Spring Quarter

Dept Course No and Title Instructor
This introduction to digital culture examines ways of thinking about, and with, new media, and so continues the 85 series on film and media studies into the 21st century. We now live in a world of gadgets and multimedia, email and weblogs, networked gaming and surveillance, file sharing and citizen journalism. New media promise to transform our experience of language and reality, space and time, publicity and privacy, memory and knowledge. In digital culture, we witness not only a new storage paradigm, but a transition to interactivity, to proliferating screens of all sizes, to new systems of circulation and transmission - including computer disks, DVDs, on-line servers, and handheld devices. Our experience is mediated by interfaces - remotes, mice, keyboards, touch screens, joysticks, goggles and gloves and body suits. This course will examine how digital technologies alter our notions of presence and the real, transform our experience of the body and identity, contest our concepts of urban and architectural space, and produce new configurations of information and entertainment. Students will be required to use but also analyze their use of these new technologies; no special expertise with computers or other gadgets is necessary, but work involving one or several of them will be assigned.
The 30-year period spanning the Depression, World War II, and the Cold War witnessed profound changes in production and exhibition technology, the global dynamics of film markets, and film censorship and regulation, along with the consolidation of film genres inside Hollywood and the contestation of Hollywood's hegemony in Europe, Latin America, and Asia, as well as within the U.S. It is also the period in which electronic media began to compete with cinema as a vehicle for news and entertainment. By engaging with the sociocultural dimensions, production contexts, and formal characteristics of sound films produced between 1930 and the late 1960s, students will be able to acquire the necessary analytical tools and writing skills needed to understand the stylistic movements and public expectations placed on cinema as modern art and industry, as well as the powerful economic and political forces that shaped it during a period of maximum consumption. Course requirements include prompt attendance and participation, assignments, midterm exam, final exam. The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 85A.
This course will explore contemporary new media theory, including the analysis of key forms of digital media such as algorithms, software, platforms, networks, the interface, computer code, databases, the cloud, and other related digital systems. The course will examine theoretical concepts that media studies scholars have used to examine new media forms such as virtuality, connectivity, habitual media, information overload and infoglut, remediation and so on. Students will have the opportunity to engage with and analyze multiple media forms in the class including video games, social and mobile media, new media and online art, virtual reality, etc. The prerequisites for this course are FLM&MDA 85A-B-C and one course from the FLM&MDA 101 series.
One of the central debates about film in the early twentieth century centered on its relationship to reality. From the medium’s inception, theorists were fascinated by film’s ability to directly record the physical world without filtering the image through paintbrush or chisel. In this class, we will consider the major theories of cinematic realism as they relate to film and the other arts, to the political possibilities of film, and to the emergence of digital media. The prerequisites for this course are FLM&MDA 85A-B-C and one course from the FLM&MDA 101 series.
When film developed into a narrative form in the early twentieth century, it drew on the dominant storytelling mode in Europe and the United States: Melodrama. To this day, melodrama remains foundational to cinematic storytelling throughout the world. In this class, we will consider the emergence and development of melodrama as a means of addressing an increasingly secular society. We will trace the evolution of melodrama from stage to screen. And we will consider how melodrama works to produce what Linda Williams terms “moral legibility” by eliciting emotional responses from the audience. The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 85A.
The purpose of this course is to provide a nuanced examination of contemporary television comedy, including Stand Up specials, sitcoms, social and/or political satire, its functions as cultural, industrial & commercial product and how these varied comic voices and forms speak to notions of citizenship, identity and the American Dream. By examining how televisual comic texts respond to change in social and political sensibilities at specific historical moments, we will tease out why television comedy, perhaps more than any other television genre, can get people to engage (and to think about) a variety of human experiences—often in spite of themselves. 
This course will NOTE: The visual texts screened in the course will challenge social boundaries and mores; they might be considered controversial by some standards in terms of language and mature content. Given this caveat, I would urge you to assess whether this course is appropriate for you. The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 85A.
Students learn about "the world of the screenwriter" by reading and studying screenplays, and writing parts of them-including the beat outline, treatment and character biography. Assignments include reading, viewing and analyzing selected films; and writing papers that explore facets of the screenplay such as structure, character and theme. The final grade is based on participation/attendance, writing the set-up for an actual feature film and storyboarding a traditional 3-act screenplay. The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 85A.
