Spring 2016 Course Schedule (Atlas)

FILM 501: Problems of Media Authorship


Tu 1:00-4:00, Rich 103

Mandatory film screening Th 6:00-8:00

Course Description:  

This seminar addresses the general issue of film authorship and its intersections with genre and technology. In particular, we will examine closely the work of four "new Hollywood" directors, and compare and contrast their eras, texts and authorial style. We'll closely analyze the work of George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Wes Anderson and Quentin Tarantino. There are weekly lectures, reading assignments and screenings, and a research paper of 18-22 pages.

FILM 503: Seminar in History/National Cinemas: The Classical Hollywood Studio System


W 1:00-4:00, Rich 103

Mandatory film screening M 6:00-8:30pm

Course Description:  

This seminar will take a very close look at the celebrated classical Hollywood studio system from roughly 1916 through the early 1970s. We will consider the economic basis for the major studios' dominance of the industry, the organization of labor within the studios, the tension between studio self-regulation and external film censorship (including the blacklist), the development of visual styles, house styles, film genres and the manufacture of stars at the different studios, the place of individual artists within the system, and the industry's strategy for coping with technological, economic and competitive challenges to its dominance (e.g., the advent of sound, the Great Depression, World War II, the advent of television, the declining audience, etc.) Students will complete the course with a thorough grounding in the dynamic history of this industry and its films.

Textbooks are sure to include at least

--Matthew Bernstein, ed. ,Controlling Hollywood

--David Bordwell, et. al.The Classical Hollywood Cinema

--Lea Jacobs, The Wages of Sin

--Thomas Schatz, The Genius of the System

Other possibilities include Richard Dyer, Stars, rev. ed; Rick Altman Film/Genre;  Cynthia Lucia, Roy Grndmann, and Art Simon, ed., American Film History: Selected Readings, Origins to 1960.

Assignments/requirements: weekly questions on the readings; lively participation in discussion; three papers: (1) on narratology; (2) on the work of the PCA; (3) on a topic of your choosing and an in-class presentation on the same.

FILM 582: Contemporary Film and Media Theory


MW 10:00-11:15, Rich 108

Mandatory film screening Tu 6:00-8:00pm

Course Description:  This course considers key methodological approaches that have shaped contemporary thinking about film and media.  These include semiotics, narratology, psychoanalysis, feminist and critical theory.

Objectives:  By the end of this class you will be able to:

  • Identify and describe key trends of Western film theory and criticism written after 1960
  • Use, and critique, the methods of semiology, narratology, psychoanalysis, critical and cultural theory as ways of understanding contemporary film and media.

FILM 597: Directed Study


A supervised project in an area of study to be determined by instructor and student.  This could involve a topic in film authorship, genre, antional cinema, or other area.  Permission of the instructor required.

FILM 598: Graduate Colloquium


Th 4:00-6:00, Rich 103

This course, which is required for the completion of the M.A. in Film Studies, consists of bi-monthly talks by Film Studies and affiliated faculty and advanced graduate students.  It is designed for the presentation of new research and the professionalization of graduate students in the Film Studies program.  One credit hour.

FILM 599:  Thesis Research


Permission of the Director of Graduate Studies in Film Studies required prior to registration.