FAMS 101: Introduction to Film & Media Studies
This is a foundational course that introduces students to the basic concepts, theories, and methods in film and media studies. We will study the histories and genres of cinema as well as formal techniques, including cinematography, editing, and sound, to develop a critical understanding of film as a mode of representation. We will also study other forms of contemporary moving-image 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. CCS HUM. Katherine Groo. TR 1:10-4:00 PM, Landis Cinema (101) – Buck Hall.

FAMS 102: Integrated Practice I
This course introduces students to the creative, theoretical, and practical aspects of media production and is designed to provide a foundational understanding of audio-visual storytelling. Students will learn the technical fundamentals of composition, lighting, audio recording, digital video cameras, and non-linear editing. The class will be grounded in discussions of theory, ethical media-making and responsible practices that move between past, present, and future. Prerequisite FAMS 101 or permission. Drew Swedberg. TR 1:10-4:00 PM, Media 1 (102) – 248 N. 3rd St.

FAMS 120: Filmmakers—Alfred Hitchcock
The films are legend—Psycho, Vertigo, Strangers on a Train, The Lady Vanishes, Rear Window, The Birds, Rebecca. This introductory course examines the world and work of Alfred Hitchcock, one of cinema’s most recognizable and impactful filmmakers. Known as the “Master of Suspense,” Hitchcock was fascinated by sex, crime, deviance, obsession, power, terror, and mystery. Spanning from the silent era to the 1970s, his career—in both film and television—offers a fascinating way to study evolutions in cinema’s form, history, theory, and cultural impact. No prerequisites. CCS HUM. Andy Smith. MW 1:10-4:00 PM, Landis Cinema (101) – Buck Hall.

FAMS 140: Media and Mass Incarceration
In this course, held primarily inside Northampton County Jail in Easton, we will learn about the prison industrial complex in the United States and the ways in which media has contributed to, reified, and resisted the discourse around mass incarceration. The course introduces students to basic, but critical concepts of the PIC and similarly, basic concepts, and methods central to film and media studies. Through required weekly screenings, readings, writing, regular discussion, and peer presentation, we will gain a better understanding of our community in the Lehigh Valley. No prerequisites. CCS GM1, HUM, V. Nandini Sikand. M 7:00-9:50 PM, Northampton County Jail.

FAMS/DOC 150: Documentary Storymaking
Whatever your major or scholarly area of interest, everyone needs good media content—but how do you acquire the skills to become an effective visual communicator? This course is intended for students across all disciplines and majors who want to do just that. It merges a critical study of non-fiction media with the hands-on construction of their own documentary stories. Working with tools of the documentary arts—video, still images, audio, writing—students will acquire foundational strengths in documentary production and effective visual storytelling, analyze a variety of notable media examples and forms, grapple with the ethics of documentary practice, learn to work collaboratively in teams, and produce and share original works of documentary media. Students will be encouraged to create works that advance their unique study in their majors or areas of interest. No prerequisites. CCS HUM. Andy Smith. M 7:00-9:50 PM, Media 2 (121) – 248 N. 3rd St.

FAMS 202: Integrated Practice II: Close-up on Cinematography
This course is a research-based study and hands-on workshop of cinematography, with students moving through an array of creative exercises with attention to light, composition, and movement. Students will closely watch films, write detailed analysis, and collaboratively produce short films in conversation with an expansive global tradition of image-making. Prerequisite FAMS 102 or permission. Drew Swedberg. TR 9:30-10:45 AM, Media 1 (102) – 248 N. 3rd St.

FAMS 221: Media Theory
This course introduces students to key concepts and theories in contemporary media studies. Over the last twenty years, visuality has become digital, virtual, social, and global. The image-as-object has disintegrated. The theatre-as-architecture has collapsed. In turn, we will consider: What are images today? How are they made? How are we encouraged to look, gaze, spectate, and stream? How do contemporary forms of visual media circulate and structure our lives? And how do they intersect with the social dynamics of gender, race, class, and national identity?  Prerequisite 2 courses chosen from FAMS 101, 102, 103, or permission.  CCS W.  Katherine Groo.  F 9:00-11:50 AM, Media 2 (121) – 248 N. 3rd St.

FAMS 237: Celluloid Ghosts
The transition to sound at the end of the 1920s brought a new layer of sensory experience to the cinema. However, synched sound technologies also homogenized the film market. It eliminated the idiosyncratic formats, genres, and theatre experiences that defined the silent era. This course will introduce students to the diverse histories of film’s first decades: from Japanese Benshi narration to Russian melodrama, from ethnographic expedition films to abstract animations. Each week, we will be guided by a different concept (e.g., space, narrative, gender, sound, the archive, etc.) and a new constellation of questions. In an era of new media experimentation and upheaval, many artists and amateurs have turned to the early and silent eras for raw materials, conceptual guidance, and inspiration. In the final weeks of this class, we will work comparatively to trace and analyze these sites of historical return. Prerequisite FAMS 101 or permission. Katherine Groo. TR 11:00-12:15 PM, Media 2 (121) – 248 N. 3rd St.

