Fall 2011 Offerings

FAMS in London: London Through Film

This course uses cinema as a vehicle for exploring and understanding London as a global city. Students will study how London has been fashioned by and inspired filmmakers, and how film has been integral to London’s transformation into one of the world’s most international of cities. Beginning with the uses of film during wartime London, we will study London as a city of migrations, one where physicality and visual culture determine meaning in a post-colonial world. Students will themselves use digital video to construct their own versions of/responses to London as they learn the geography and diverse cultures of the city. We will take advantage of Goldsmiths College’s Filmmaking and Screen Studies programs, work in the media archives of the Imperial War Museum, visit important nearby film locations, and attend several of the city’s international film festivals. Email Andy Smith smitham@lafayette.edu for information, or visit http://studyabroad.lafayette.edu/programs/london-fall-2011/.

FAMS 101: Introduction to Film and Media Studies

This is a foundational course that introduces students to basic concepts, theories and methods that are central to film and media studies.  We will study some of the histories, genres of cinema and formal techniques such as lighting, editing and sound to develop a critical understanding of film as a dominant mode of representation. We will also study television and new media to gain a better understanding of perspectives and practices of emerging technologies and forms of distribution. Through required weekly screenings, readings, writing and regular discussion, we will analyze these various kinds of screen media as they influence our world. Open to first and second-year students only. Nandini Sikand. TR 1:15-2:30 class/T 7:00-9:50 lab

FAMS 202: Making Media II

This hands-on production course is the second half of the media production sequence begun in FAMS 201 and builds on the fundamentals of lighting, sound, and camera. Students will further develop their digital filmmaking techniques as well as learn to edit in Final Cut Pro. They will work on individual and collaborative media assignments that will culminate in a public screening at the end of the semester. Prerequisite: FAMS 201: Making Media I, or permission of instructor. Nandini Sikand. TR 9:30-10:45

FAMS/WGS 255: Women Make Movies/Movies Make Women

This non-production course examines the work of women filmmakers and how women have historically been constructed (and not constructed) in cinema. We will examine issues of gender, spectatorship, sexuality, race, representation and authorship as they intersect with images of women such as savior, victim, femme fatale, mother and artist. Prerequisite: FAMS 101: Introduction to Film & Media Studies or WGS 101: Introduction to Women’s & Gender Studies. Nandini Sikand. MF 11:00-12:15 class/W 11:00-12:50 lab

AFS 258: Engendering “Black” Popular Culture

This course will examine the role of the media in enabling, facilitating, or challenging the social constructions of “Blackness.” Paying particular attention to images of race, culture and gender, this course will examine historical and contemporary representations of women and men of African descent (Continental African/Diasporan African/African American) in the various mediums that serve to construct what is known as “popular culture” (television, cinema, advertising, music, fashion, etc). Since media is one of the US’s largest exports, we will further investigate the various ways in which “Blackness,” as constructed in a US context, affects the apperception of “Blackness” in transnational contexts. Yaba Blay. TR 2:45-4:00

AFS: 260: Politics of Hip Hop Culture

This course traces the cultural and political history of Hip-Hop and the impact it has had on Black culture and identity in particular, North American society and global popular culture industries in general. Through readings, films, music, videos, and discussions we will explore the dynamics of Hip-Hop culture, surveying its historical development, political significance, and social influence. We will use this in-depth socio-political/ historical examination as the foundation from which we explore and critically analyze the current state of global Hip Hop. Yaba Blay. TR 1:15-2:30

ART 155: Digital Photography I

Creative expression, explorations of content and articulation of ideas will be emphasized. The course comprises technical lectures, laboratory demonstrations, slide lectures of historic and contemporary photography, and critiques of student work. Upon completion of the course, a student can expect to have a thorough understanding of the basics of digital photography—proper and consistent image exposure, basic Photoshop skills and competency with scanning and digital printing. Karina Skvirsky. MW 9:00-11:50

ART 255: Digital Photography II

In this intermediate course, students will refine both their aesthetic and technical digital photography skills. Studio assignments are designed to develop students’ individual styles, contextualize photography in terms of its history, its relationship to other art mediums and its cultural implications. In addition to studio assignments and group critiques, there will also be slide lectures, technical demonstrations, reading and writing assignments. Prerequisite: ART 155 or permission of instructor. Karina Skvirsky. MW 1:10-4:00

MUS 362: War & Peace—Music of the 1960s

This course examines the social and political contexts for popular music in the 1960s. Students will explore the cultural conditions that supported music in the US in centers such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. Through an examination of primary and secondary sources, as well as in-class video viewing, class participants will gain knowledge of how music of a countercultural generation was representative of an emerging social consciousness, as well as how it was used as social protest. Prerequisite: Music 201, or 262, or 275, or permission of instructor. Jorge Torres. MW 1:15-2:30

THEATER 123: Plays and Performance

Although plays are intended to be SEEN and HEARD, most of us are introduced to theater art by READING texts. “Plays in Performance” begins with the script, focusing on active reading, interpretation, and cultural contexts to suggest ways in which these scripts can be realized. By viewing video and live performance of the same scripts, we can further explore how directorial concepts, acting styles, generic conventions, and audience reception/response affect the constantly changing performances. We will read and view an assortment of plays from various periods of theater history, from Greek tragedy to the 21st century.  Suzanne Westfall. MWF 3:10-4:00