This course introduces the fundamentals of film production using digital video. It is designed for students who have little or no production experience. Assignments provide hands-on learning of the basic elements of production. From cinematography, lighting, and sound, to writing a short script and editing with Final Cut Pro, this class takes students through the production process, culminating in the completion of a 2 to 5 minute short digital film. Students enrolled in this class may use University owned equipment and are financially responsible for the University equipment on loan to them. The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 85A.
This advanced production workshop is designed to develop your creative vision and your ability to apply the technical skills necessary to realizing your vision. Emphasis is placed on thorough pre-production, organized production shoots and work-in-progress screenings. Class is structured as a workshop. You will be expected to participate at every stage of the production process, from sharing your proposal ideas, to discussing shot lists and storyboards, to screening and critiquing each others work. By the end of the quarter, you will have completed an 8-15 minute polished short with multiple sound tracks and titles. The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 120B.
The Muslim ban. “Islam hates us,” so says President Donald Trump. In this context, while this course is designed to help you think and write about film, it will do so as we examine the figure of the Muslim in popular culture, specifically cinema. We will examine the role that Islam and Muslims (i.e. Orientalism) plays in determining ideas about the “West,” race, gender and national identity. We will begin with early theoretical foundations about cinema, power and race and as the quarter progresses, explore various iterations and manifestations of the figure of the Muslim in cinema, looking closely at what “work” this figure does in shaping contemporary society. The prerequisites for this course are [FLM&MDA 85A or FLM&MDA 85B or FLM&MDA 85C] and satisfactory completion of the lower-division writing requirement.
How do we write about sports, as Film and Media Studies scholars? What are the key questions we should ask when we write about sports media? What is sports media (generically, textually, socially)? This writing-intensive course allows close examination and application of different approaches to thinking and writing critically about and conducting research regarding sports media. The prerequisites for this course are [FLM&MDA 85A or FLM&MDA 85B or FLM&MDA 85C] and satisfactory completion of the lower-division writing requirement.
Given that American horror cinema often takes center stage in studies of the horror genre, the first aim of the class is to expand the student’s knowledge of horror cinema beyond Hollywood productions, in order to explore the global diversity of this genre in relation to various historical, aesthetic, national, and transnational contexts. Secondly, the class aims to familiarize students with diverse thematic, historical, and generic approaches to the horror genre. Since it would be impossible to cover the full range of international horror within a ten-week quarter, comprehensive geographical coverage is not the goal of the class. Instead, the final course objective is for students to understand and analyze regional, transnational, or global flows, whether in terms of influence (historical development, borrowing, and remaking) or circulation (reception, co-production, marketing, distribution, and exhibition).   The course is organized around various approaches to global horror and its generic hybridity, from the postwar emergence of “Eurohorror”, with its continuing international cult following, to the transnationalization of Asian horror cinema via DVD in the early 2000s, to camp, queer, and feminist valences in contemporary horror filmmaking.
This course offers an advanced critical investigation of U.S. commodity culture, marketing, advertising and brand identity in historical context. The course will familiarize students with key theoretical concept regarding consumer culture and critical analysis of advertising appeals and marketing campaigns from the broadcast-era to the present. These theories and skills will be applied and exemplified through key case studies in marketing and branding. The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 85B or FLM&MDA 85C.
Reality television has become an important cultural phenomenon in many ways: in its capacity to attract millions of viewers has transformed the terms and meanings of celebrity and accomplishment, instructed in and inculcated values and ambitions, and provided windows into myriad lifestyles and cultures. Though frequently demeaned as silly, scripted/fake, bottom-scraping, soul-deadening, offensive, and worthless, the reality television genre unquestionably has had a great deal of purchase in media culture of the previous eighteen years. The goal of this course is to interrogate and explore the reality television phenomenon. Paying attention to their history, production, aesthetics, ideological positions, and implicit or explicit political claims, we will examine how reality television shows operate and will identify the meanings offered to viewers via this form of television programming. The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 85B or FLM&MDA 85C.
Lecture, discussion and workshop series in which screenwriting students can continue the study of full length feature scriptwriting with a focus on the challenges of Act 2.  Each student will workshop their own feature length scripts through Act 2.  Scene writing assignments inspired by Blake Snyder’s “Save The Cat” beats such as Breaking into Act 2, The Promise of The Premise,  Midpoint, and Dark Knight of the soul will give students the opportunity to continue work on character development, story arc, writing effective dialogue and action description.  With an emphasis on navigating the rewriting process, we will explore exercises for analysis of our own screenwriting work.

It is recommended that students complete a first draft of Act 1 of their scripts before class begins.

The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 117A or FLM&MDA 118A.