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FILM 241

Topics in Film Cultures and Traditions

(may be cross-listed with ENG 255 or M L 164) This course offers intensive examination of specific issues in film cultures and traditions, often those at the center of current critical interest. Topics for this course are conceived broadly to encompass studies of national cinemas, specific directors, filmmaking practices, and specific genres. May be repeated for credit with a different topic.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

Fall Semester information

Karin Wimbley

241B: Tps Film Cultures & Trad: African American Film

Reading African American cinema as a pivotal archive in African American cultural production, this course explores the diverse black aesthetic traditions that African American film has and continues to develop, explore, and shape. Specifically, we will track how African American films produced, written, and/or directed by African Americans are situated in larger debates about the politics of race and representation. Beginning with African American modernism and black cultural politics, we will look at the emergence of African American cinema in the 1910s through to the early 21st century. Films we will investigate include works by Oscar Micheaux, Mario van Peebles, Charles Burnett, Spike Lee, Cheryl Dunye, , and Julie Dash, to name a few.


Cheira Belguellaoui

241C: Tps:Intro to World Cinema

This introductory film course is a survey of contemporary and most influential films from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and South America. Students will be exposed to a diverse array of culturally distinct and unique aesthetic expressions and will be encouraged to engage perspective(s) apart from their own while discussing topics including, but not limited to, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, class, and sexual orientation.


Spring Semester information

Inge Aures

241A: Tps Film Cultures/Trad: Holocaust and Exile in Film


Su Jung Kim

241B: Tps Film Cultures/Trad: Religion and Film


Ghassan Nasr

241C: Tps Film Cultures/Trad: Arab Refugees in Literature and Film

In this course we will study literature and film on themes relating to Arab refugees, immigrants and exiles. We will explore narratives of estrangement, alienation and redemption resulting from migrations within and across Arab borders. We will sample literature and films from a variety of historical periods and settings, ranging from the literature of the Palestinian diaspora and the Lebanese civil war, leading up to the more current upheavals in Syria and elsewhere in the Arab world and North Africa. Among the authors we will select from are Ghassan Kanafani, Mahmoud Darwish, Sahar Khalifeh, Hanan al-Shaykh, Naguib Mahfouz and Ghada Samman. We will also read short stories from Arab American authors (Dinarzad's Children) and select from films set in Arab immigrant communities around the world--mostly in Europe and the Americas--such as Le Grand Voyage, Zozo, Amreeka, Incendies, and The Visitor. All literature and film will be in English.


Andra Alvis

241D: Tps Film Cultures/Trad: Japanese Horror Films: The Classics

Ghosts and demons and psychopaths--Oh my! Welcome to the world of classic Japanese horror... Each unit of the course focuses in depth on 1-2 seminal Japanese horror films from the last 60 years, films ranging from the cult classic Godzilla to the art house classic Onibaba. Taking these extraordinary and enjoyable films as our focus, we'll delve into crucial issues for the history, conventions, and production of Japanese horror cinema: for example, "Where did the ghosts typical of J-Horror originate?" and "How did WW II affect representations of demons, hell and insanity?" At the same time, however, we won't neglect to explore the many intriguingly quirky byways of horror film in Japan. (Think: "What special effects technology works best when creating a 100-year-old-umbrella monster?") Class work will involve: 1) regular quizzes on films/readings; 2) a midterm; and 3) your final group projects--a 2-3 minute Japanese-style horror video.