Graduate Courses

FILM 346/ FILM 760: Intermediality in Film

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.

1 Yale College course credit(s)
 
 
Professor: Brigitte Peucker
Course Type: Undergraduate, Course Type: Graduate
Term: Spring 2019
Day/Time: Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

FILM 406/ FILM 830: Literature into Film

Strategies employed by filmmakers who adapt literary works to the screen. Detailed comparisons between cinematic adaptations and the novels, plays, and short stories on which they are based. Case studies of literary works that pose a variety of challenges to filmmakers.

1 Yale College course credit(s)
 
 
Professor: Millicent Marcus
Course Type: Undergraduate, Course Type: Graduate
Term: Fall 2018
Day/Time: M 8pm-10pm; W 3:30pm-5:20pm

FILM 419/ FILM 729: German New Waves in Cold War Europe

Comparative study of New Wave cinema in East and West Germany, with a focus on aesthetic ferment, institutional barriers, and transformation. Berlin as the best place to follow Europe’s emerging cinematic New Waves before 1961. Distinctive approaches developed by young filmmakers in East and West Germany to political and documentary filmmaking, to the Nazi past and the Cold War, and to class, gender, and social transformation.

Before 1961, Berlin was the best place in Europe to follow both Eastern and Western Europe’s emerging cinematic New Waves. And first in East, then in West Germany, young filmmakers developed distinctive approaches to political and documentary filmmaking, to the Nazi past and the Cold War, to class, gender, and social transformation. This course juxtaposes the two German New Waves, focusing on aesthetic ferment, institutional barriers, and transformation. Features, documentaries, and experimental films by Gerhard Klein, Konrad Wolf, Alexander Kluge, Herbert Vesely, Edgar Reitz, Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, Jürgen Böttcher, Heiner Carow, Frank Beyer, Wim Wenders, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Helke Sander, Helke Misselwitz, read against other Eastern and Western New Wave films (i.e., by Lindsay Anderson, Karel Reisz, Andrzej Munk, Alain Resnais, Mikhail Kalatozov, Milos Forman).

Knowledge of German helpful but not necessary.

1 Yale College course credit(s)
 
 
Professor: Katie Trumpener
Course Type: Undergraduate, Course Type: Graduate
Term: Spring 2019
Day/Time: M 1:30pm-3:20pm

FILM 455/ FILM 735: Documentary Film Workshop

A yearlong workshop designed primarily for majors in Film and Media Studies or American Studies who are making documentaries as senior projects.

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. with a concentration in Public Humanities.

Seniors in other majors admitted as space permits.

1 Yale College course credit(s)
 
 
Professor: Charles Musser
Course Type: Undergraduate, Course Type: Graduate
Term: Fall 2018
Day/Time: T 7pm-10pm; W 10:30am-1:20pm

FILM 456/ FILM 736: Documentary Film Workshop

A yearlong workshop designed primarily for majors in Film and Media Studies or American Studies who are making documentaries as senior projects.

Seniors in other majors admitted as space permits.

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. with a concentration in Public Humanities.

1 Yale College course credit(s)

Professor: Charles Musser
Course Type: Undergraduate, Course Type: Graduate
Term: Spring 2019
Day/Time: T 7pm-10pm; W 10:30am-1:20pm

FILM 603: Historical Methods in Film Study

A range of historiographic issues in film studies, including the roles of technology, exhibition, and spectatorship. Topics include intermediality and intertextuality. Consideration of a range of methodological approaches through a focus on international early cinema and American race cinema of the silent period. Particular attention to the interaction between scholars and archives.

Professor: Charles Musser
Course Type: Graduate
Term: Fall 2018
Day/Time: T 3:30pm-5:20pm

FILM 630: Soviet Cinema and the Distribution of Perception

Soviet filmmakers and theorists in the 1920s were preoccupied with the way that the established cinema harnessed perception in socially determined, class-specific ways, and sought a variety of alternatives. This course examines those alternatives and their limitations, as postulated in theory and realized on film, as well as their long-term, global influence on theoretical and moving image practice. We examine films and writings by such figures as Vertov, Eisenstein, Shub, Pudovkin, Kuleshov, Room, Ruttmann, Liu Na’ou, Grierson, Buñuel, Cavalcanti, Peixoto, Deren, Jacobs, Dorsky, Godard, Farocki, Burnett, Akerman, and Wang Bing.

Professor: John MacKay
Course Type: Graduate
Term: Spring 2019
Day/Time: M 7pm-8:50pm

FILM 710: Contemporary Art, Race, and the Philosophy of Media

This course draws from a diverse range of writing in philosophy (especially the philosophy of media), contemporary critical theory (phenomenology, new materialism), contemporary feminist thought, queer theory, and black studies in order to question underlying assumptions about the body and embodied spaces in contemporary art and culture. Drawing from film, literature, performance, and contemporary art, students think about a range of philosophical and critical themes, including the role of the body, the virtual construction of time and space, questions of affect, and sensation, all of which inform concerns over representation, embodiment, and materiality.

Professor: Rizvana Bradley
Course Type: Graduate
Term: Spring 2019
Day/Time: T 3:30pm-5:20pm

FILM 775: Post-Stalin Literature and Film

The main developments in Russian and Soviet literature and film from Stalin’s death in 1953 to the present.

