FILM 346/760: Intermediality in Film Brigitte Peucker
Film is a hybrid medium, the meeting point of several others. This course focuses on the relationship of film to theater, painting, and video, suggesting that where two media are in evidence, there is usually a third. Topics include space, motion, framing, color, theatricality, tableau vivant, ekphrasis, spectatorship, and new media. Readings feature art historical and film theoretical texts as well as essays pertinent to specific films. Films by Fassbinder, Bergman, von Trier, Jarman, Godard, Haneke, Antonioni, Greenaway and others.
FILM 624: The Holocaust in Italian Literature and Film
Though Italy was among the Nazi-occupied countries with the highest survival rate of its Jewish population, the Holocaust has continued to haunt the Italian literary and cinematic imagination in ways that warrant close critical scrutiny. The aesthetic and moral problem of how to represent this event in art gains special urgency in the Italian context, where a realist tradition dating back to Dante and Giotto joins forces with a postwar neorealist impulse to create a series of compelling literary treatments (Primo Levi’s above all), as well as cinematic works. In keeping with the Holocaust’s invitation to interdisciplinary study, the course examines the intersection of a number of discourses—historical, literary, cinematic—viewed from a variety of perspectives—feminist, generic, philosophical, theological, and historiographic. Since several of the authors are women, the question of the “voce femminile” and its creation of an alternative, or anti-history, is also raised.
FILM 652: Media and Media Theory, 1945–75
The postwar period is of great interest for recent media theorists and historians. Both our moment and the immediate postwar era faced the threat of species extinction; new leaps in computing power; the invention of institutions for monitoring and managing the environment; an ontological flattening between humans, machines, animals, and objects; and ongoing unsettlements in gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity. This course examines the postwar moment of cybernetic excitement and strain, including such media as bombs, bugging devices, computers, film, hi-fi, hydrophones, radio, tape, and television; such themes as archival abundance, decryption, interspecies communication, mind control, and planet management; and such writers as Arendt, Heidegger, McLuhan, Nabokov, and Wiener, in addition to more recent scholars working on the postwar period.
FILM 733/ /FILM423 Documentary and the Environment
The environmental documentary has emerged as one of cinema’s most vital genres of the past ten years (in documentary, its only rivals are probably those concerned with the Second Gulf War). As the world’s environment faces a growing crisis, documentary has come to serve as a key means to draw public attention to specific issues. This course combines screenings with readings on documentary such as Bill Nichols’s important book Representing Reality. Often films have book tie-ins, and we consider how they complement each other and work together to maximize the impact of their message. Readings also focus on news items, debates, Web sites, and other media forms that are employed in conjunction with the films.
FILM 736: Documentary Film Workshop
This workshop in audiovisual scholarship explores ways to present research through the moving image. Students work within a Public Humanities framework to make a documentary that draws on their disciplinary fields of study. Designed to fulfill requirements for the M.A. in Public Humanities.
FILM 810: Visual Kinship, Families, and Photography
Exploration of the history and practice of family photography from an interdisciplinary perspective. Study of family photographs from the analog to the digital era, from snapshots to portraits, and from instrumental images to art exhibitions. Particular attention to the ways in which family photographs have helped establish gendered and racial hierarchies and examination of recent ways of reconceiving these images.