Undergraduate level courses (0110 - 1990)
MCM 0110 - Theory and Analysis of Modern Culture and Media
An introduction to critical theory, cultural studies, and media analysis that addresses print, photography, film, television, and digital media. We will examine these media in relationship to influential theoretical approaches such as structuralism and post-structuralism, ideological analysis and psychoanalysis, feminist and queer theory, critical race theory and theories of post-colonialism and globality, and media and technology studies. LILE WRIT
MCM 0150 - Text/Media/Culture: Theories of Modern Culture and Media
An introduction to the theoretical foundations of contemporary cultural criticism. We will study theories of representation, signification and culture; image and narrative; ideology and discursive power; and modernity and postmodernity. Such theories are crucial to understanding modern culture and media (including print, photographic, film, television, and digital media texts). Readings from theorists such as Saussure, Benjamin, Levi-Strauss, Derrida, Barthes, Marx, Freud, Fanon, Arendt, Foucualt, Irigary, Appadurai, and Butler. Students must register for both the lecture and one screening; a signup sheet will be available for discussion sections after the first class meeting. Open to undergraduates only. WRIT
MCM0220 Print Culture: Textuality and the History of Books
This course will introduce students to the concept of print as a mass medium with particular attention to the theoretical problematics that govern its analysis and competing concepts of print as a form. We will trace the emergence of mass literacy and habits of reading, print culture and the public sphere, the rise of the novel, and the concept of literature, and theories of representation and mediation, narrativity and virtuality, the work and the text.
MCM 0230 - Digital Media
This course introduces students to the crtiical study of digital media: from surveillance to hactivism, from cyberpunk fiction/films to art installations, from social media to video games. We will analyze the aesthetics, politics, protocols, history and theory of digital media. Special attention will be paid to its impact on/relation to social/cultural formations, especially in terms of new media’s “wonderful creepiness,” that is, how it compromises the boundaries between the public and private, revolutionary and conventional, work and leisure, hype and reality.
MCM 0240 - Television Studies
Introduces students to the rigorous study of television, concentrating on televisual formations (texts, industry, audience) in relation to social/cultural formations (gender, generational, and family dynamics; constructions of race, class, and nation; consumerism and global economic flows). That is, this course considers both how television has been defined and how television itself defines the terms of our world. Students MUST register for the lecture section, the screening, and a conference section. Open to undergraduates only. LILE WRIT
MCM 0250 - Visuality and Visual Theories
Theories of visual representation in such traditional media as painting, in photography, and in emergent digital media (VR, robotics, etc.). Connects problems of representation to issues of power, information, subjectivity. These media are read as historically constituted and specific to particular cultures through complex forms of mediation. LILE
MCM 0260 - Cinematic Coding and Narrativity
Introduces students to rigorous study of the structural and ideological attributes of cinema, concentrating on the dominant narrative model developed in the American studio system and alternatives to that model. Attention to film theory in relation to questions of representation, culture, and society. Students become conversant with specific elements and operations of the cinematic apparatus (e. g. camerawork, editing, sound-image relations) and how they produce discursive meanings. Students MUST register for the lecture, section and one screening. A sign-up sheet will be available for conferences after the first class meeting. Open to undergraduates only. LILE WRIT
MCM 0700 - Introduction to the Moving Image
The purpose of this course is to provide a basic introduction to film and video production and to begin to consider the kinds of texts that might be produced using these media. Students are expected to work in an intelligent manner, take risks with the content and form, engage in empirical research of the medium, and in so doing, examine common presumptions about media production. Students will utilize 16mm non-sync film cameras and small format video to produce a series of short projects emphasizing the creative use of these media in various social and visual arts contexts. Classes will consist of screenings and discussion of a wide variety of works, basic technical demonstrations, and critiques of student work. No previous production experience necessary. Prerequisites (two of the following or equivalent): MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, 1110. Application required. Enrollment limited to 15. Written permission required. Mandatory S/NC.
