Upcoming Courses

Graduate Courses Now Enrolling for Fall 2017

ENGFLM 2471 Cinema and Psyche

Tu 1:00PM - 4:50PM
Lucy Fischer

Ever since 1916 when German psychologist Hugo Munsterberg wrote The Photoplay: A Psychological Study in which he compared aspects of cinematic discourse to mental states (like attention, memory and anticipation), the film medium has frequently been conceived as analogous to the human mind.  Thus, numerous theorists, critics, and artists have probed the comparison in both written and cinematic form, while placing their formulations within a social, historical, and cultural framework (taking account of issues like race and gender).  Some (drawing upon psychoanalytic models) have likened cinema to the dream and many filmmakers (including Luis Bunuel, Salvador Dali, Ingmar Bergman, Buster Keaton, David Lynch, etc.) have created oneiric works.  Other theorists have been interested in cinema’s potential to project human subjectivity through first person narrative, and movies as literal as The Lady in the Lake or as complex as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind have attempted to visualize such a viewpoint.  Some scholars have been intrigued by cinema’s capacity to embody memory or fantasy (as in Memento, Hiroshima Mon Amour or Juliet of the Spirits), while others have been concerned with film’s potential to mimic intellectual thought or human perception (as in the work of Hollis Frampton).  Furthermore, a group of theorists has recently examined audience reception to explore the dynamics of cognition and film--how screen information is “processed” by the viewer. And in a related move, another camp has focused on questions of affect and cinema --how particular spectator feelings or sensations are encouraged by or embodied in a film.  While the topics above deal with how film discourse can approximate mental activity or how a film can solicit certain mental states from the spectator, other resonant issues arise from the portrayal of what society sees as psychological “disorders” on screen—in both dramas and documentaries (e.g. madness, hysteria, nostalgia, locked-in syndrome, paranoia, hysteria, hallucination, etc.).  The class will seek to examine all of these areas through a series of screenings, readings, and discussions.

ENGFLM 2480 War and Cinema

Mo 6:00PM - 9:50PM
Neepa Majumdar

The primary focus of this course will not be on cinematic representations of historical wars, but on theorizing the convergence of military and cinematic technologies, taking as one point of reference the significant body of writing produced by Paul Virilio, including his War and Cinema. Issues to be considered include the intersecting military, medical, and cinematic uses of the scope and the screen, theories of human vision and ocularcentrism, new conceptions of space and time, the temporal convergence of production and exhibition (speed), new media technologies, and the blurred boundaries of war and entertainment.  In this course and in your research papers, we will explore a visual field broadly conceived as constituted by military/medical and cinematic/entertainment technologies. Some of the technologies we might consider include radar, infra-red imaging, weather mapping, virtual reality, medical imaging, x-rays, reconnaissance/aerial photography, and drone images, looking specifically at films that substantially use such imaging or theorize these intersections.

FILMG 2905 Proseminar in Film and Media Studies

David Pettersen

All students in the Ph.D. Film studies program are required to complete a one credit proseminar in film and media studies prior to taking their comprehensive examinations. Enrolled students attend a designated lecture by invited scholars, as well as an associated ninety-minute seminar conducted by a film studies faculty member concerning the work of the speaker or the topic addressed. The faculty member conducting the seminar will typically choose pertinent readings to be completed prior to the lecture and seminar. The proseminar is usually offered twice a year: once during the fall term and once during the spring, with a lecture and its associated seminar scheduled each term. Invited scholars may or may not participate in the seminar meetings. Dates and times of visiting speakers and the associated seminars will be announced well in advance so that students may plan their schedules accordingly.  A student in the program may repeat the proseminar for up to three credits. The proseminar in film and media studies seeks to expand and enhance our graduate students' experience of the critical exchange of ideas, by involving them more fully in the contemporary research being conducted by film and media scholars from around the world.

GER 2892 Apparatus Theory

Th 2:30PM - 3:45PM (Lecture)
Tu 6:30PM - 8:30PM (Lab)
Randall Halle

Apparatus Theory now, more than ever! Once the heart of Anglo-American Screen Theory, Apparatus Theory generated lively debates about the relation ofthe moving image and the mechanisms of production that brought it to the screen. Having run into certain impasses regarding gender and ideology, AT became quiescent in the English-speaking world. Outside, however, it continued to develop in new dynamic directions. This seminar will review the multifaceted history of AT and deploy it in analyses of a series of international moving images from mainstream to experimental. The course will be in English. Films will have English subtitles. Public screenings will take place separately outside seminar meetings. Students are asked to sign up for the lab at that time.

JPNSE 2057 Japanese Culture and Society Through Cinema

We 12:00PM - 3:50PM
Charles Exley

This course focuses on a critical study of carefully selected films that represent the rich cinematic heritage of Japan. It is designed to show students how Japanese culture and society can be studied through the works of master filmmakers. Films shown and discussed span a wide range of genres, modes of representation, and historical settings. Each film is judged as a work of art in its own right, and within the larger context of developing Japanese cinema and cine-cultural history. Students are also offered experience in cross-cultural analysis, assessing the worth and content of films, which show the West through Eastern eyes, and vise-versa.