Upcoming Courses

Graduate Courses for Spring 2020

CHIN 2059 - New Adapted for the Screen: Chinese Literature and Film

M 12:00PM - 2:30PM with Kun Qian 

ENGFLM 2459 - Documentary Theory & Practice

This course will explore documentary film and video from critical and creative vantage points. Students will be introduced to key discussions from within the interdisciplinary field of documentary studies while also working on individual and collaborative short documentary projects and exercises. Hands-on training in audiovisual recording and editing techniques will be provided. No prior production experience is required.
M 6:00PM - 9:50PM with Robert Clift

ENGFLM 2467 - Cinema and Trauma 

Trauma studies now stands at the forefront of contemporary cultural theory, straddling such disciplines as history, psychology, sociology, philosophy, and literary criticism.  This seminar invites students to examine and contribute to the research surrounding the provocative intersection of cinema/media studies and trauma studies.  We will focus on the two mid-twentieth century events that continue to anchor many accounts of historical trauma:  the Holocaust and Hiroshima.  What do films that address these events teach us about the politics and ethics of representing experiences often referred to as "unrepresentable"?  How does cinema force us to refigure debates about the "limits of representation" and the nature of "the event" itself?  Is cinema an agent of memory or memory's eraser?  A broad range of films will inform our discussion of such questions -- documentary and fiction, tragedy and comedy, mass cultural successes and lesser-known art films, 1940s films and contemporary films.  Films from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US and other countries will be juxtaposed to raise questions regarding historical trauma's national or transnational character.  The seminar will also touch on more recent events that have entered the purview of trauma studies, such as climate change, as important new coordinates for mapping the ways cinema and trauma can shape and challenge each other's definitions.  Students will have the opportunity in their own essays to extend the seminar's concerns to their own particular areas of research.  No previous work in cinema/media studies is required to enroll in this seminar.
T 1:00PM - 4:50PM with Adam Lowenstein 

ITAL 2701 - Italian Apocalyptic Cinema: After the End

The course provides a historical introduction to the past forty-five years of Italian cinema, focusing on films that portray the end of the world. They deal with zombies, nuclear wastelands, post-industrial landscapes, but also with the crisis of language, the breaking up of society, the uncertainty of modern humanity. The apocalypse in cinema can be explicit (Ferreri, Lenzi, Bava) or implicit (Moretti, Crialese, Antonioni): some films may feature atomic explosions and deadly plagues, others are concerned just with the emotional consequences, with the more intimate drama of a collapsing universe. We will situate the films in the historical and cultural contexts that have shaped the past several decades of Italian social life, in the attempt to understand why the apocalypse is a necessary post-modern metaphor and how it is not limited to a sub-genre of science fiction. We will watch many films strictly belonging to the Italian post-apocalyptic kind, and some others that show no (apparent) connection with the genre. Taught in English. Prerequisites: graduate standing or permission of the instructor. 
Th 4:00PM - 7:50 PM with Alberto Iozzia 

SPAN 2452 & FMST 2341 - Contemporary Latin American Film: From Third Cinema to Global Cinema

Beginning with an examination of the militant Latin American films of the 1960's and 70's, this course explores the ways in which the various film industries of Latin America have established and negotiated their position(s) in the global arena. Combining political radicalism with artistic innovation, the concept of Third Cinema -- in conjunction with other Marxist-inspired film theories of the late 60's and 70's -- immediately gained international recognition and became the vanguard revolutionary cinematic movement of that time. The influence of Third Cinema continues to the present where individual filmmakers and alternative film industries question and challenge dominant Western cinematic practices. The focus of this course is two-fold: first, how do Latin American films connect and relate to Third Cinemas from other Global South locations, such as those from Africa and Asia? Second, how do the Latin American cinemas of today position themselves vis-à-vis Third Cinema as they negotiate with the current conditions of economic and cultural globalization? Is this political and cultural idea still relevant for Latin American film industries that target the global market? Looking also at Latin American films produced in the last two decades, this course will examine the ways in which recent Latin American cinemas deploy and re-fashion certain thematic, aesthetic and stylistic aspects of Third Cinema not only as a mode of critique, but also with the effect of creating a marketable "global" cinema. As such, we will examine the relations and distinctions between national cinema, world cinema, and global cinema. What is the relationship between world cinema and national/regional cinemas? What, in fact, is national about national cinemas? Moreover, what differing technologies of spatialization underlie the distinction between world cinema and global cinema? This course provides a critical context and mapping strategies for the study of contemporary cinema and introduces students to theoretical debates about the categorization and global circulation of films, aesthetics, audiences, authorship, and concepts of the transnational and diasporic. Films studied will include Tomás Gutiérrez Alea's Memories of Underdevelopment (1968), Jorge Sanjinés's The Blood of the Condor (1969), Ousmane Sembene's Black Girl (1966), Forough Farrokhzad's The House is Black (1962), Emad Burnat and Guy Dividi's 5 Broken Cameras (2001), Lucrecia Martel's La ciénaga (2001), Pablo Larraín's No (2012), Ciro Guerra's Embrace of the Serpent (2015), Alfonso Cuarón's Roma (2018) among others. Theoretical and critical texts will be culled from Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino, Gilles Deleuze, Henri Bergson, Guy DeBord, Ella Shohat, Freya Schiwy, Hamid Naficy, Gayatri Gopinath and Gonzalo Aguilar.
Th 6:00PM - 8:55PM with Junyoung Verónica Kim