FAMS 105/ART 105: New Media: Sculpture Against the Digital Horizon
Through a series of reading/viewing/discussion sessions, this course will first examine issues and ideas that involve the use of new media methods and technologies in the contemporary practice of art.  Second, through studio projects ranging from video art to social practice art to Internet art, this course will serve as a laboratory from which experiments will be performed that investigate these ideas through students’ own cultural production. No prerequisites. Prof. Nestor Gil. MW 1-4    

FAMS 201: Making Media I
This course introduces students to the creative and technical aspects of media production, and is designed to provide a basic understanding of framing, composition, audio and storytelling, through the use of sound and image.  Students will learn the fundamentals of lighting, audio recording and digital video cameras. We will also study aspects of pre-production and production through hands-on assignments, readings, screenings, discussion of assigned exercises and in-class workshops with camera and lighting equipment. Prerequisite: FAMS 101 or instructor’s permission. Prof. Nandini Sikand. MF 12:45-2

FAMS 220: The Poetics and Politics of Film
What makes film a distinct art form? Often described as the “seventh art”, cinema is unique and interdisciplinary in nature. The study of film theory gives us deeper insight into film as a language and social practice, allowing one to explore cinema’s relationship to historical, aesthetic, social, political and technological influences. We will study some of the debates in classical film theory, auteurism, psychoanalysis, feminist film theory, queer theory, postmodernism and post colonialism as they apply to issues of perception, the spectator, representation, adaptation and realism. (W) Prerequisite: FAMS 101 or by instructor’s permission. Prof. Nandini Sikand. MF 11-12:15 Lab W 11-1

FAMS 270/Asia 270: World Cinemas/Introduction to Contemporary Chinese Cinema
Ever since film was introduced into China at the end of the nineteenth century, it has become a major medium of mass communication, and has played an important role in China’s quest for modernity. Despite warfare, censorship, competition from Hollywood, and other obstacles witnessed by over one hundred years of development, the Chinese film industry is currently one of the most vibrant in the world. This course introduces its major developments and genres since 1980 by presenting representative films from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Students will study Chinese films both as a unique form of artistic expression and a powerful social and political discourse. All films have English subtitles. No knowledge of Chinese language necessary. Prof. Li Yang. MW 11-12:15 Lab F 11-1

FAMS 271/THTR 271: Topics: Criticism and Review

 Delightfully Fun!!!  Huge Laughs!!!! The most anticipated film of the season!!!!

Two thumbs up!!!! Nominated for 8 Academy Awards Awards (Tonys, Obies, Emmys, Grammys….)!!!!

How often have we seen these “puffs” (a review of a work of art, usually an excessively complimentary one) blasted across theater marquees and advertisements in print and on-line journals?  Truthfully, though, most of us choose to plunk down our hard-earned cash to attend a theater performance or a film based on its reviews.  Sometimes these are as simple as a friend’s recommendations, sometimes a quick blurb on “Rotten Tomatoes,” sometimes a cleverly crafted trailer or advertisement.  In this course we will analyze and learn to write various forms of effective reviews of film and theater.  We will also learn to distinguish between simple summaries and more sophisticated reviews that analyze style, technique, and quality.  We will conduct research to contextualize film and theater – historically, artistically, and generically – in order to kick our reviews up a notch into works of criticism. (W) No prerequisites. Prof. Suzanne Westfall. MWF 9:00

FAMS 340/ENG 340: Documentary Film/Topics In Film
This course combines critical study with hands-on documentary filmmaking practice. We will examine the form, history, style and impact of documentary film, beginning with 19th-century roots of the documentary and up through the recent democratization of digital documentary filmmaking. Among the topics covered will be early actualités, travelogues, propaganda, newsreels, cinéma-vérité, avant-garde, mockumentary, educational, experimental and political documentaries. Readings will aid students in the development of a practical understanding of how doc films work, and present a range of critical and theoretical approaches to film study. Working in a collaborative team-environment, we will use digital video cameras and Final Cut Pro editing software, as we produce original short documentary films. The last activity of the semester will be a student film festival. (W) Prerequisites: ENG 205, FAMS 101, or permission of the instructor. Prof. Andy Smith. Class TR 2:45-4:00 Lab M 7:00-9:50

FAMS 345/PHIL 345: Philosophy of Film
An examination of philosophical questions on the nature, interpretation, and evaluation of film. Topics may include: the distinctive nature of the moving image compared to other forms of representation; the issue of whether film is an art form; film authorship; the essence of film narrative; the role of the imagination in understanding and appreciating film; identification and emotional engagement with characters; film and morality; film and knowledge. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor. Prof. Alessandro Giovannelli. W 7-9:50

FAMS 362/AMS 362: Imaging America (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 of the 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. Possible films we will study include: Harold and Maude (Hal Ashby, 1971); Shaft (Gordon Parks, 1971); Cabaret (Bob Fosse, 1972); The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972); Deliverance (John Boorman, 1972); Pink Flamingoes (John Waters, 1972); The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973); Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974); One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Milos Foreman, 1975); Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976); Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979). (W) Prerequisites: FAMS 101, American Studies 150, or permission of the instructor. Prof. Andy Smith. Class TR 2:45-4:00 Lab M 7:00-9:50

FAMS 362/AMS 362: Seminar in American Studies
What is a photograph, anyway?

This seminar class will examine the history of photography and its ubiquity in American culture through its technological developments and the debates that have surrounded photography since its invention in the early 19th century.  Topics that will be considered include: its acceptance as an art form, its use in propaganda and advertising, its role in the courts as evidence, its use in journalism and other vernacular forms.  In our quest to answer “What is a photograph, anyway?” we will consider other media including texts, films, audio and public art.  Assignments will include analytic essays, research papers, film screenings, field trips and photographic exercises. Prerequisites: AMS 150, FAMS 101, Art 155 or permission of the instructor. Prof. Karina Skvirsky. TR 11-12:15

FAMS 420: Capstone
This required course for FAMS majors is a chance for students to synthesize their course of study in 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) project that results in a public presentation of their most advance work as FAMS majors. Open only to Senior FAMS majors. Prof. Andy Smith. TR 9:30

A&S 260: Film, Media, and Popular Culture in Africa
From its colonial origins to the postcolonial present, cinema has played a key role in African cultural production, connecting the continent to global media circuits.  The class analyzes film as a sociocultural medium, drawing on ethnographic perspectives.  Indeed, by linking the study of film with interdisciplinary approaches to popular culture, the class foregrounds the diverse roles that media play in sociocultural life.  In readings and discussions we will examine how diverse African social worlds have actively shaped and been altered by the creation, circulation, and reception of moving images, focusing on documentary, video films, hip-hop, film festivals, and other domains of popular cultural expression. Prerequisite: A&S 102, or permission of instructor. Prof. William Bissell. TR 2:45-4

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. Prof. Karina Skvirsky. MW 9:30-12:15 MW 1:10-4 TR 1:10-4

ART 341: Studio Art Theory and Practice
This course examines decisions and actions that define the working process of individual artists. In a project-driven format, painting is addressed as a broadly expanded category of contemporary art making. A range of techniques including digital imaging is coupled with a variety of formal and expressionist approaches. Includes field trips, visiting artists, and regularly scheduled critiques. Prerequisite: Art 109, or Art 114, Art 218 or permission of instructor. Prof. Ed Kerns. TR 1-4