Fall Quarter

Dept Course No and Title Instructor
This course examines the intersection of race, sports, and media in everyday U.S. popular culture (film, TV, advertising, social media, gaming) and political culture. We will analyze historic and contemporary debates at this intersection, with particular focus on African American representation and U.S. ideology regarding race, gender and sexuality, nation, celebrity and capital in the “mass” and streaming media eras. Attention to current debates (e.g., the “politics” of sports celebrity and activism; the concept of “colorblindness” and the “post-racial” in sports; the semiotics of race in sports’ commodification and marketing; raced and gendered discourses in sports and “fitness activism”; and broader debates regarding race, gender, self-expression, sexuality, and violence in sports will be contextualized and studied through scholarly theories of race and media representation and analyses that encourage us to think about U.S. media as sites of struggle over what constitutes citizenship, local and national identity, and what it has meant to “be American” in post-World War II U.S. culture. That is, we will investigate the ways in which debates or controversies at the intersection of “race/sport/media” have most often been struggles over what it means to be a “representative” American citizen. Required coursework includes weekly readings, screenings and discussions with short assigned essays (applying concepts from the readings to screenings) and a longer research paper or research “playlist” option with a final presentation. Enrollment in this course is restricted to Campus Honors Program students.
In this introductory course, students will develop the tools for analyzing film and other moving-image media. We will focus on understanding how filmmakers use narrative, mise-en-scène, cinematography, sound, and editing to produce meaning and elicit emotional responses. Popular narrative films often encourage audiences to become absorbed in the world of the film and to forget that we are watching a movie. In this course, students will learn to recognize the techniques that filmmakers have developed to make the film apparatus (the camera, the microphones, the technology) disappear, and we will consider the ways in which filmmakers have departed from and embellished this 'invisible' style.

