Samuel M. Yum
Examines the study of cultural forms, artifacts, and practices. May include art, art history, literature, theater, music history, ethnomusicology, dance, and/or religion. Topics and approaches may vary with instructor.
This course is an exploration of culture through the cinematic lens, and of what in recent decades emerges as a global or transcultural style. As a class we address the representation of groups and individuals across cultures through filmic media in ways that challenge our traditional notions of ourselves and others. Part survey of national and regional cinemas, and part critical interrogation of globalizing effects that would promote a universalizing aesthetic (one that transcends national, regional, racial, ethnic, and linguistic borders), this course takes a comparative approach to understanding the state of contemporary film production, distribution, and viewership in relation to the current discourse on culture. Weekly in-class screenings of cinematic features, including fiction, documentary, independent, and art films, will be supplemented with a range of readings and brought together during class discussion.
Student learning goals
To explore the following questions:
▫ How can a film speak about or represent a culture?
▫ How can a film speak across cultures?
▫ How does a growing genre of global cinema reflect current cultural processes?
▫ How does global cinema affect culture?
To learn to construct effective descriptions and analyses.
To analyze rhetorical and commerical strategies of contemporary film production.
General method of instruction
Lecture, group discussion, in-class film screenings.
Class attendance, assigned readings, participation.
Class assignments and grading
Varied: short writing assignments, quizzes, final reflective essay.