important Hitchcock films from the perspective of innovation, aesthetics, and cultural history.

FILM359Z
The Global Western

Elizabeth Papazian & Eric Zakim
Credits: 3
An examination of the western as a transnational film genre.

FILM388
Experiential Learning: Film Studies

(Perm Req)
Credits: 1-3
Contact department for information to register for this course.

FILM429K
Youth, Identity, Nation: A Survey of Quebec Cinema

Mercédès Baillargeon
Credits: 3
Also offered as FREN499C.
This course will examine the way youth, identity, and nationalism have been portrayed in Quebec cinema from the late 1950's to today through a historical, thematic, and cinematographic perspective. Taught in English.

FILM429P
French Cinema: A Cultural Approach

Caroline Eades
Credits: 3
Also offered as FREN499A.
A presentation of French culture, history, and society through the study of French contemporary films. Taught in French.

FILM469G
Cinema in the History of Media

Luka Arsenjuk
Credits: 3
A study of the place of cinema in the history of optical and audiovisual media from the early modern period (Renaissance) to the present.

FILM499
Directed Study in Film Studies

(Perm Req)
Credits: 1-3
Contact department for information to register for this course.