MCM 0710 - Introduction to Filmmaking: Time and Form
A studio-style course on working with time based media, focused specifically on the technology of 16mm film production. With its focus on photographic and montage processes, as well as lighting and sound, the principles established in this course provide a solid foundation for all subsequent work in media, whether cinematic, video or new media, and it is strongly advised as a foundation level, skills oriented media course. Students produce a series of short, non-sync films. No previous experience required. Screenings, demonstrations and studio work. Application required. Application is available in the MCM office. Students must bring a completed application to the first class to be considered for admission. Up to 40 students can apply, but the final class list of 15 will be determined after this meeting, with permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. S/NC
MCM 0720 - Intermediate Filmmaking: Cinematic Space
Introduces more sophisticated film production techniques, including sync sound and lighting technique. Explores the influence of digital technologies on cinematic practice. Studio work supplemented by screenings, demonstrations, and discussions. Group and individual projects. Prerequisite: MCM 0710. Application required. Application is available in the MCM office or from http://www.brown.edu/Departments/MCM/. Students must bring a completed application to the first class to be considered for admission. Class list will be posted 2 days after the first class meeting. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor's permission required. S/NC.
MCM 0730 - Introduction to Video Production: Critical Strategies and Histories|
Provides the basic principles of video technology and independent video production through a cooperative, hands-on approach utilizing small format video (Mini DV). Emphasizes video as a critical intervention in social and visual arts contexts. No previous experience required. Application required. Application is available in the MCM office. Students must bring a completed application to the first class to be considered for admission. Up to 40 students can apply, but the final class list of 12 will be determined after this meeting, with permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 12. S/NC
MCM 0740 - Intermediate Video Production: Sound, Image, Duration
Expanded principles of independent video production utilizing small format video (Mini DV). Emphasizes video as a critical intervention in social and visual arts contexts. A major project (10-20 minutes) and a class presentation concerning your project are required. Prerequisite: MCM 0730. Application required. Application is available in the MCM office or from http://www.brown.edu/Departments/MCM/. Students must bring a completed application to the first class to be considered for admission. Class list will be posted 2 days after the first class meeting. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor's permission required. S/NC.
MCM 0750 - Art in Digital Culture
How do we produce, disseminate, and exchange images in a global networked society? How do digital technologies challenge conventions about art making, authorship, and audience? This production course introduces students to the practice, and critical inquiry into art in digital culture. The class will engage in contemporary debates on art and new media and will experiment with digital photography, video, and coding. Throughout the semester, students will work on a series of short projects, and a final individual or collaborative work. Artist case studies include Harun Farocki, Oliver Laric, and anonymous-memes-creators; readings include, Hito Steyerl, David Joselit, and Boris Groys. Enrollment limited to 40. LILE
MCM 0750C - Soft Machines
Participants in this production course will work with new materials and textile processes hands-on while engaging in contemporary discussions and debates on human-machine interfaces and extensions. We will design and construct soft machines wherein the components include new yarns and materials. We will explore fibers, polymers, and yarns for electrical applications, human performance, and environmental elements, among others. Body technology research areas such as motion tracking and biometric data analysis will be introduced. Throughout the semester, students will work on a series of short projects as well as a final individual or collaborative work.
MCM 0760 - Intermediate Digital Media Production
How do technologies enabling new forms of media and communication reconfigure notions of geography, location, speed, presence, community, autonomy, public, private, and one's ability to participate in culture? This class is an exploration of how artists and other cultural producers use these new technologies and new conditions to activate networks, form communities, create access, self-publish, proliferate, draw attention to context, demand agency, redefine property, and develop spaces for exchange and play.
MCM 0780 - Soundtracks: Sound Production and Visual Media
A production course that examines the role of sound in film, video, and installation forms. The listening assignments and visual media screenings will foreground the usage of audio in the works of selected artists/filmmakers. The course also considers works of sound art. Readings by sonic theorists and producers will examine the possibilities of sound production as a key register of modern social and aesthetic experience. Class members should have completed at least one time-based media class. Students are expected to be competent technically. Application required. Application is available in the MCM office. Students must bring a completed application to the first class to be considered for admission. The final class list will be determined after this meeting, with permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. S/NC.