Warning: In order to examine film's power to disturb, we will be viewing R-rated films and film clips that you might find too explicitly sexual, violent, startling, and/or disgusting. Screening list available on request. Regular attendance at lectures, studio, and discussion section is required. Assignments include quizzes, discussion boards, analytical papers, midterm, and final.
This course surveys the international film movements, industries, and periods of national cinemas that have sought to redefine the dominant ideologies, modes of production, and aesthetics of cinema during the past half-century. As much as possible, course readings draw from manifestos for and critical writings contemporaneous with these historical film movements, and considers the numerous methods to conceptualize histories of cinema. Topics include third cinema, new hollywood, feminist cinema, Hong Kong new wave, new Black cinema, mainland Chinese cinema, and Korean cinema.
This course offers a critical overview of key theoretical concepts and arguments that have informed film and television studies, with a focus on the study of sound and voice-over narration in documentary and fiction film. After a brief historical introduction, we will consider the creative manipulation of sound elements across genres and in the work of filmmakers such as Francis Ford Coppola, Agnès Varda, and Ousmane Sembène.  How did documentary help to launch the use of voice-over?  Which fictional genres have featured voice-over as a core element of their narrative discourse? What role has voice-over played in the development of Third World and feminist films?  Segments of films from a wide range of cultural sources will be shown in class.
This seminar will focus on the figures of cyborgs, androids, and robots in popular culture. How do these figures embody race, gender, and class? What do cyborgs and androids reveal about techno-culture and networked society?
Students learn about "the world of the screenwriter" by reading and studying screenplays, and writing parts of them-including the beat outline, treatment and character biography. Assignments include reading, viewing and analyzing selected films; and writing papers that explore facets of the screenplay such as structure, character and theme. The final grade is based on participation/attendance, writing the set-up for an actual feature film and storyboarding a traditional 3-act screenplay. The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 85A.
This is a multi-faceted introduction to the oeuvre of Orson Welles as writer, director, and performer in over a dozen works spanning four decades.  Welles’s experimentations in theater and radio will form the basis for our exploration of his cinematic work from the groundbreaking Citizen Kane to lesser known melodramatic and mystery films.  In addition to his substantial contributions to U.S. cinema, we will consider his work in various cultural contexts during his sojourn in Latin America and later decades of self-imposed exile.  In the process, students will gain a thorough introduction to the auteur theory and the study of voice-over in film.
This course explores the ascendency of television creator-producer, Shonda Rhimes, from the premiere of Grey’s Anatomy (ABC 2005) through the Netflix period drama sensation, Bridgerton (2020) and beyond. In addition, we will interrogate how the “colorblind” core of Rhimes’ work intersects with conversations about Post Racial America and empirical evidence that shows that to be a myth. (cross-listed with African/African American Studies)
A beginning screenwriting class, in which the one-hour television format will be used to introduce character, storytelling, structure, and scene development. In this lecture and screenwriting workshop series, we will study a critically acclaimed television series with a focus on the long narrative and episodic story structure. The series selection may vary from year to year. We will analyze the creative decisions, approaches and techniques of the writing team. Weekly writing exercises and in-class free-writes will culminate in student groups presenting a one-hour drama series treatment and pitch materials for an original pilot.
This course introduces the fundamentals of film production using digital video. Assignments provide hands-on learning of the basic elements of filmmaking.  From cinematography, lighting, and sound, to writing a short script and editing with Adobe Premiere Pro, this class takes students through the production process, culminating in the completion of a five-minute short digital film.  Students enrolled in this class may use University owned equipment and are financially responsible for the University equipment on loan to them.  The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 85A.
This course examines immigration in relation to the development of digital technology. We will trace the development of industry based on the computer, World Wide Web, and Internet from the 1960s to the present with attention to how these innovations affected and were affected by immigration to the United States. We will then interrogate how technology and immigration shape representations of race, including: the Asian-American geek; the young, white tech CEO; and the seeming absence of African American, Chicanx and Latinx-American, and Native American techies in popular images of digital technology.
Can we listen to images, or touch the sounds? In this course, we will explore the political potentialities of the senses. We will focus on practices and theories that address our bodily senses as political tools for decolonization. We will study works in different media, bridging geographies and histories, from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Some of the fundamental questions that the course addresses are: is it possible to counter the rationality of power—white, national, patriarchal—without countering the established rationality of the filmic medium? How can cinema go beyond visuality in order to imagine a different world?  Using our senses to watch, read, and write, we will consider how different histories of coloniality call for different aesthetic strategies, looking at how artists and activists have imagined alternative modes of sensorial engagement with the world and its order.
This course is dedicated to advancing your skills in expository, analytical, and critical writing about new media and digital cultures. As good writing requires good reading, we will spend significant time sharpening techniques of close reading and rhetorical analysis, as applied to current discourses and debates around such topics as social media use, algorithmic bias, human-robot relationships, and the power of disinformation and “fake news.” We will examine a variety of academic, journalistic, and editorial approaches to such topics. We’ll pay close attention to who the author is, the source of publication, the intended audience, and the aims of each piece that we read. We’ll evaluate each text both at the level of thematic content as well as the level of compositional style, strategy, and technique. Essay assignments will involve close collaboration with your classmates, in the form of peer-review workshops, as well as multiple one-on-one flash-conferences with the instructor.
Writing on cinema, television, and/or digital culture, emphasizing identification of reliable sources, close readings, addressing academic, professional, and/or popular audiences. Requires at least 4,000 words of assigned composition.

Prerequisite: FLM&MDA 85A or FLM&MDA 85B or FLM&MDA 85C. Satisfactory completion of the Lower-Division Writing requirement.

