Upcoming Courses

Graduate Courses for Spring 2018

CHIN 2059 Adapted for the Screen:  Chinese Literature and Film

Mo 12:00PM - 3:50PM
Kun Qian

Adaptation is a common practice in Chinese cinema. A number of well-known films such as Farewell My Concubine and Raise the Red Lantern are adapted from fiction. In these cases, fiction lends itself to cinematic imagination and recreation on the screen, and film provides special perspectives to look at fiction. Sometimes, cinematic techniques also inspire the creative style of fiction. The difference in medium of expression, channel of circulation, targeted audience, and historical contexts in which they were produced create a cross-media “super-text” with complex implications. This course offers a chance to examine some canonical novels and novellas together with the films adapted from them in order to explore verbal and visual representations in modern China. In particular, we will focus on issues of history, romance, gender, sexuality, and body politics, and how they are represented in both fiction and film.

ENGFLM & FILMG 2451 Film History/Theory 1

Tu 1:00PM - 4:50PM
Adam Lowenstein

How did film become the quintessential popular media form of the twentieth century? What can an exploration of cinema’s origins teach us about today’s media landscape? And what is film studies, anyway? This seminar will focus on the history and theory of cinema from 1895 to 1960 in order to address these questions. The texts and contexts we study will be internationally varied and conceptually wide-ranging, from intellectual debates (realism and modernism) to aesthetic questions (narrative and spectacle) to historical movements (Surrealism and Neorealism) to modes of production (classical Hollywood cinema and avant-garde film) to theoretical categories (genre, gender, and spectatorship). Key thinkers we will encounter include Arnheim, Balázs, Bazin, Benjamin, Deren, Dulac, Eisenstein, Epstein, Kracauer, Münsterberg, Vertov, Zavattini, and others. Major filmmakers we will study include Arzner, Buñuel, Chaplin, De Sica, Griffith, Hitchcock, Kurosawa, Lang, Lumière, Méliès, Renoir, Sirk, Welles, and others. No prior knowledge of film studies will be required, so the seminar will necessarily take shape as an intensive immersion experience – film history, theory, and analysis will be engaged simultaneously, on multiple fronts. By the seminar's end, students will be prepared to pursue further graduate work in film studies, and to discuss crucial questions the discipline poses for related fields such as literary studies, cultural studies, and gender studies.

Film Studies core requirement
Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies elective

ENGFLM 2494 Key Concepts in New Media

Th 6:00PM - 9:50PM
Jinying Li

What exactly is "information"? What is an "interface"? What does it mean when we speak of a "media platform"? These terms and concepts form the backbone of the major theories and discourses in new media, which produce a rich vocabulary that has yet to be rigorously defined. This course aims to provide a theoretical map to navigate the rapidly expanding fields of media studies by critically interrogating a set of key concepts that have been extensively used to deal with the technologies, forms, materials and cultures of new media. We will discuss the meaning, usage, and genealogy of such concepts as "network," "cybernetics," "hardwire," "infrastructure," and "system," which have animated a wide range of researches and debates. By critically engaging with these key concepts, we hope to not only reconstitute a framework for theorizing contemporary media, but to explore the very notion of "media" as a discursive formation.

Cultural Studies category A course

FR 2648 Contemporary French Cinema:  Universalism and its Others

Th 1:00PM - 4:50PM
David Pettersen

This seminar will examine how the tradition of universalism in France has inflected and continues to inflect representations of space, migration, difference and history in French-language films. The course also explores how universalism has impacted the production, distribution, and reception structures of the French film industry up until the present. Étienne Balibar has argued that universalism is a social construction open to continual renegotiation, and one of our central preoccupations will be to understand how individual films and filmmakers have constructed and contested the universalizing cast of French culture and history from their own positionalities. We will study films from the French colonial and decolonization periods; we will examine the formation of auteurism in France and its use elsewhere as a universalizing impulse; we will look at contemporary films about France’s postcolonial communities and marginalized urban peripheries, and finally we will consider French-language filmmaking in North Africa, West Africa, Canada, and Belgium with an eye towards understanding how these films and filmmakers negotiate their relationship to the French language and hexagonal co-funding structures, distribution networks, and audiences. Our readings will include both broad theorizations and critiques of universalism (Badiou, Balibar, Memmi) and targeted research within film and media studies that deals with these issues. The seminar will be taught in English, the readings will be in English, and the films will have English subtitles.

Cultural Studies category B course

RUSS 2464 Special Topics:  History of Russian Film 2

We 6:00PM - 9:25PM
Vladimir Padunov

The course will trace the history of Russian cinema (1991-2017) and the transformation of the filmmaking industry from a state financed and command ordered economy to a state subsidized and a capital based economy.  While much of the focus in the course will be on specific films and directors (for example, Muratova, Balabanov, Sigarev, etc.), special attention will be paid to ways the Russian film industry has adapted standard filmmaking practices in Europe and the US (new professions, genres, private film studios, and administrative models).

Cultural Studies category B course