MCM 0790 - This is a Public Service Announcement
This course will examine the broad mission of "public service" media in its various iterations, both in commercial broadcast television, state run television, and in numerous forays by artists and collectives into public space. Students will produce a series of short video and/or installation projects that will explore critically the content and form of the Public Service Announcement and its historical precedents. In addition, the class will also collectively design, shoot, and produce, in collaboration with the RI Department of Education, their own Public Service Announcement that will air on local television stations. This will be a rare opportunity for undergraduate students not only to gain hands-on production experience, but also to think about and exhibit work outside of the University classroom context. Prerequisite: MCM 0700, MCM 0710, MCM 0720, MCM 0730, or MCM 0740.
MCM 0800 - Freshman Seminars in Modern Culture and Media
MCM 0800A - Agency and Representation
Agency is one of the most popular concepts across the disciplines today, but its definitions are often far from satisfactory in relation to representational forms such as literature and film. Using both fictional and theoretical texts, this course will examine some common assumptions about agency and develop a range of possible interpretations that will make the term viable in the study of artistic representation. For first year students only.
MCM 0800B - Freshman Seminar on Visuality
An examination of the key texts (from such diverse fields as philosophy, visual arts, cultural studies) which describe the historical transformation of personal and social visual space. We will explore, for example, Renaissance and Cartesian optics, the mechanization of vision in the late nineteenth century and recent hypotheses around machine-centered visuality. For first year students only.
MCM 0800C - Marx, Nietzsche, Freud: History of Theory
Many of the most pressing theoretical issues addressed by contemporary cultural analysis were first investigated in the works of these three ground-breaking intellectuals. This course will survey some of their major works, with attention to such concepts as ideology and the commodity; the will to power and truth in language; the unconscious and sexual difference. For first year students only.
MCM 0800D - Sound for A Moving Image
A production/seminar. An examination of the role of sound in the works of five exemplary artists/filmmakers while we produce sound works for filmic projects. For first year students only.
MCM 0800E - Race and Imagined Futures
Why is race so important to imagining utopian or dystopian futures - to signaling world peace or Malthusian disaster? What do these imaginings tell us about contemporary anxieties over / desire for multiculturalism and globalization? This course responds to these questions by examining speculative, science and utopian fiction and films by African-, Asian- and Euro-American authors/film makers. Readings will be theoretical, as well as literary. Enrollment limited to 20. Students MUST register for the lecture section and the screening.
MCM 0800F - The Face in Cinema
Cinema has always been obsessed with the thematics of the human face. The close-up is most frequently associated with a revelation of intense human signification, with a rendering legible of the face as the signifier of the soul, and with the face as the privileged signifier of individuality, truth, beauty, and interiority as well as the most basic support of intersubjectivity. We will examine the face in the cinema in relation to the star system, theories of desire and affect, and a history of representation of the face (Darwin, Galton, Duchenne, etc.). Films by Dreyer, Hitchcock, Warhol, Wiseman, and others. Students must register for the primary meeting and one film screening. Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. FYS.
MCM 0800H - TV/Not TV: Theory and Production
This freshman seminar examines both commercial television and non-commercial media forms, considering the dialogue and/or tensions between them. What are the critical potentials and political stakes of viewing TV and of making independent media? How can we re-write TV's cultural codes by stimulating alternative readings, fostering new interpretive practices, creating different texts, or developing diverse modes and sites of distribution? Combining theory and practice (media studies, televisual and anti-televisual screenings, and simple production assignments using available technologies), this course encourages students to read and critique commercial television through both analysis and their own creative media practices. Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. FYS
MCM 0800I - Victim Testimonies
This seminar will explore primarily first person narratives and historical and other accounts that seek to recreate victim's voices (of the Jewish Holocaust, Stalin's terror, the Algerian War, the Rwandan genocide) in order to understand the cultural contexts and narrative styles that fashion victims, shape readers' views of them, and lead us to take some more seriously than others. Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. FYS
MCM 0800J The Revolution is Being Photographed
The course will examine the following idea: revolution is not an epoch making event but a dialect, a genre and grammar of practices and gestures. Images and moving images will be read as the "written" signs of this dialect, which document more and less known revolutionary moments. The recurrent familiar gestures repeated by the demonstrators will be studied as components of a language rather than planned actions carried out to achieve a given goal. The recurrence of the same idioms and gestures in various parts of the world requires questioning the universal and regional dimension of this language. Enrollment limited to 20 first year student. DVPS FYS LILE
MCM 0800K Pirates!
