Fall Quarter

Dept Course No and Title Instructor
This course examines the intersection of race, sports, and media in everyday U.S. popular culture (film, TV, advertising, social media, gaming) and political culture. We will analyze historic and contemporary debates at this intersection, with particular focus on African American representation and U.S. ideology regarding race, gender and sexuality, nation, celebrity and capital in the “mass” and streaming media eras. Attention to current debates (e.g., the “politics” of sports celebrity and activism; the concept of “colorblindness” and the “post-racial” in sports; the semiotics of race in sports’ commodification and marketing; raced and gendered discourses in sports and “fitness activism”; and broader debates regarding race, gender, self-expression, sexuality, and violence in sports will be contextualized and studied through scholarly theories of race and media representation and analyses that encourage us to think about U.S. media as sites of struggle over what constitutes citizenship, local and national identity, and what it has meant to “be American” in post-World War II U.S. culture. That is, we will investigate the ways in which debates or controversies at the intersection of “race/sport/media” have most often been struggles over what it means to be a “representative” American citizen. Required course work will include extensive readings, active participation in class/presentations, a written essay and original research culminating in a seminar paper and its presentation.
Enrollment in this course is restricted to Campus Honors Program students.
This course serves as an introduction to film analysis––to a critical understanding of the language of film, how it uses image and sound to produce meaning and pleasure, and how it elicits viewers’ responses.
Concentrating on film form and style, the course teaches students to engage cinema in relation to narrative and spectacle, mise en scene, cinematography, editing, sound, and genre. In particular, the course equips students with formal tools and concepts for shot-by-shot and scene analysis.
What is the relationship between power and digital media technologies? New media-- from devices including cell phones to platforms like Facebook to search engines such as Google-- shape users’ perceptions of race in ways that are often invisible. This course traces the history of computing, and its roots in American counterculture and the military-industrial-educational complex. We will examine the issue of digital labor and power, how technologies create new relationships of power and disempowerment for specific groups and individuals, and how culture is transformed through technology.
This course surveys the international film movements, industries, and periods of national cinemas that have sought to redefine the dominant ideologies, modes of production, and aesthetics of cinema during the past half-century. As much as possible, course readings draw from manifestos for and critical writings contemporaneous with these historical film movements, and considers the numerous methods to conceptualize histories of cinema. Topics include third cinema, new hollywood, feminist cinema, Hong Kong new wave, new Black cinema, mainland Chinese cinema, and Korean cinema.
In this course, we will focus on theories of film and media that have the body as their central framework of critical inquiry. From silent film theory to contemporary theories of race and gender, we will focus on film, but also visit other media (television, photography, digital media), in order to explore the multiple forms in which media can interpellate and imagine the body—and their political implications. Although this is a reading-intensive course, we will also look into case studies to better grasp the conceptual debates.
This class familiarizes students with critical approaches to digital visual effects in cinema. This course is built on the premise that critical analysis of visual effects – which have become ubiquitous and naturalized in contemporary Hollywood and independent cinema – is a key component of digital visual literacy in general and film and media theory in particular. The class explores the following issues: perceptual realism and 3D depth; acting and performance in digital cinema; posthuman intimacy and digital doubles; and the challenges faced by the VFX industry and VFX artists. Students will learn to recognize and analyze contemporary digital visual effects as well as historical alternatives to this norm, such as practical special effects.
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. Assignments provide hands-on learning of the basic elements of filmmaking.  From cinematography, lighting, and sound, to writing a short script and editing with Adobe Premiere Pro, this class takes students through the production process, culminating in the completion of a 3 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 course will examine Bruce Lee’s life and career in the contexts of the Hollywood and Hong Kong industries of the 1960s–1970s and track his influence in the history of cinema and other media. It will also situate his work and identity––Hong Kong native, diasporic Chinese, Asian American––in relation to the social, cultural, political, and economic changes taking place in the United States and East Asia broadly.
Collectively as a class, we will assess the significance and meaning of Bruce Lee’s myth and legacy today
Film and television are representational media. Questions of representation—of who is represented on screen and who is behind the camera—continue to drive public and academic discussions of film and media. We often celebrate the ideas of feeling seen, of giving voice, of telling our stories, of making progress toward inclusion. How do representations shape our worldviews and our senses of self? How do representations change over time? Do we need more positive representations or more authentic representations—and what is the difference? What is meaningful inclusion? Must any representation of a marginalized character be understood as political? Is representation enough? Does representation reflect or drive structural changes? Does the financial success of media representing historically underrepresented characters change the industry? Does changing who has access to work in the industry change society? This course will take intersectional approaches to grapple with these questions and more.
