FAMS Course Spring 2022

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. MW 1:10-4:00, Media 1 – 248 N. 3rd St. 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. W 9:00-11:50, Media 2 – 248 N. 3rd St. Andy Smith

FAMS 220: Film Theory (W)
The study of film theory gives us foundational insight into the image as a language and social practice, allowing one to explore cinema’s relationship to historical, aesthetic, social, political, and technological influences. Through weekly screenings and readings, we will study some of the key debates and concepts in film theory, including ontology, semiotics, materialism, psychoanalytic criticism, feminist and queer theory, genre theory, race theory, and phenomenology. FAMS T & CCS course. (W, GM1) Prerequisite: FAMS 101 or by instructor’s permission. TR 9:30-12:20, Media 2 – 248 N. 3rd St. 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. TR 1:15-2:30, Pardee 321. Alessandro Giovannelli

FAMS/A&S 267: Film, Media, and Popular Culture in Africa
Media are often associated with the West, but this course provides an opportunity to explore how visual technologies circulate in other parts of the globe. From its colonial origins to the postcolonial present, cinema has long been at the forefront of African cultural production, connecting the continent to global media circuits. But in thinking about film on the continent, much more than art-house cinema is involved. 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 and reception moving images, focusing on documentary, video films, hip-hop, film festivals, and other domains of popular cultural expression. TR 2:45-4:00, OCGE 101. William Bissell

FAMS 302 Topics in Integrated Practice III – Experimental Cinema
Experimental cinema has been described in many ways; “poetic,” “discordant,” “dream-like,” “exploratory,” “sub-cultural” and “innovative” but it is an aesthetic that has always challenged the norm. In this course, we will develop an understanding of filmic principles that explore and challenge mainstream narrative and/or documentary structures, collectively known as experimental or avant-garde cinema. Using digital cinema and possibly 16 mm film, we will focus on a theoretical understanding to “experiment” with content, structure, technique, and style, with an emphasis on developing a unique way of representation, and ask what it means to develop such an “experimental” sensibility in our work. Prerequisite: FAMS 102 required, FAMS 202 recommended. TR 1:10-3:00, Landis Cinema – Buck Hall. Nandini Sikand

FAMS 421: Capstone Praxis
This 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, Media 2 – 248 N. 3rd St. Andy Smith

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. W 9:00-11:50, Landis Cinema – Buck Hall. Drew Swedberg