This course examines the figure of the pirate and understandings of piracy from Treasure Island and Pirates of the Caribbean to Pirate Bay and the WTO–that is, from sea-faring pirates and early print culture to the Internet and "pirate modernity." What do pirates do, mean, stand for, teach us? Readings, discussions and screenings will focus on both the history of pirates and piracy as well as the contemporary (media) pirate and issues related to creativity and originality, intellectual property rights and global governance, participatory cultures and democratization, information feudalism and the pirate modernities of the Global South, enclosures and the common. Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. FYS
MCM 0800L - "I Don't Even Know Why They Call It Color TV": Television and Race in America
Our era has been called both "post-televisual" and "post-racial," yet images that define and are defined by (mis)understandings of race fill our screens (whether on TV sets or other means for disseminating TV). Formations of television and race not only remain pressing concerns but are intertwined, mutually constructing one another. This course thus explores how notions of race have been mediated and how media have figured race. Topics include: stereotype analysis; race in television history; scandal and crisis; intersections of gender and sexuality; consumerism and commodification; racial representation across TV genres (comedy, drama, sports, reality TV), and new media possibilities. DPLL FYS
MCM 0800M - The Terrible Century (ENGL 0150U)
Interested students must register for ENGL 0150U.
MCM 0900 - Undergraduate Seminars in Modern Culture and Media
Topics vary from year to year and instructor to instructor. In each section, enrollment is limited to 20. Prerequisite: one previous MCM course (MCM 0100, 0150, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, 1110 or equivalent).
MCM 0900A - Cinema and Stardom: Image/Industry/Fantasy
Focuses on the star within the "machinery" of Hollywood cinema: how stars function in the film industry, within cinematic and extra-cinematic texts, and at the level of individual fantasy and desire. Including screenings of films which exploit, foreground, or critique star images, also considers the ideological implications and cultural consequences of stardom.
MCM 0900B - Global Cyberpunk
Examines how cyberpunk functions both as a global phenomenon and as a way to imagine the global. Texts include American science fiction by authors such as Octavia Butler and Neal Stephenson; anime such as Akira and AD Police Force; feature films such as Blade Runner; as well as theoretical texts on globalization, science fiction, and animation.
MCM 0900F - Real TV
This course will investigate the construction of reality on U.S. television, considering not only specific reality genres (news and "magazine" programs, crisis coverage, docudrama, talk and game shows) but the discursive and representational modes that define the "reality" of commercial television as a whole. Issues include: "liveness"; social relevancy"; therapeutic discourse; TV personalities; media simulation; independent television; and new technologies/realisms.
MCM 0900G - Representing the Internet
Investigates popular representations of the Internet (many of which precede the WWW) from cyberpunk to Supreme Court decisions, from mainstream film to Internet map sites. Considers the relationship between representation, ideology, culture, and technology. All written work for the seminar will be digital.
MCM 0901C - Photography/Film/Art
Questions of the nature of the photographic image have come to the fore in some of the most exciting modern art, such as the work of Cindy Sherman and Andy Warhol. In particular, the question of how the photograph relates to film and history has generated important questions about art and media. This course will analyze these questions through the work of such artists as Jeff Wall, Jean-Luc Godard, and Hiroshi Sugimoto. We will examine these in relation to writings that theorize the relationship of photography to film and art after World War Two. Readings include Benjamin, Barthes, and Krauss. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20 undergraduates. WRIT
MCM 0901D - Film Comedy
What makes some films so funny? This course will investigate many different forms of film comedy-- from slapstick physical gags involving hapless men and umbrella-wielding matrons, to eccentric verbal banter, to parodies that subvert state politics using puppet characters. Instead of treating film comedy as “just mindless escapism,” we will study how comedy's complex and slippery devices are central to the history of cinema. Readings in critical discourses about comedy, film history and film theory, e.g. Freud, Bergson, Benjamin, Rob King, Miriam Hansen, and Kathleen Rowe. Screenings range from silent slapstick, to communist satire, to romantic comedy, to political mockumentary. Enrollment limited to 20 undergraduates. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110.
