Spring 2015 Courses

Spring 2015 Courses

FLM-203-01/ATH-203-01 Writing About Film — TTH 1:55PM-3:40PM, KARP 006 (Chilcoat)

In this WAC course you will learn how to write about film in a way that will inform, interest, entertain and impress readers even if they disagree with you.  Throughout the course, you will work with numerous films, some assigned, others of your own choosing.  Besides your formal paper assignments and reading/film-viewing journal, there will also be in-class writing activities and peer critique.  WAC,

EGL-307-01 Junior Seminar in Irish Literature and Sexual Identity — MWF 1:50-2:55PM, KARP 103 (Bracken)

This course will examine Irish literature and film, focusing on issues relating to gender and sexuality in the post-colonial culture of 20th and 21st century Ireland. We will be looking at the ways in which traditional configurations of gender and sexuality are destabilised in these texts, operating as a response to conservative prescriptions of nationalist Irish identity. Attention will be paid to representations of the body, and the manner in which these representations are connected with language and writing. Texts may include James Joyce’s Ulysses (selections), Pat Murphy’s film Nora, Kate O’Brien’s novel As Music and Splendour, Peter Mullan’s film The Magdalene Sisters, Samuel Beckett’s story “First Love,” Steve McQueen’s film Hunger, Eavan Boland’s poetry collection Outside History, and Marian Quinn’s film 32A. HUL, WAC, LCC

EGL-286-01 Transnational Literature, Film & Theory — TTH 1:55PM-3:40PM, KARP 002 (Troxell)

While modern colonialism dating back to the 18th century brought the entire globe into contact, the nation-state remained the relevant unit of culture. Unprecedented levels of migration and technological development in the past century, however, have made it impossible to ignore the fact that we are now living in a thoroughly transnational world—a new world order whose contours we yet barely grasp. How do social identity formations shift when nation-state boundaries are challenged? What sorts of new ethical dilemmas and self-other relations are engendered? Is anti-colonialism, staged as it was in the theater of national liberation, de-fanged or enabled by transnationalism? What new aesthetic forms and modes are generated by transnationalism; and how do cosmopolitans, exiles, diasporics, hybrids, and long-distance nationalists affect the field of culture? These are among the questions we will examine over the course of the term through the complementary lenses of film, literature, and theory.  This blended learning course, co-developed with Bina Gogineni from Skidmore College, will draw on new media to cultivate students’ creativity and analytical skills, and link students between campuses.

EGL-287-01 Gender & Sexuality in Film — TTH 10:55PM-12:40PM, KARP 002 (Troxell)

This course examines the intersecting roles played by gender and sexuality in our media, with particular emphasis placed on film and video. Over the course of the semester, we will investigate the ways in which various media texts transmit and construct gender and sexuality and how viewers interpret and integrate these representations into their daily lives. As we analyze films by such directors as Alfred Hitchcock, Douglas Sirk, Julie Dash, Trinh T. Minh-ha, and Jonathan Caouette we will explore the ways in which conceptions of gender and sexuality are facilitated and constrained by legal, medical, and ethical discourses that emerge from specific historical and geographic contexts. HUL, WAC

HST-287-01 Film and Modern India — MWF 1:50PM-2:55PM, LIPM 012 (Mazumder)

This course uses a medium of visual representation-cinema-to explore the portrayal of India. It historically traces the development of the cinematic industry in India and highlights the changing images of the region since the 1950s. Each decade evokes a list of stereotypes, of ideas, and of historical realities. We will examine the extent to which films in each decade captured the reality of the period. In particular, we will trace the maturation of the idea of a nation through films and we will explore the positioning of gender in these decades. In general, this course will adopt critical approaches for looking at aesthetics and the representation of South Asia through cinema. LCC

HST-331-01 US History in Film — TTH 1:55PM-3:40PM, LIPM 201 (Feffer)

This course compares the representation of American history in Hollywood film with the reconstruction of our past by scholars. Each week students will critically examine the historically-based films of D. W. Griffith, John Ford, Frank Capra, and others. Prerequisite(s): Any 100-level or 200-level history course or permission of the instructor

SPN-319-01 Basque Cinema — MWF 1:50-2:55PM Bail 207 (Mueller)

The Basque Country of northern Spain is known for its unique language, lush green landscapes, and antagonistic relationship with the Spanish State. This course explores how films have helped to shape a Basque identity that is distinct from the rest of Spain. From the pioneering 1968 experimental documentary Ama Lur (Tierra Madre) to the recent romantic comedy blockbuster Ocho apellidos vascos, Basque cinema has always been deeply tied to the construction of (and also the questioning of) a Basque nation. We will examine how cinematic portrayals of terrorist violence, mythicized rural landscapes, and even magical cows all play a role in Basque nationalism and identity formation. This course encompasses films from a variety of genres, including thriller, art-house, documentary, drama, and comedy, directed by celebrated filmmakers like Julio Medem, Helena Taberna, and Imanol Uribe.

SPN-415-01 Waste in Latin Amer Film/Art — MWF 11:45PM-12:50PM, KARP 008 (Mosquera)

This course examines the presence and impact of trash, disposed objects and life, and landfills/wastelands in the context of expiry and obsolescence, renewal, and globalization in Latin America. Borrowing from philosophy and urban sociology and anthropology, Latin American, cultural, media and cinema, and environmental studies, the course teases out the aesthetic, political, ecological, and economic aspects of “trash” as an intricate stockpile of modern, industrial, digital, and postindustrial traces of discarded and remnant history as well as a multifaceted symbolic index of renewal with particular trajectories and manifestations in contemporary Latin American contexts. The course will revisit, with a filmic eye, cult films like Amores Perros (González Iñárritu, 2000) and L. Buñuel’s Los Olvidados, examine photography work by Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Miguel Río Branco, and Enrique Meinitides and conceptual art by Teresa Margolles and Doris Salcedo, while also exploring documentary and environmental work looking at waste, neoliberalism, and recovered and precarious life and analyzing select literary texts where trash plays a central role.

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