Restriction: Film and Media Studies Majors only.
This course will examine the history of Korean popular culture--from the early 20th Century to the present.  In so doing, the course will learn concepts like ‘colonial modernity,’ ‘postmodernism,’ ‘mimicry,’ and ‘cultural hybridity.’ The class will first think about whether it is possible for Koreans to extricate nationalism (minjok-juui) from its popular culture by examining the pop culture of the colonial period.  Then we will examine, via pop music, sports, television, food, film, and visual materials, how the globalization pursued by Korean Wave has defined the core of Korea’s national identity over the past several decades. The course will tackle each area of the aesthetic, geopolitical, and ‘authenticity’ debates that are crucial to the redefining of Korean popular culture.
This course examines how the global reach of popular Hindi-language cinema of India referred to as Bollywood film creates new representations of nationalism and national narratives. Increasing travel, changing modes of life and material expansion even within India and within the Indian diasporas have generated transnational and international movements of people, media and commodities and Bollywood is a major player in these movements and markets.

The masculinist space of nation as represented in older films is transformed as gender and sexuality intersect with social categories of class and particularly caste and religion. As an increasingly transnational and global product,  Bollywood’s glittering, glitzy dance and song routines reconstruct femininity and masculinity, gender and sexuality, and family identities in ways that attempt to challenge patriarchal,  and nationalist discourses. Selected films include The Lover Wins the Bride, Monsoon Wedding and My Name Is Khan.

As a counterpoint to Bollywood's conventions of gender production, we analyze some independently produced films that deploy the language of Bollywood, and attempt to contest its conflicted messages of gender and nation.
Sinophone Cinema is an introduction to Chinese language film and filmmaking from the 1980s onward. We will look at cinematic production across art cinema and popular genres. We will look at the history of Hong Kong, People's Republic and Taiwan film history and production.
What happens when we shift the lens through which we look at the history of a national cinema?
How can we read critically the history of Brazilian cinema—among the most thriving film cultures in Latin America—when we consider that film in Brazil is historically a white medium? This course will introduce key films and debates of Brazilian cinema, from its early silent years until the current decade, through the lens of racial difference and the violence that comes with it, promoting a critical approach to the relation between aesthetics, technology, and politics. Through the study of a broad range of works—documentary films, musicals, experimental films, and commercial blockbusters—alongside historical issues of industry and labor, this course will explore the centrality of racial difference for the consolidation (and the critique) of Brazilian cinema.
In this history and practice course, students will learn about the famed L.A. Rebellion filmmakers, known for engaging Black communities in their storytelling. In a deeper examination of ethos & legacy we expand our timeline for this exploration to include the work of filmmakers inspired by the L.A. Rebellion in the generations that followed. We will examine the filmmakers’ navigation of structural factors in their media practices across various forms. The texts for this course will cover the history of the movement and will be accompanied by screenings. Students will be introduced to filmmaking practices in which film, video, and photo archives are utilized for research and/or to secure visual elements to incorporate in documentary filmmaking. The course culminates with students engaging with their own communities to make their very own mini-shorts films.
Integrates critical analysis, historical, and theoretical methods with creative projects to illuminate film and media production and industries. May include courses in adaptation, writing television, media activism, writing the short film, performance studies, and movie title sequences.

Prerequisite: FLM&MDA 85A. Satisfactory completion of the Lower-Division Writing requirement.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.
This course is devoted to current topics in advanced film production.
Topics addressed vary each quarter May be repeated for credit as topics vary.  This quarter’s special topic is directing and producing the narrative film.
As film and video are collaborative media, students form production groups and ultimately produce final 6-10 minute film projects. The prerequisites for this course are FLM&MDA 85A, and FLM&MDA 120A.

Course Requirements:
Prompt attendance and participation at all classes and screenings, completion of all readings, discussion board writing assignments due every week at 12pm on the Friday before class, production breakdown, rough cut, and final digital film project.  The final film project with a two page paper is due on the last day of classes.
This course will trace the evolving relationships between media history, political communication, and election campaigning in the US across the 20th century and into the 21st century. We will pay particular attention to changes in political journalism, political advertising, and campaign finance reform regulations. We also will examine the impact of new communication technologies (radio, broadcast TV, cable TV, websites, and social media platforms) on the act and practice of running for public office. As this course will take place during the 2022 midterm elections, we will be attentive to how the history of US media and US elections can help contextualize our contemporary political moment.