This course explores the history and enduring significance of visual culture in America. Themes will include the role of technology in visual culture, the dawn of modern consumerism, the emergence of film, and the postmodern digital collage of 21st century visual culture. General Education (GI). SPRING.
This variable-topics course will introduce students to selected historical themes depicted by popular film. Students will watch and deconstruct popular historical films within the larger context of scholarly analysis of a particular historic period or event. General Education (GH). SPRING and FALL.
This course is designed to allow for a thematic approach to the study of art in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Course material will explore the art, artists, and theory related to modern and contemporary art. General Education (GA). SPRING and FALL.
COMM 236: Introduction to Cinema
This course focuses on understanding and appreciating film as a unique visual communication experience. It includes an introduction to the understanding of film language and different theories of film aesthetics and criticism. General Education (GA). FALL.
A survey overview of the history of cinema from its inception to today, covering the technological developments of filmmaking, the historical development of various countries’ film industries, cinema’s aesthetic developments, and the relationship between cinema and society throughout history. General Education (GH). SPRING.
ENGLISH 266: Gender in Film
Gender in Film consider films from the Classical Hollywood Cinema era to better understand how such films take up cultural ideals of masculinity and femininity and repackage them for viewers. We will learn a set of terms and techniques for interpreting film and another set of terms and techniques for analyzing gender and sexuality. General Education (Ethnic / Women's Studies). FALL.
COMM 346: Sound and Image
This course will explore the ways in which sound design and music have been utilized in conjunction with images in diverse media including films, video games, video art, cartoons, music videos, television, and live performance. General Education (GA). FALL.
Film Genre examines the conventions, development, and cultural contexts of a rotating selection of film genres, with a focus on the stylistic innovations, recurrent themes, and varying interpretations of representative films and/or filmmakers. You may repeat this course with a change of topic. General Education (GH). SPRING.
This course examines the complex cultural work of adapting literature to film. Through critical analysis of narrative fiction and the films they inspire, students will investigate the history, narrative conventions, iconic elements, and cultural significance of literary adaptations to film. You may repeat this course with a change of topic. General Education (GH). SPRING.
FILM 354: Shakespeare on Film
In this course, students will study in depth the history, narrative conventions, iconic elements, and cultural significance of Shakespearean films. Coursework will unpack cinematic adaptations of Shakespeare's plays with a focus on the generic (tragedy, comedy, history) and the formal (stage, page, and screen). General Education (GH). FALL.
This course is a theoretical and practical study of how text and image interact to create "story" in visual communication, focusing especially on sequential art (a.k.a. graphic novels or comics) and interactive fiction (e.g. video games). General Education (GH). SPRING.
Students will study the work of major film theorists and analyze specific films using theoretical lenses. You can expect to broaden your knowledge of terms and concepts in film analysis, using established theoretical lenses such as feminism, Marxism, queer theory, and psychoanalysis. specific topics will vary. SPRING.
FILM 498: Independent Study
A student may wish to substitute an individually designed research or writing project for another course in the Film Studies program. Such a student may plan an independent study course in collaboration with a faculty member. The student and faculty member can propose the independent study using this form: INDEPENDENT STUDY PROPOSAL.
COURSES CURRENTLY IN PROPOSAL FOR 2015-2016:
FILM 272: Critical Writing, Multimedia Contexts — This course will help you write analyses that both participate in and take account of multimodal contexts. In today's world, analytical and persuasive writing takes many forms within many different discourse communities. Meaning and knowledge are created with more than words on paper; more often than not, we generate meaning from the interaction of language with visual images and sound in a highly mediated context. Whether we listen to NPR, get our news from the internet, acquire cultural information from picture-filled magazines, or learn history from television and film, we are participating in knowledge economies that are at once linguistic, visual, and auditory. Given this deeply layered remediation of information, how do we select the information we need? How do we know what qualifies as legitimate? How do we know who's really speaking? How should we determine which cultural products to value and which to ignore? In short, how can we talk back to culture intelligently even as we must speak within culture's already complex fields of reference and within culturally determined forms?
FILM 483: Cinema Auteurs — In the first version of Cinema Auteurs, we will examine the films of Max Ophüls and the critical opinion surrounding them. Ophüls started making films in Germany, where he had been working as an actor and director for the theatre. He moved to France in advance of the rise of the Nazi party. After the fall of France to Germany, he fled to the United States through Switzerland and Italy. He eventually returned to France in 1950. Since he lived and worked in several countries, Ophüls left a rich legacy of films in several languages (German, Dutch, French, Italian, English). Studying this body of work allows us to think about the international context in which the "Classical Hollywood Cinema" style developed, and it will help us think about how film represents particular times and cultures as well as how it constructs and renders transcultural motifs.
SOCIOLGY 344: Race, Ethnicity and Film
This course complements the other courses in the Film Studies Minor by concentrating on race and ethnicity from a social scientific perspective. The course highlights the prominence of the mass media as a social institution in American society and it will encourage students to become active media consumers and to think critically about the images they are exposed to and how those images convey meanings about racial and ethnic inequality in American society. In particular, the course responds to the Film Studies learning objective prompting students to "engage with questions of ethics and social justice through representations of culture on film," encouraging them to do so in an environment in which they work side-by-side with sociology students and become aware of sociological methods they may not otherwise encounter in our Film Studies program.
Individually Designed Major in Film Studies
Some students have designed their own programs to combine their interests in Film Studies with other programs or to prepare for employment or graduate school in a specific area of Cinema or Media Studies. Students wishing to consider this option should speak to a Film Studies Coordinator. A description of the program can be found here: INDIVIDUALLY DESIGNED MAJOR.