MCM 0901E - The Fantastic in Contemporary Cinema
This course addresses the idea of the Fantastic from its definition to its articulations in contemporary cinema. Focusing more on form than on content, we will privilege a reading of the Fantastic as an effect rather than a genre or a theme: specific attention will be given to the relationships between filmic texts, spectatorship and the production of meaning. Screenings will include popular Hollywood cinema as well as European and independent films. We will discuss works by directors such as Lynch, Nolan, Fincher, Spielberg, Gondry, Cronenberg and Haneke. Readings will range from literary theory and psychoanalysis to film theory and semiotics. Enrollment limited to 20 undergraduates. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. All others will need written permission from the instructor.
MCM 0901F - "America" in Diaspora Literatures
How have diasporic and immigrant writers come to see the United States? How do these writers negotiate dominant understandings of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and language that come to define "the nation"? Is all immigrant/minority writing necessarily (auto)biographical? How are notions of history, memory, and futurity taken up by writers of diasporic and hybrid cultures in the US? These are some of the questions that this course will take up through a close reading of canonical and contemporary African-American, South/Asian-American, and Arab-American texts. This course is ideal for students interested in minority literatures, diaspora studies, and Ethnic Studies.
MCM 0901G - Digital Culture and Art After 1989
How can we contextualize new media art alongside earlier forms of media such as photography and cinema? Is its relation to the "outside world" primarily conceived as representation, or as process? What are the cultural effects of this mediatic shift? Taking as our starting point the fall of the Berlin Wall and the resulting spread of capitalism as a near-global political-economic system, we will "read" a variety of works of art and culture from several contemporary theoretical perspectives. Topics include digital media, the Internet, European cinema, and popular music. Readings from Galloway, Fukuyama, Deleuze, Hardt and Negri, Freud, Jameson, etc. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20. LILE
MCM 0901H - Uncomfortable Media
Why are we often addicted to that which disgusts us? This course analyzes why "uncomfortable media" – media that plays with notions of the perverse, the abject, and the taboo – remain so popular in the American cultural imaginary. Studying a variety of popular television programs and films, this course will approach these viscerally transgressive media texts through analyzing representation (how cultural taboos appear in popular culture) and analyzing spectatorship (how viewers perform discomfort). We will examine how developments in genre and narrative form, affect studies, performance studies, and queer theory have contributed to theorizing the perverse. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20. DVPS LILE
MCM 0901I Body Count: Technologies of Life and Death
From the War on Terror and the global obesity crisis to self-help reality TV and new biotechnologies, questions of life and death have come to center stage of contemporary politics. This course investigates the theoretical and historical contexts under which "life itself" has emerged as a key arena of social, cultural, and technological importance. We will read critical studies of race, media, embodiment, and the state, tracing how distinctions between life and its others have structured the distribution of death, risk, and freedom in modernity. Topics include biocolonialism, cyborgs and swarms, U.S. prison regime, computer viruses, "bugchasing," suicide bombing. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20. DVPS LILE
MCM 0901J Adaptation Culture: New Media<---> Traditional Theatres (TAPS 0080)
Interested students must register for TAPS 0080.
MCM0901K Statelessness and Global Media: Citizens, Foreigners, Aliens
What is citizenship? What does it mean to be granted or refused state protection within the global system? To better understand how nation-states govern subjects, we will consider the condition of refugees, displaced persons, illegal residents, undocumented aliens, and stateless persons. We will read the representations of non-citizenship in global media texts (humanitarian graphic narrative, migrant diary, atrocity photography, world cinema, war fiction, crowdsourced crisis mapping). This course will place a special emphasis on how perpetual warfare, territorial re-mappings, and nationality legislation continue to generate sliding scales of non-citizenship. Readings include Arendt, Balibar, Chatterjee, Foucault, Lowe, and Said. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20.
MCM 0901L African American Media Visibility: Image, Culture, Crisis
This course explores the "problem" of the black image in 20th - 21st century U.S. film and television. What is the role of spectacle and scandal in (re)presenting blackness to the public? Emphasis placed on the tension between invisibility and (hyper)visibility of the black subject in relation to gender and sexuality as well as the political, ethical, social, and psychical implications of such varying degrees of visual exposure. Topics include the aesthetics of black celebrity from Josephine Baker to Beyoncé, cinematic practices from filmmakers Spike Lee to Tyler Perry, and televisual blackness from The Cosby Show to Flavor of Love. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0220, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20.
