FAMS Fall 2018 

FAMS 101: Introduction to Film & 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 the histories and 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 other forms of electronic media to gain a better understanding of the 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 medias as they influence our world. No prerequisites. FAMS F & CSS HUM course. Katherine Groo TR 2:45-4:00 PM class &  M 7:00-9:50 PM lab 

FAMS/DOC 150: Introduction to Documentary Storymaking
This course is an introduction to digital documentary story making. It merges the critical study of documentary media with the hands-on construction of documentary stories waiting to be found in local communities. Working with tools of the documentary arts-video, still images, audio, writing-students will acquire the foundational skills of media production and effective story telling while absorbing and analyzing rich examples of documentary story telling over time and place. FAMS E course. Open to all majors. No prerequisites. Aggie Ebrahimi Bazaz. Class meets at Muhlenberg College, W 7:00-9:50 PM 

FAMS 201: Making Media 1
This hands-on course introduces students to the creative and technical aspects of media production, and models foundational practices in productive collaboration and ethical media making. The course provides a basic understanding of framing, composition, and storytelling through the use of sound and images. Students work with lighting, audio recording, digital video cameras, and non-linear editing through a series of hands-on assignments, readings, screenings, discussion of assigned exercises, and workshops with digital equipment. Prerequisite FAMS 101 or permission of instructor. FAMS P course. Beth Corzo-Duchardt MW 1:10-4:00 PM 

FAMS 202: Making Media 2
This hands-on production course is the second course in the media production sequence begun in FAMS 201 and builds on the fundamentals of lighting, sound, camera, and editing. Students will further develop their digital media making techniques through individual and collaborative media assignments. Among the assignments, students will host, record, and edit a weekly talk show in the Film and Media Studies program’s “Sandbox” studio. Prerequisite FAMS 201 or permission of instructor. FAMS P course. Adam MacHose TR 1:10-4:00 PM 

 FAMS 235: Media Panics
Panic and anxiety about the negative effects of media are nothing new. This course examines the long history of media panics all the way from the 1800s when social reformers feared dime novels would turn children into juvenile delinquents to the panic supposedly prompted by The War of the Worlds broadcast to contemporary debates about social media. By comparing contemporary claims about the impact of social media and the Internet on American society to similar claims made about dime novels, cinema, radio, and television when they were new, this course will give students the tools to critically evaluate the stories that are told about media effects. Using these tools, students will be able to separate hyperbole from nuanced argument in order to reach their own informed conclusions about the complex and often subtle ways new communication technologies are transforming our world. Prerequisite FAMS 101 or permission of instructor. FAMS H course. Beth Corzo-Duchardt T 7:00-9:50 PM

FAMS 270: World Cinemas—Global Queer Cinema
This course introduces students to a range of contemporary queer cinema from across the globe as well as key questions in queer film studies. Through close engagement with theoretical readings and film texts, we’ll consider questions like what constitutes queerness, how does the definition shift across cultural contexts, and is there a queer aesthetic? Screenings will include Lan Yu, by acclaimed Chinese filmmaker Stanley Kwan, Fire, a lesbian love story by the Indian-Canadian director Deepa Mehta, French filmmaker Céline Sciamma’s coming-of-age tale featuring a gender non-conforming protagonist, Tomboy, and many more. Prerequisite FAMS101 or permission of instructor. FAMS H & CSS HUM/GM1/GM2 course. Beth Corzo-Duchardt—MW 11:00-12:15 PM class & F 11:00-12:50PM PM lab

FAMS 285: Educating the Ear—Sound Theory in Film, Video, and New Media Art
This course traces sound theory across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. From the sound obsessions and anxieties of silent cinema to the disruptive sound experiments of the Fluxus collective to the expansive field of contemporary sound art and its remixture of the historical archive, this course considers the aesthetic, political, and epistemological possibilities of sound. Prerequisite: FAMS 101 or permission of instructor. FAMS T & CCS HUM course. Katherine Groo—TR 11:00-12:15 PM (class) & W 1:10-4:00 PM (lab) 

FAMS 362: American Cinema of the 1970s
Called a “Decade Under the Influence,” and the “Last Golden Era of American Film,” the 1970s were a cultural pivot point and an astonishingly rich extended moment in the history of American Cinema. This course examines important American films and filmmakers of the late 1960s and 1970s and the cultural contexts from which they emerge. Students will learn to treat films as complex texts and to interpret cinema as a potent cultural force. FAMS H & CCS HUM, W course. Prerequisites: FAMS 101 or permission of instructor. Andy Smith TR 1:10-4:00 PM

FAMS 420: Capstone
This required course for FAMS majors is a chance for students to synthesize their course of study into one major individual project. The capstone is a workshop-based experience where students design and complete either a critical or creative (or some combination of the two) media project that results in a public presentation of their most advanced work as FAMS majors. Open to senior FAMS majors only. FAMS C course. Two sections offered: Andy Smith (section 1), Katherine Groo (section 2). M 1:10-4:00 PM.

THTR 273: Writing Comedy for Performance
introduces students to writing humor for theater, media, and film, offering them intensive practice composing and performing texts that function within the conventions and boundaries of each genre. Students will compose multiple texts in drafts, meet with practicing comedy writers, attend performances, revise, film, and perform original scenes, sketches, and monologues. FAMS E & CCS W, V course. Bob Goodman F 1:10-4:00 PM

ENG 350: Writing in the Age of Social Media
How did Wikipedia become one of the most successful writing projects in history? How did Amazon’s ranking system come to have such power over whether a book finds an audience? Does Facebook have a responsibility to police fake news on its platform? And if a piece of writing doesn’t appear on the first three pages of a Google search, does it even exist? By addressing some of these questions, this course will ask students to consider how computational systems, from social media to search engines, influence the production, circulation, and consumption of writing. FAMS E & CCS W course. Tim Laquintano MWF 1:10-2:00 PM


FAMS 260: Film Genres—Horror Film
Horror film is one of the most enduring of film genres worldwide. Typically drenched in fear and heightened emotions, horror films dramatize our personal and collective terrors via encounters with psychological, supernatural or bodily threats. How do horror films work? How have they changed over time? What are they really about, and what cultural functions might the cinema of horror perform? Students will learn to read films as complex artistic and cultural texts while examining cinema featuring the animated undead, alien invaders, science run amok, and the monstrosities of the human heart. No prerequisite. FAMS H course. Andy Smith MW 9:00-12:30 Summer Session 1