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Haverford College

2011-12 Course Catalog

At Bryn Mawr College: Film Studies, 2011-2012

DescriptionFacultyMinor RequirementsCourses


Students may complete a minor in Film Studies.

Film Studies is an interdisciplinary program of inquiry bringing a range of analytical methods to bear upon films, film audiences, and the social and industrial contexts of film and media production, distribution and exhibition. The courses that comprise the minor in film studies reflect the diversity of approaches in the academic study of cinema and related media. The minor is anchored by core courses in formal analysis, history and theory. Elective courses in particular film styles, directors, national cinemas, genres, areas of theory and criticism, and issues in film and media culture add breadth and depth to this program of study.

Film Studies is a Bryn Mawr College minor. Students must take a majority of courses on the Bryn Mawr campus; however, minors are encouraged to consider courses offered in the Tri-College consortium and at the University of Pennsylvania. Students should work with the director of the Film Studies Program to develop a minor work plan when declaring the minor.

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Homay King, History of Art

Steering Committee
Timothy Harte, Russian
Homay King, History of Art
Imke Meyer, German and German Studies
Hoang Nguyen, English
Michael Tratner, English
Sharon Ullman, History

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Minor Requirements

In consultation with the program director, students design a program of study that includes a range of film genres, styles, national cinemas, eras, and disciplinary and methodological approaches. Students are strongly encouraged to take at least one course addressing topics in global or non-Western cinema. The minor consists of a total of six courses and must include the following:

  • One introductory course in the formal analysis of film
  • One course in film history or an area of film history
  • One course in film theory or an area of film theory
  • Three electives

At least one of the six courses must be at the 300 level. Courses that fall into two or more of the above categories may fulfill the requirement of the student’s choosing, but may not fulfill more than one requirement simultaneously. Students should consult with their advisers to determine which courses, if any, may count simultaneously for multiple credentials. Final approval is at the discretion of the program director.

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ARTW B266 Screenwriting

N. Doyne
An introduction to screenwriting. Issues basic to the art of storytelling in film will be addressed and analyzed: character, dramatic structure, theme, setting, image, sound. The course focuses on the film adaptation; readings include novels, screenplays and short stories. Films adapted from the readings will be screened. In the course of the semester, students will be expected to outline and complete the first act of an adapted screenplay of their own.

COML B238 The History of Cinema 1895 to 1945 Silent Film: From United States to Soviet Russia and Beyond (Cross-listed as ENGL-B238, HART-B238 and RUSS-B238)

T. Harte, E. Gorfinkel
This course will explore cinema from its earliest, most primitive beginnings up to the end of the silent era. While the course will focus on a variety of historical and theoretical aspects of cinema, the primary aim is to look at films analytically. Emphasis will be on the various artistic methods that went into the direction and production of a variety of celebrated silent films from around the world. These films will be considered in many contexts: artistic, historical, social and even philosophical, so that students can develop a deeper understanding of silent cinema’s rapid evolution. Not offered in 2011-12.

ENGL B205 Introduction to Film (Cross-listed as HART-B205)

M. Tratner
This course is intended to provide students with the tools of critical film analysis. Through readings of images and sounds, sections of films and entire narratives, students will cultivate the habits of critical viewing and establish a foundation for focused work in film studies. The course introduces formal and technical units of cinematic meaning and categories of genre and history that add up to the experiences and meanings we call cinema. Although much of the course material will focus on the Hollywood style of film, examples will be drawn from the history of cinema. Attendance at weekly screenings is mandatory.

ENGL B239 Women and Cinema (Cross-listed as HART-B239)

E. Gorfinkel
This course will examine the particular challenges that women filmmakers face, as well as the unique and innovative contributions they have made to film aesthetics and narrative form. The class will address central debates within feminism from the 1970s to the present, in particular, feminism’s influence on women’s independent film production and the question of female authorship. Not offered in 2011-12.

ENGL B257 Gender and Technology (Cross-listed as CMSC-B257)

A. Dalke, E. McCormack, L. Blankenship
Explores the historical role technology has played in the production of gender; the historical role gender has played in the evolution of various technologies; how the co-construction of gender and technology has been represented in a range of on-line, filmic, fictional and critical media; and what all of the above suggest for the technological engagement of everyone in today’s world. Not offered in 2011-12.

ENGL B280 Video Practices: From Analog to Digital (Cross-listed as HART-B280)

H. Nguyen
This course explores the history and theory of video art from the late 1960’s to the present. The units include: aesthetics, activisim, access, performance and institutional critique. We will reflect on early video’s “utopian moment” and its manifestation in the current new media revolution. Feminist, people of color and queer productions will constitute the majority of our corpus. Prerequisite: ENGL/HART B205 Intro to Film or consent of the instructor. Not offered in 2011-12.

ENGL B299 History of Narrative Cinema (Cross-listed as HART-B299)

H. King
This course surveys the history of narrative film from 1945 through the contemporary moment. We will analyze a series of styles and national cinemas in chronological order, including Italian Neorealism, the French New Wave, and other post-war movements and genres. Viewings of canonical films will be supplemented by more recent examples of global cinema. While historical in approach, this course emphasizes the theory and criticism of the sound film, and we will consider various methodological approaches to the aesthetic, socio-political and psychological dimensions of cinema. Fulfills the history requirement or the introductory course requirement for the Film Studies minor. Not offered in 2011-12.

