College of Letters & Sciences
UW-Whitewater Film Studies

Course Descriptions

FILM 110: Visual Culture in America 

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.

HISTRY 110: History through Film 

A variable-topics course introducing 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.

ARTHIST 203: Introduction to Modern and Contemporary Art 

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.

JOURNLSM 224: Media Criticism 

An introduction to critical and analytical approaches to writing about narrative performative and media texts, such as film, television, stage plays, and digital/online texts.

COMM 236: Introduction to Cinema 

Focuses on understanding and appreciating film as a unique visual communication experience. Includes an introduction to the understanding of film language and different theories of film aesthetics and criticism. 

COMM 249: Great Moments in Cinema 

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.

FILM 266: Gender and Film 

Considers 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. Learn a set of terms and techniques for interpreting film and another set of terms and techniques for analyzing gender and sexuality.

FILM 272: Critical Writing in Multimedia Contexts 

Learn to conceptualize, structure, and produce analytical writing in multiple forms within digital contexts. Since such contexts are often multi-modal — layered with visual images as well as sound — instruction will include the analysis and appropriation of the visual and auditory in critical writing.

SOCIOLGY 344: Race, Ethnicity and Film 

Sociologically analyze racial and ethnic patterns in American films. Discuss how decision-makers shape the public imagination. Examine how race intersects with other identities in ways that lead to specific trends in Hollywood, highlighting the relationship between media, culture and the economy.

COMM 346: Sound and Image 

Explore the ways in which sound design and music have been uused in conjunction with images in diverse media including films, video games, video art, cartoons, music videos, television, and live performance.

FILM 350: 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. Repeatable with change of instructor.

FILM 352: Literature on Film 

Examines the complex cultural work of adapting literature to film. Through critical analysis of narrative fiction and the films they inspire, investigate the history, narrative conventions, iconic elements, and cultural significance of literary adaptations to film. Repeatable with change of instructor.

FILM 354: Stage Plays on Film 

Students study stage plays as well as the ways in which screenwriters and filmmakers adapt those plays for the big screen.

FILM 356: Text and Image 

A theoretical and practical study of story-based visual media and how audiences understand what they see. Introduces principles of narrative and traces how these have changed (or not changed) through the evolution of both the media we consume and the nature of our media consumption. Primary materials include comics, tv, film, and video games.

FILM 358: Topics in Film Studies

Subjects offered will be of particular social and academic importance, and the course will emphasize the careful analysis of film criticism as well as films themselves. Repeatable with change of instructor.

FILM 374: Queer Cinema

Students deploy analyses of gender and sexuality that respond to the possibilities and limitations of the medium. Appropriate for any student who wishes to learn how to apply complex theories of gender representation and sexual identity to the analysis of visual narratives.

FILM 376: Screenwriting

Gain practical experience in writing scripts for cinema and/or television, with special emphasis on creative, theoretical, and critical processes.

FILM 483: Cinema Auteurs

Learn to analyze film in international contexts. The course will either focus on a director whose work crosses national and language boundaries or compare two established film directors, one working in English and one working in another language. Repeatable with a change of topic.

FILM 485: Film Theory

Study the work of major film theorists and analyze specific films using theoretical lenses. Broaden your knowledge of terms and concepts in film analysis, using established theoretical lenses such as feminism, Marxism, queer theory, and psychoanalysis. Topics will vary. 

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.