Students will work on humanistic academic writing, creative writing, and clear, effective writing for a general audience. As a theme to explore through our writing, we will focus on fans, fandoms, and fan studies. The course will look at the history, cultures, and production practices of media fans. We will engage with readings from the scholarly field of fan studies, as well as fan-made media and original "canonical" media. In addition, we will reflect on artistic and world-building fan practices with the creation of our own original fan fiction and fan zines.
In this writing course, you will collectively work to improve your writing skills by exploring how scholars write about digital objects.
This class is about writing and academic inquiry. Effective arguments stem from well-formulated questions, and academic essays allow writers to gain deeper understanding of the questions that they are exploring.  In this course, you will learn to create complex, analytic, well-supported arguments that matter in academic contexts. The course will also hone your critical thinking and reading skills. Working closely with your peers and instructor, you will develop essays through workshops and extensive revision and editing.  Readings cover a variety of genres and often serve as models or prompts for assigned essays.
This course introduces students to the humanistic study of the internet as a set of technologies, histories, and cultures that have profoundly shifted the media landscape over the last three decades. The field of internet studies is interdisciplinary, with insights emerging from media studies, cultural studies, the social sciences, information studies, and more. This course will highlight how issues of identity and diversity have been shaped and been shaped by the internet.
More than any other tradition of image-making, documentaries are invested in notions of truth, authenticity, and objectivity. The popular perception of documentary film is that it represents the real word. There is some truth to this perception, as documentary films tend to tell fact-based stories about people, events, and places.  Yet, documentary filmmakers select, mold, and interpret their footage to make stories. This makes documentaries a powerful medium which attempts to direct audiences to a kind of truth. This course will introduce students to the history and theory of documentary cinema, examining the ways our willingness to be convinced has been shaped by different forms of institutional and discursive power. From the earliest actualities to current trends of ‘bingeable’ documentary series, we will explore the strategies, techniques, and historical trends in these works of mediated reality while engaging with critical theories of these practices. Screenings will include films such as Berlin: Symphony of a Great City, Night Mail, Night and Fog, Chronicle of a Summer, Gimme Shelter, Grey Gardens, Roger and Me, Fast Cheap and Out of Control, The Gleaners and I, and O.J. Made in America.
This course examines how the global reach of popular Hindi-language cinema of India referred to as Bollywood film creates new representations of nationalism and national narratives. Increasing travel, changing modes of life and material expansion even within India and within the Indian diasporas have generated transnational and international movements of people, media and commodities and Bollywood is a major player in these movements and markets.
The masculinist space of nation as represented in older films is transformed as gender and sexuality intersect with social categories of class and particularly caste and religion. As an increasingly transnational and global product, Bollywood’s glittering, glitzy dance and song routines reconstruct femininity and masculinity, gender and sexuality, and family identities in ways that attempt to challenge patriarchal, and nationalist discourses. Selected films include The Lover Wins the Bride, Monsoon Wedding and My Name Is Khan.
As a counterpoint to Bollywood's conventions of gender production, we analyze independently produced films that deploy the language of Bollywood, and attempt to contest its conflicted messages of gender and nation.
From Eadweard Muybridge’s earliest experiments with photographic motion to present day streaming releases, sports have been a central subject for the movies. Focusing on US mainstream/commercial entertainment, documentary, and experimental cinema, we will consider how, historically, sports movies have both reinforced and challenged particular myths about identity, community, and “difference.”
The focus of this class is the contemporary Hollywood film and television industry, with an emphasis on the role of US-based processes and players in what is a highly complex global media system. Accordingly, the course covers what Schatz calls contemporary “Conglomerate Hollywood;" media economics, production, distribution, and exhibition; and issues of labor, race, and gender as they intersect with production cultures and audience responses. All of these aspects of the media industry have been impacted by the pandemic, the dominance of on-demand streaming services like Netflix, and the pervasiveness of file sharing and piracy.
This course is devoted to current topics in advanced film production. Topics addressed vary each quarter May be repeated for credit as topics vary.  This quarter’s special topic is directing and producing the narrative film.
As film and video are collaborative media, students form production groups and ultimately produce final 6-10 minute film projects. The prerequisites for this course are FLM&MDA 85A, and FLM&MDA 120A.
Course Requirements:
Prompt attendance and participation at all classes and screenings, completion of all readings, messageboard writing assignments due every week at 12pm on the Friday before class, production breakdown, rough cut, and final digital film project.  The final film project with a two page paper is due on the last day of classes, Tuesday, December 7
This class will examine how a range of media (television series, films, video games) operate as sites of popular history and collective memory. We will consider not only how the historical context in which a text is produced affects the sort of stories about the past it offers, but we also will interrogate how medium specificity, genre conventions, imagined audience, and exhibition conditions structure how the media tells historical narratives. Some of the texts we may study include: One Night in Miami; Mrs. America; Downton Abbey; Black Messiah and Judas; The Help; Ken Burns' The Vietnam War; JFK Unloaded; Vice.