MCM 0901M Ishiguro, Amongst Others (ENGL 0710L)
Interested students must register for ENGL 0710L.
MCM 0901N Body/Gesture/Cinema
Antonin Artaud once called the body “a language to which it seems we no longer have the key.” This course is an attempt to take up his challenge in light of our experience at the cinema. Two questions will guide our investigation: Do the bodies on film “signify”? If so, how does this signifying practice trigger our own corporeal unconscious? We will explore a wide range of texts across film studies, theatre, anthropology, linguistics, and critical theory. Topics include gesture, ethnography, disability, violence, horror, and phenomenology. Readings include Didi-Huberman, Benjamin, Ricoeur, Merleau-Ponty, Kristeva, Shaviro, Sobchack, Naremore, Clover, Linda Williams, etc.
MCM 0901O Reinventions of Life: Aesthetics, Biopolitics, and the Avant-Gardes
The impulse to connect art with life runs through the avant-gardes of the early and mid-twentieth century. Yet recently, the question of what constitutes life itself has emerged with increasing persistence. In this course, we will reconsider the history of the avant-gardes – and avant-garde cinema particularly – in relation to this question. Drawing broadly on theories of how contemporary forms of life have been managed and made productive, we will explore the links between the avant-garde’s aesthetic and political practices and its ongoing efforts to redefine and reinvent social existence. Readings include Benjamin, Foucault, Lacan, Fanon, Debord, Mulvey, and Agamben.
MCM 0901P After the War: Arendt, Duras and Anonymous from Berlin (COLT 0710Y)
Interested students must register for COLT 0710Y.
MCM 0901Q - Governing Sex: Citizenship, Violence, Media
From the photographs of Abu Ghraib, to Tyler Clementi's suicide, and the rise of “revenge porn,” contemporary media have been central to understanding the ways in which sexuality, law, and citizenship are negotiated in our present moment. This course will take these moments of public crisis as instances from which to understand the politics of belonging within the framework of the contemporary nation-state. We will examine the inter-related problematics of sexuality as a site of state governance, and the anxieties about sexual violence as national crises. Assigned readings will include queer of color critique, critical race theory, feminism, and postcolonialism.
MCM 0901R - Altered Cinema: The Cultural Politics of Film Revision
Repetition and variation define contemporary cinema texts. Media producers create multiple “cuts” of the same picture for domestic/international theater, television and home video markets. Meanwhile, consumers use new technologies to create their own textual variations and share them using informal distribution channels. This is a primary concern of Altered Cinema, which examines the history and culture of film revision from multiple perspectives, including originality, authorship, censorship, globalization, preservation, translation, copyright, fandom, new media and piracy. Screenings compare and contrast different editions, including director and fan cuts, of Metropolis, Star Wars, Dune and Night Watch among others.
MCM 0901S - Mediating Reproduction: Feminism, Art, Activism
How have feminist artists and activists imagined and transformed the politics of reproduction? This course explores the complex meanings of “reproduction” across media, performance, and public culture, with a focus on questions of sexuality, race, labor, and aesthetic practice. Situating reproduction in an expanded frame, we will consider the relationship between biological reproduction and the gendered labor of reproducing social life (e.g., domestic labor, sex work, care work). Throughout, we will pay special attention to the entanglements of artistic labor with women's reproductive labor. Topics include: eugenics, housework/welfare activism, art workers movements, biotechnologies, queer kinship, and feminist utopias.
MCM 0901T - Shakespeare: The Screenplays (ENGL 0310E)
Interested students must register for ENGL 0310E.
MCM 0901U - What is Colonialism - Archives, Texts and Images (COLT 0812B)
Interested students must register for COLT 0812B.
MCM 0901W - The Space Within: Contemporary Borderland Moving Image Practice
In this course we will examine post-NAFTA moving images that take as their subject the culture and politics of the Mexico-US Borderlands. We will tackle problems such as globalization, neoliberalism, the drug war, securitization, migration, biopolitics, and femicide. To make our claims we will place importance on film form as we unpack how the films figure and/or represent the bodies and spaces of the Borderlands. More, we will think seriously about how the concepts we adopt—including that of “border” itself—function as epistemological tools. This will be a course for those invested in Borderland issues and political moving image practice.
