FAMS Courses Spring 2021 

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 deep discussions of ethical media-making and responsible practices that move between past, present, and future. Prerequisite: FAMS 101 or permission of instructor. TR 1:10-4:00. Drew Swedberg

FAMS 103: Foundations in Writing and Research (W)
This course will introduce students to the practice of writing and researching in the discipline of Film and Media Studies. Students will learn to develop strong research questions, identify relevant scholarly sources, draft a bibliography and write a literature review, conduct archival research, and write and revise a research paper. They will develop these skills as we explore media-historical case studies from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This course is designed to be a genuinely collaborative endeavor. Students will contribute to the course materials through their research; they will learn about moving image technology and teach others what they learn. Prerequisite: FAMS 101. M 1:10-4:00. Katherine Groo

FAMS 202: Integrated Practice II
In this course, students produce research-based creative work in the form of stop motion animations, digital cutout animations, and green-screen composite videos. Students integrate the written word into their projects during the conceptual phase and as companion texts such as artist statements. Students also learn the essential practice of designing budgets for large scale collaborative projects. Prerequisite: FAMS 102 or permission of instructor. MW 1:10-4:00. Adam MacHose

FAMS 221: Media Theory (W)
With the advent of photography, film, and digital media, visuality became a ubiquitous and highly contested form of perception. What lends images their power and appeal? How do visual media elicit desire, inscribing differences of race, gender, class, and religion? What production practices and critical discourses respond to today’s politicized images and cultures of performativity, representation, and spectacle? This course introduces students to the key concepts and theories of the multifaceted fields of media theory and visual culture. Prerequisite: FAMS 101, 102 & 103. TR 11:00-12:15. Katherine Groo

FAMS 235: Media Histories: Abolition
In this course, we will study Abolition–the unthinking and undoing of the carceral state–and as a social movement that overlaps historically with our contemporary moment. We will explore its historical roots, the theories and origins of punishment, reform and abolition, and the intersection of abolition with gender, race, and labor movements. We will study a range of media from photographs to hashtags, from podcasts to cinema and other texts including but not limited to, the work of Angela Davis, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Frederick Douglass, and Mariame Kaba to imagine other forms of justice, accountability and being in the world. No prerequisites. M 9:00-11:50. Nandini Sikand

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 prerequisites. TR 9:30-10:45. Alessandro Giovannelli

FAMS/ENG 251: Screenwriting (W)
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: FYS, FAMS 101 or permission of instructor. W 1:10-4:00. Jennifer Gilmore

FAMS/WGS 255: Women Make Movies/Movies Make Women (W)
This course examines the work of women and non-binary filmmakers and how their images have been historically constructed (and not constructed) in cinema in the US and beyond. We will examine the ways gender is inseparable from race, class, religion, sexuality, disability, ethnicity, age, religion, and nation. As a community of learners, we will combine close readings of films, advertising, print, social media, alongside vigorous discussion, and analytic writing. Prerequisite: FAMS 101 or WGS 101, or permission. WF 9:00-11:50. Nandini Sikand.

FAMS 302: Integrated Practice III—Short Fiction
This course asks students to integrate a critical study of short fiction film with hands-on practice at an advanced level. Students will closely examine the form and force of short fiction film while completing their own short films, moving through the stages of writing, shooting, editing, scoring, and publicly screening their original work. IP3 is recommended for anyone hoping to 1) do a production-heavy capstone project in their senior year, and/or 2) anyone looking to sharpen and add to their media portfolio. Prerequisite: FAMS 102 required, FAMS 202 recommended. W 1:10-4:00. Andy Smith.

FAMS 355: Cinema is Dead, Long Live Cinema: Moving Images in the 21st Century
This course explores what moving images are in the twenty-first century. Since the late 1990s, roughly one hundred years after the invention of the first film camera, film fans, scholars, and archivists began lamenting the “death of cinema.” The emergence of digital images seemed to threaten an entire century of film practice and the very foundations of film studies. If we no longer had physical film, cinema was dead. Though scholars have never stopped announcing the death of cinema, moving images have expanded and proliferated wildly in the twenty-first century. This course aims to introduce students to the expansive field of “post-cinema” studies. We will engage a range of examples of twenty-first century moving images, including computer-generated and animated cinemas, streaming television, music videos, small formats (e.g., Vine and TikTok), video games, AR/VR immersive experiences, and algorithmic art. Prerequisite: FAMS 220 or 221. TR 2:45-4:00. Katherine Groo

FAMS/DOC 370: Documentary Storymaking Capstone
Designed for those minoring in Documentary Storymaking, doc capstone is a workshop-based experience where you develop, research, generate, and present a substantial documentary media project. The course proceeds in a collaborative context, with students and mentors from three campuses (Lafayette, Lehigh, Muhlenberg) supporting each other’s works in progress. Our original creations will be enhanced with readings, screenings, and conversations with working media practitioners and educators, all intended to ground your documentary in relevant theoretical and industry-wide discourses, highlight ethical issues inherent in documentary, and deepen your doc storymaking practice. Prerequisite: DOC 150 and DOC 250 or instructor permission. R 9:00-11:45. Andy Smith.

FAMS 421: Capstone Practicum
This new course asks upper-level FAMS students to begin transitioning their work to the larger community of media makers, scholars, and educators. Capstone Praxis has a dual focus: 1) to enhance the skills individual students need to shape and effectively present themselves for post-college opportunities, and 2) to work collectively to create, manage and host programs and events that enhance campus and local communities. Capstone Praxis students will sharpen their individual portfolios and presentation skills while working with speakers, networking with alums, curating work, and designing and implementing outreach that expands the meaningful impact and accessibility of film and media studies. Open to FAMS seniors. FAMS juniors only with instructor permission.  M 1:10-4:00. Andy Smith