FAMS Courses Spring 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. Katherine Groo TR 2:45-4PM class & M 7-9:50PM lab

 FAMS/ART 105: 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. FAMS E & CCS W. Nestor Gil TR 1:10-4PM

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. FAMS P. Nandini Sikand MW 1:10-4PM

 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. FAMS P. Adam MacHose TR 1:10-4PM

 FAMS/PHIL 240: Philosophy of Art—Focus on Faces.
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, with a special emphasis on the visual arts and on the theme of portraiture. The course includes hands-on activities, as the students reflect on the answers to those fundamental questions also by producing photographic portraits of different kinds of subjects. No prerequisites. FAMS E & CCS HUM. Alessandro Giovannelli MW 11-12:15PM

(FAMS)DOC 250: Legal and Ethical Challenges in Documentary Practice (ONLINE COURSE)
This course examines questions of how stories are represented, how documentary films represent truth, the nature of filmmakers’ ethical obligations toward their subjects, and how these questions inform documentary production. Students will study a variety of approaches used in the act of truth-telling, examine legal and privacy issues, and explore the ethical and moral practices that surround documentary. Prerequisite DOC 150 or permission. LVAIC course, DOC minor, FAMS E. Julia Maserjian (Lehigh)—online

FAMS/ASIA 270: World Cinemas—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. Focus on major developments and genres since 1980, with representative films from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, both as a unique form of artistic expression and a powerful social and political discourse. English subtitles. Prerequisite FAMS101 or ASIA 101 or permission. FAMS H & CSS HUM/GM1/GM2. Li Yang—TR 9:30-10:45 AM & W 7-8:50 PM lab

FAMS 275: World Pictures: Visual Studies and Media Cultures
What is an image? What is vision? How and why do we look, gaze, and spectate? This course aims to introduce students to Visual Studies, including the central debates and theoretical frameworks that inform the field, along with the contemporary media formations that have motivated its development. Students will learn to analyze images and media using a set of critical tools and concepts (e.g., the gaze, interpellation, embodiment, circulation, commodity fetishism, objectivity, the archive, biopower, the anthropocene, post-humanism, etc.), and consider the role that images and media play in constructing categories of racial, sexual, ethnic, geographic, and biological difference. Finally, this course will challenge students to consider the stakes of disciplinary boundaries and interdisciplinary thought. Prerequisite FAMS 101 or permission. FAMS T & CCS HUM. Katherine Groo TR 11-12:15 PM

FAMS 301: Making Media 3—Short Fiction Filmmaking/Write-Shoot-Cut-Screen This course extends the hands-on media making of the early production courses and is recommended for students hoping to 1) do a production-based capstone project in their senior year, and/or 2) sharpen their media work into a coherent, presentable portfolio. Students will complete short narrative films, moving from the stages of writing, shooting, editing, scoring, and screening their original short fiction films. Prerequisite FAMS 201 or permission. FAMS P. Andy Smith MW 9-10:50AM

FAMS 320: Spectre of Race
Governed by the metaphor of “spectre,” this seminar looks at the tangle between race, images and technology. Beginning with early image-making and the birth of cinema, we will examine how ways of seeing, the rise of mass media in modern consumer society, and the relationship between visual culture and power are deeply intertwined to influence and create discourse on racialized difference. Examining race theories ranging from eugenics to discourses of diversity and post-raciality in the United States and beyond, we will study a range of media such as, but not limited to the shadow play of daguerreotypes, the high contrast of early ethnographic films, the gaze of Hollywood cinema and the counter gaze of progressive cinema and media to explore historical constructions of race and ethnicity, how they have influenced racialized difference on screen and how we see ourselves and others. Each student will submit several critical video essays and collaborate to create a peer-reviewed, online film and media, videographic journal. Prerequisite FAMS 101 or permission. FAMS T & GM1/V. Nandini Sikand MF 11-12:15 class & W 11-12:50 lab

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. FAMS T & CCS HUM/W. Alessandro Giovannelli MW 12:45-2PM

FAMS 350: Seminar—Death on Screen
What is death, according to cinema? The consumption, the contemplation, the act, the fear, the penalty, the humanity of death, are collectively among the most represented and memorable of topics on screens large and small. How is the subject altered across genres, platforms, spectator positions and historical/cultural contexts? Are screen depictions of death a storytelling device or a commodification and exploitation of the fear of death? Do screen representations serve significant cultural purpose in understanding this most human of dimensions? Cinematic texts include works by Ingmar Bergman, Akira Kurosawa, Hal Ashby, Lars von Trier, Chantal Akerman, Michael Haneke, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Freida Lee Mock, and Errol Morris, and television including The Knick, Six Feet Under, OJ: Made in America and Penny Dreadful. Prerequisite FAMS 101 or permission. FAMS H. Andy Smith MW 1:10-4PM