English 287a
P. Gaffney
F 1:30-4

Technological Modernity and the Birth of Cinema


This course follows the rise of photography and cinema as popular media in the late 19th and early 20th century, with an aim to understand how this development coincides with the emergence of new attitudes towards technology and the modern city.
The course will also explore the relationship between cinema and other media, including literature, visual arts, architecture and
psychology. In what ways did technology influence the form and content of the moving picture? How did keythis coincide with changes in popular and avant-garde culture? What anxieties, desires and dreams can be identified with
the cinematic gaze, and what others did the technology of cinema only seem to veil?

Course readings Course readings will include novels and short texts by Villiers de l’Isle-Adam, Virginia Woolf,
and Franz Kafka, as well as theoretical texts by André Bazin, Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes and others.

Preparation for & participation in class discussions
Attendance to all classes
Weekly Image Experiments: image + commentary (image + 250-300 words)
Presentation + Short Paper (10-15min presentation + 1000-1250 words)
Film Project
Final Paper: Revision and expansion of Short Paper (2000-2250 words)

Course enrollment is limited to 45.