ENGL B334 Topics in Film Studies (Cross-listed as HART-B334)

H. King
This is a topics course. Content varies. Current topic description: In what ways do film, photography and digital media shape the space of public appearance? To what extent are political, social and cultural recognition predicated on the capacity to appear in photographs, on film, on television, on the internet, and in classrooms and museums? We will explore topics such as 1) how invisible and marginal subjects are to be pictured, 2) how existing repertoires of images affect who and what can appear, 3) how the censorship, circulation and exhibition of images factor into public visibility.

ENGL B367 Asian American Film Video and New Media (HART-B367)

H. Nguyen
The course explores the role of pleasure in the production, reception and performance of Asian American identities in film, video and the internet, taking as its focus the sexual representation of Asian Americans in works produced by Asian American artists from 1915 to present. In several units of the course, we will study graphic sexual representations, including pornographic images and sex acts some may find objectionable. Students should be prepared to engage analytically with all class material. To maintain an atmosphere of mutual respect and solidarity among the participants in the class, no auditors will be allowed. Not offered in 2011-12.

GERM B262 Film and the German Literary Imagination

I. Meyer
Course content varies. Topic for Fall 2010: Austrian Cinema: From the Silent Era to the Present. This course offers an overview of Austrian cinema from the silent era to the present. We will trace the ways in which Austrian film grapples with the fall of the Habsburg Empire, World War I and its aftermath, Austro-Fascism, the Annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany, World War II, Austria’s relation to the Holocaust, shifting notions of national identity after 1945, and Austria’s entrance into the European Union. Previous topics include: Travel in Post-War German and Austrian Film; Global Masculinities: The Male Body in Contemporary Cinema. Not offered in 2011-12.

GERM B320 Topics in German Literature and Culture (Cross-lsted as EDUC-B320)

I. Meyer
This is a topics course. Course content varies. Previous topics include: Romantic Literary Theory and Literary Modernity; Configurations of Femininity in German Literature; Nietzsche and Modern Cultural Criticism; Contemporary German Fiction. The topic for 2011-12 is No Child Left Behind: Education in German Literature and Culture. Current topic description: What conceptualizations of education emerged in the German Enlightenment and during the 19th and 20th centuries in German-speaking countries? Does education support specific goals shared across a nation, support the status quo or question dominant paradigms? How are notions of religion, gender, sexuality, class, race and national identity reflected in education? And how do adult and children’s literature, as well as film, grapple with these issues? Language of instruction: English.

GNST B255 Video Production

This course will explore aesthetic strategies utilized by low-budget film and video makers as each student works throughout the semester to complete a 7-15 minute film or video project. Course requirements include weekly screenings, reading assignments and class screenings of rushes and roughcuts of student projects. Prerequisites: Some prior film course experience necessary, instructor discretion.

HART B110 Critical Approaches to Visual Representation: Identification in the Cinema

H. King
An introduction to the analysis of film through particular attention to the role of the spectator. Current topic description: An introduction to the analysis of film through particular attention to the role of the spectator.

HART B215 Russian Avant-Garde Art, Literature and Film (Cross-listed as RUSS-B215)

T. Harte

HART B306 Film Theory (Cross-listed as ENGL-B306 and COML-B306)

H. King
An introduction to major developments in film theory and criticism. Topics covered include: the specificity of film form; cinematic realism; the cinematic “author;" the politics and ideology of cinema; the relation between cinema and language; spectatorship, identification and subjectivity; archival and historical problems in film studies; the relation between film studies and other disciplines of aesthetic and social criticism. Each week of the syllabus pairs critical writing(s) on a central principle of film analysis with a cinematic example. Class will be divided between discussion of critical texts and attempts to apply them to a primary cinematic text. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B341 Cult Genres (Cross-listed as ENGL-B341)

E. Gorfinkel
Serving to theorize and historicize cult film and questions of the aesthetic and cultural value, this class will examine conceptual issues of taste, reception and mass culture as they have accrued around cult film phenomena such as the midnight movie, the cult horror film, exploitation film, underground and camp cinema. Prerequisite: One course from: ENGL/HART B205; HART B110; HART/ENGL B299; or consent of instructor. .Not offered in 2011-12.

HEBR B110 Israeli Cinema

A. Amitai
The course traces the evolution of the Israeli cinema from ideologically charged visual medium to a universally recognized film art, as well as the emergent Palestinian cinema and the new wave of Israeli documentaries. It will focus on the historical, ideological, political and cultural changes in Israeli and Palestinian societies and their impact on films’ form and content. Not offered in 2011-12.

HIST B284 Movies and America

S. Ullman
Movies are one of the most important means by which Americans come to know—or think they know—their own history. This class examines the complex cultural relationship between film and American historical self fashioning. Not offered in 2011-12.

RUSS B215 Russian Avant-Garde Art, Literature and Film (Cross-listed as HART-B215)

T. Harte
This course focuses on Russian avant-garde painting, literature and cinema at the start of the 20th century. Moving from Imperial Russian art to Stalinist aesthetics, we explore the rise of non-objective painting (Malevich, Kandinsky, etc.), ground-breaking literature (Bely, Mayakovsky) and revolutionary cinema (Vertov, Eisenstein). No knowledge of Russian required.

SPAN B318 Adaptaciones literarias en el cine español

H. Song
Film adaptations of literary works have been popular since the early years of cinema in Spain. This course examines the relationship between films and literature, focusing on the theory and practice of film adaptation. Attention will be paid to the political and cultural context in which these texts are being published and made into films. Prerequisite: A 200-level course in Spanish, SPAN 208. Not offered in 2011-12

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