FAMS Courses Spring 2019 

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 & CCS HUM. Katherine Groo TR 2:45-4:00 PM class & M 7-9:50PM lab

FAMS 120: Filmmakers—Alfred Hitchcock
This introductory course examines the work of Alfred Hitchcock, one of cinema’s most recognizable and impactful filmmakers. Known as “The Master of Suspense,” Hitchcock was fascinated by sex, deviance, crime, obsession, power, terror, and mystery. His career spanned from the silent era to the 1970s, offering numerous unforgettable films and a fascinating way to study the evolutions of film form, film history, and film theory. No prerequisites. FAMS E & CCS HUM. Andy Smith TR 1:10-4:00 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. FAMS P. 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 utilize the FAMS program’s “Sandbox” media studio. Prerequisite FAMS 201 or permission. FAMS P. Adam MacHose TR 1:10-4:00 PM  

 FAMS/THTR 222: Collaborative Process
Through lecture, discussion, performances, hands-on experience, films, guest artists, and readings of primary texts, this course intends to introduce students to the principles of visual design as applied to scenic, lighting and costume design for production. Prerequisite FAMS 101 or permission. FAMS E. Stephanette Schwartz-Smith MW 11:00-12:15 PM

FAMS 235: Television Histories
This course is an introduction to the technological, aesthetic, and cultural histories of television in the United States from its emergence in the late 1940s to the near present. It focuses on key developments, debates, and events that that do not, on their own, amount to a single story of “television history” but rather, attest to the heterogeneity that has characterized television from its beginnings. Screenings, readings, and discussions will illuminate television’s role as a cultural form in which issues of national identity, race, gender, sexuality, class, and ethnicity intersect in complex and often contradictory ways. Prerequisite FAMS 101 or permission. FAMS H & CCS HUM. Beth Corzo-Duchardt TR 9:30-10:45 AM

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. FAMS T & CCS HUM. Katherine Groo—TR 11:00-12:15 PM class & W 1:10-4:00 PM lab

 FAMS/WGS 255: Women Make Movies—Constructions of Gender in the Media
This course provides an introduction to key issues that frame the study of contemporary gender and media, primarily (but not exclusively) in the US. We will examine the ways both media and gender contribute to the formation our “identities” as individuals and groups; and the ways gender is inseparable from race, class, religion, sexuality, disability, ethnicity, age, religion, and nation. As a community of learning, we will concentrate on close readings and viewings, vigorous discussion, and analytic writing. Prerequisite FAMS 101 or WGS 101 or permission. FAMS H, CCS GM1 & W. Bess Van Asselt M 1:10-3:00 lab and WF 1:10-2:00 PM class

FAMS/AMS 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. CCS HUM FAMS H. Prerequisite A&S 102, FAMS 101, or permission. William Bissell TR 2:45-4:00 PM.

FAMS 270: World Cinemas—Soviet and Russian Cinema
This course is a survey of Russian and Soviet film history, culminating in recent developments in contemporary cinema. The beginnings of Russian film dovetailed with the dawn of the Soviet state in 1917. Aware of the tremendous potential for cinema as a political tool, Vladimir Lenin declared cinema “the most important art form” and during the Bolshevik cultural revolution of the 1920s and 30s, Russian directors made some of the most experimental and innovative films in film history. In this course, students will investigate major topics in film form, theory, and genre, the role of cinema in shaping Russian culture and politics, and the challenges facing Soviet filmmakers under a planned economy with unique production and distribution norms. Directors surveyed include: Dziga Vertov, Sergei Eisenstein, Andrei Tarkovsky, Alexander Sokurov, Kira Muratova, Marina Goldovskaya, and Andrei Zviagintsev. Prerequisite FAMS 101 or permission. FAMS H & CCS HUM/GM1/GM2. Lindsay Ceballos TR 1:10-2:30 PM class & W 7:00-8:50 PM

FAMS 301: Audio/Visual Essay
This course introduces students to methods and strategies for translating written analytical essays into audio-visual works. Work for this course will consist not only of readings, but also viewing and listening to examples of audio interviews and videographic essays. Throughout the semester students will complete two major projects: an audio interview with a scholar that summarizes their work and a video essay that analyzes a film (of their choosing). Prerequisite FAMS 101 or permission. FAMS P. Beth Corzo-Duchardt TR 11:00-12:30 PM

 FAMS 351: Minor Cinemas
Taking Gilles Deleuze’s concept of “minoration” as a starting point, this advanced seminar explores the minor/minority across a wide range of visual forms, formats, and exhibition practices, including amateur films, home movies, and orphan cinema as well as works from ‘minority’ media communities (third cinema, indigenous, exilic, independent, experimental, etc.). Students will also experiment with a range of minor techniques, including 8mm and 16mm filmmaking, found footage filmmaking, and digital remixing. Prerequisite FAMS 101 or permission. FAMS T & CCS HUM & V. Katherine Groo—MW 11:00-12:15 PM


DOC 370: Capstone in Documentary Storymaking
Designed for those minoring in doc storymaking, this capstone is a workshop-based experience where you will design, complete, and exhibit a documentary media project that represents your most advanced work. The course will also include readings, screenings, and conversations with working filmmakers, all intended to ground your documentary in theoretical and industry-wide discourse and deepen your practice. The Capstone is typically completed in the senior year. Prerequisites DOC 150 & 250 or permission. FAMS E. Andy Smith M 7:00-10:00 PM.

ENG 251: Screenwriting
This course will introduce students to feature film screenwriting. Students will examine various narrative tools and methods of screenwriting including story structure, character development, use of conflict, scene writing and dialogue. Students will analyze films and their accompanying shooting scripts to discover what works and what is less successful at the script level. These formal investigations will then be applied to students’ own original material in a workshop environment where student scripts will be critiqued  Prerequisite permission of instructor. FAMS E, CCS HUM & W. Jennifer Gilmore—MW 12:45-2:00 PM