Professor: Katerina Clark
Course Type: Graduate
Term: Fall 2018
Day/Time: W 1:30pm-3:20pm

FILM 800: Styles and Techniques in Recent Art Cinema

How much does the art of cinema in the twenty-first century resemble that of the previous half-century? Have massive changes visible in production, distribution, and exhibition also affected the goals and ambitions of film artists? Or do today’s auteurs and cinematographers work as their counterparts did decades ago, deploying whatever techniques current technology permits in a quest for a style that may bring out something authentic about themselves, the world, or the medium? Analyzing films by such contemporary auteurs as Olivier Assayas, Claire Denis, Carlos Reygadas, Lav Diaz, David Lynch, and Hong Sang-soo, we measure new styles against techniques deployed by classic and modern auteurs like Mizoguchi, Welles, Cocteau, and Hitchcock. What new aesthetic (and practical) issues face filmmakers as they conceive their projects? We look at screen format, including 3-D; elastic temporality, especially slow motion; special effects, including forms of animation; superimposition, including multiple screens; long-takes and camera movement; montage and alternatives to cutting; advances in sound design. Have the new narrative forms and the new types of subject matter associated with our century’s most difficult films (L’Intrus, Werckmeister Harmonies, La Mort de Louis XIV, Twin Peaks) given rise to the styles of major directors, or are they the by-product of these styles? Does style matter in the way it did during cinema’s first century?

Professor: Dudley Andrew, Professor: Oksana Chefranova
Course Type: Graduate
Term: Fall 2018
Day/Time: W 6:30pm-8:30pm; Th 9:25am-11:15am

FILM 804: Opera: Explorations of a Technical Medium

Opera has been assigned—and might yet assume—various roles in genealogies of technical media. This seminar explores both what media archaeology and other recent approaches in media studies and science and technology studies hold for an understanding of the nature of opera, and what opera might in turn contribute to a historically expanded perspective on modern and digital multimedia. In addition to such theoretical topics as the role of architecture, strategies of acoustic immersion, the development of illusionist devices, the orchestra as technology, and Wagner’s theories, we examine the medial configurations in select operatic scenes and their renditions, from the illusionist picture-frame stage to present-day mobile or site-specific conceptions. Projects are tailored to students’ interests and disciplines.

Reading knowledge of Western musical notation is helpful but not required of students from outside the Music department.

Professor: Gundula Kreuzer
Course Type: Graduate
Term: Fall 2018
Day/Time: Th 9:25am-11:15am

FILM 806: Archives: Histories, Practices, Theories, and Formations

This seminar studies the co-constitution of objects-with-documents and undocumented people. We explore theoretical, historical, material, practical, methodological, and curatorial questions related to the operation and status of the archive in this migration of objects and people. Students are asked to work collaboratively in and with archives as sources and tools, and to experiment with creating archives of their own. The seminar involves some travel to Brown and some irregular hours that are mentioned in the syllabus.

Professor: Laura Wexler
Course Type: Graduate
Term: Fall 2018
Day/Time: T 3:30pm-5:20pm

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.

Professor: Laura Wexler
Course Type: Graduate
Term: Spring 2019
Day/Time: M 3:30pm-5:20pm

FILM 833: Semiotics

The seminar discusses the most relevant concepts and categories elaborated by semiotics in order to provide analytical tools for “close readings” of verbal or visual texts, narrative forms, cultural objects, artifacts, and social situations. Semiotics’s foundational goal consisted in retracing how meaning emerges and circulates in connection with a variety of objects, from literary works to social rituals, from natural phenomena to artificial languages. In an attempt to revamp semiotics’s main task, we begin from the opposed conceptualization of “sign” in the Saussurean and Peircean traditions and from the opposed ideas of “semiosis” that they elicit. Then, moving from “sign” to “text,” we analyze the structures and the dynamics of discourses—whether verbal, visual, musical, etc. A particular stress is put on the semantic and syntactic structures of narrative texts in an attempt to draw from them a model of human and nonhuman action. The third section retraces the way enunciation produces subjectivity and deixis, in order to gain a better understanding of the context-bound nature of discourses and some tools for the analysis of context itself as a semiotic entity. We end by discussing the complex strategies that allow a discourse to tackle “reality” and “truth”—in the hope of dismantling the current use of naive epistemologies. Analytical tools are tested in class through close readings of a great variety of texts and situations, from Melania Trump’s depictions to Genesis, from short novels to social encounters.

Course Type: Graduate
Term: Fall 2018
Day/Time: Th 9:25am-11:15am

FILM 842: Approaches to the Urban Screen

What distinguishes the urban screen—in terms of spatiality, economics, phenomenology, and technology—from other screens proliferating today? The course aims to think genealogically about the emergence and descent of large-scale urban screens as forms of public display and as new metropolitan interfaces. Today we are witnessing long-standing conceptions of the screen as a surface for the play of representations ceding ground to ecological understandings of the screen as an environmentally embedded node and as a point of dynamic mediation between actors and the world. Considering materials from film history, architectural history, art history, and urban history, the seminar considers the urban screen as a crucial part of the broader redefinition of the screen. Urban screens can be understood in terms of a rupture and recovery of screen history, wherein the fracturing of the screen (as movie screen) is coextensive with the recovery of older and alternate understandings of the screen (as facade, as protection, as shelter, as furniture, as filter, as masquerade, as control mechanism). A key aspect of the seminar is to work through the existing frameworks for thinking about urban screens and to propose new approaches that might shape this nascent area of study. In revisiting alternate histories of the screen, the course explores emerging screen cultures and their implications for the future of screen studies. Field trips to the Yale Art Gallery, Yale Center for British Art, Peabody Museum, and Beinecke Library.

Professor: Francesco Casetti, Professor: Craig Buckley
Course Type: Graduate
Term: Spring 2019
Day/Time: T 1:30pm-3:20pm

FILM 921: Research in Japanese Film History

Theorizations of film and culture in Japan from the 1910s to the present. Through readings in the works of a variety of authors, the course explores both the articulations of cinema in Japanese intellectual discourse and how this embodies the shifting position of film in Japanese popular cultural history.

Professor: Aaron Gerow
Course Type: Graduate
Term: Spring 2019
Day/Time: T 1:30pm-3:20pm