FAMS/PHIL 240: Philosophy of Art
What is art? And how should art be interpreted and evaluated? What is the nature of artistic representation? What is the connection between art and emotion? What role does form play in art? Can art ever be a source of knowledge or of moral growth? This course examines these and other fundamental questions by looking at the classical theories of art as well as contemporary philosophical writings. Examples are drawn especially from painting, photography, and cinema. No Prerequisite. CCS HUM, V. Alessandro Giovannelli. TR 9:30-10:45 AM, Pardee 320A.

FAMS/DOC 250: Rights & Responsibilities in Documentary Inquiry
Through the lens of documentary storymaking, this course explores the rights and responsibilities associated with documenting people, places, events, and communities. We will consider how documentary works construct and represent truth, the nature of documentarians’ rights and responsibilities in relation to the communities, people, and collaborations with whom their work engages, and how these issues inform other documentary practices. Topics discussed will include ethical principles in relation to documentary storymakers’ own praxis, their relationships with documentary participants, audiences, and institutions.  The course seeks to encourage students to see their own documentary practice as engaging in these concerns and embracing their responsibilities to ethical documentary inquiry and production. Prerequisite DOC 150, FAMS 102 or instructor permission.  Prof. Lora Taub. W 7:00-9:45 PM at Walson Hall, Muhlenberg College (remote instruction option). Lafayette College student transportation funded by FAMS. Register via LVAIC portal. More info: lorataub@muhlenberg.edu

FAMS 260: Film Genres
Feel like a horror film or a romantic comedy tonight? We often begin our media choices with categories, but how do genres work and why do they endure? This course is a tour through four influential film genres or types—possibilities include Horror, Film Noir, Melodrama, Sci-Fi, the Western, Musicals, Thrillers, Screwball Comedies, Road Movies. We will investigate examples within each genre and learn critical frameworks with which to approach genre study. How are genres established, stretched, or subverted? What political or social uses have certain genres served? What new kinds of cinema emerge when genres combine? How do audiences interact with genres, and how and when are genre pictures disseminated and promoted? Is genre an effective artistic tool or an inherently limited way of seeing? In addition to our focus on four genres, students will conduct scholarly research to become specialists in a genre of their choice. Prerequisite FAMS 101 or permission. CCS HUM. Andy Smith. MW 9:00-11:50 AM, Media 2 (121) – 248 N. 3rd St.

FAMS/LACS 277: Media and Social Movements in Latin America
The purpose of this course is to develop a critical understanding of the relationship between communication, media, power, development and social change in different political, social, and cultural settings throughout Latin America. We will examine theories related to social movements in the digital age through case studies from Venezuela and Mexico. Students will utilize new technologies to create a final podcast project on a related topic of their choice. No Prerequisite. CCS GM1, GM2. Cory Fischer-Hoffman. MW 11:00-12:15 PM, Watson 17.

FAMS/THTR 330 Acting III: Acting for Film & Media
This course develops students’ creativity, craft and professionalism while teaching the technical demands required for screen acting and digital media. Professional actor and filmmaker Dwayne Thomas seeks to improve confidence, creativity, and acting skills while providing a safe, collaborative environment where students can experiment and grow.Dwayne Thomas. F 1:10-4:00 PM, Studio Theater – 248 N. 3rd St.

FAMS/PHIL 345: Philosophy of Film
This course is an examination of fundamental questions on the nature, interpretation, experience, and evaluation of film. Special attention will be paid to film’s essential nature, and to how such nature affects how films engage the viewer, hence perhaps how they should be evaluated. Topics will include: the distinctive nature of the moving image compared to other forms of representation; cinema as an art form; film authorship; colorization; the nature of film horror; and the relationship between film and ethics. Prerequisite: one course in philosophy or permission. CCS HUM/GM2/V/W. Alessandro Giovannelli. TR 1:15-2:30 PM, Pardee 320A.

FAMS 360 Indian Cinema
Via screenings, readings, and guided discussion we will develop an understanding of the “national cinema” of India and the related categories of regional, parallel, Bollywood, diaspora, documentary, and prayoga cinemas. Studying films from the silent era to the present, we will look at the histories and theories of Indian cinema and how film has been deployed as a means of artistic expression, ideological context, spectacle, and an instrument for political change. We will focus specifically on how gender and religion are portrayed and weaponized, how they intersect with and reflect on the culture from which they emerge. Prerequisite FAMS 101 or permission. CCS GM1, GM2, W. Nandini Sikand. MW 1:10-4:00 PM, Media 2 (121) – 248 N. 3rd St.

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 CCS W. Open to senior FAMS majors only. Nandini Sikand. T 1:10-4:00 PM, Media 2 (121) – 248 N. 3rd St.