MCM 0901X - Digital Cinema and the Inhuman
From the incursions of biopolitics to the specter of ecological collapse, the problem of how life is organized, sustained, and functionalized strikes at the heart of contemporary society. And yet to whom or what “life” belongs remains an open and evolving question. This course examines contemporary digital cinema as a textual, technological, and political site to rethink the concept of “the human.” Drawing on theoretical traditions that investigate the nature of vitality, automation, and the distinction between human and nonhuman, we will study how bodies, identities, and categories of thought are troubled and transformed by moving images.
MCM 0901Y - Puzzle Films
Interested students must register for MES 0950.
MCM 0902B - Film Classics: Greeks on the Silver Screen (MGRK 0810)
Interested students must register for MGRK 0810.
MCM 0902C - Digital Media in the Time of Ecological Crisis
In a time characterized by anthropogenic climate change, militaries forecast climate refugees, scientific communities broadcast the end of ‘nature’ while politicians engineer influence in a media ecosystem. What are the politics of how media represents science, the environment and ecological crisis? This course considers the historical emergence of digital media alongside ecology. By studying the exchange between scientific knowledge, digital technology and the communication of environmental crises at local and global scales, we will attempt to establish an interpretive framework for the matrix of politics, power, inequality and violence that accompanies the historical and temporal conditions consistent with climate change. DPLL
MCM 0902D - The Visual Culture of Suffering
This seminar explores how suffering is constructed as a visual phenomenon. Through close analysis of photographs, films, monuments, and exhibitions, we will explore how suffering has been deployed, and the sort of meanings it has been assigned. We will examine four specific scenes of historical suffering: Lynching and Reconstruction, The Holocaust, Hiroshima, and 9/11. DPLL
MCM 0902E - In Design: Layouts of Modern Media and Design
This course aims to engage with media and design by thinking critically about them and asking questions about their relationship to the larger culture. We will survey design elements and principles and show how they construct products and media. Beginning from the basics, we will move onto systems to demonstrate how they lay out the rules of design. We will then move to digital media in which the design elements are re-organized by new uses of old principles and inventions of new ones. Readings include: Ranciere, Latour, Flusser, Bloch, and Baudrillard, alongside with Lupton, Buchanan, Papanek, Dunne and Raby. WRIT
MCM 0902F - Post Cinema? Histories and Politics in the “Digital Revolution”
The rapid influx of digital technology and so-called “new media” around the new millennium has led some to suggest that Cinema—conceived of as a photochemical technology experienced publicly as a mid-twentieth century cultural phenomenon—is dead or dying. This course explores the political and historical stakes of this claim, taking an archaeological and genealogical approach to problematize notions of technological progress and periodization. Rather than seeking to “rescue” cinema, we will instead explore how “the cinematic” has been adopted and dismantled by the logics of neoliberal governmentality, and what it can still offer for modes of political resistance.
MCM 1110 - The Theory of the Sign
A survey of three late twentieth-century theorists: Louis Althusser, Jacques Derrida, and Michel Foucault. Our analyses will focus on these figures as they emerge from and reorient the broad field of semiotics, with particular attention to the evolution of each oeuvre, the continuities and discontinuities that distinguish their theoretical claims, and their diverging legacies. Readings will include Althusser's Reading Capital and "Contradiction and Over-determination;" Derrida’s Of Grammatology and Spurs; and Foucault's This is Not a Pipe and History of Sexuality. Critical concepts to be examined include signification, reading, discourse, subjectivity, power, historicism, archaeology, the supplement, and difference. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, or 0260.
MCM 1200 - Special Topics in Modern Culture and Media
Topics vary from year to year and instructor to instructor. In each section, enrollment is limited to 50. Written permission given after the first meeting. Prerequisite: one previous Modern Culture and Media course.
MCM 1200D - African Cinema
Subsaharan African cinemas 1960-present, primary emphasis on narrative films. We will analyze cultural and aesthetic strategies, (cinematic style, narrative, and subjects). in the context of postcolonial African and international film histories. Themes include: anticolonial resistance/nationalist ideologies; third cinema/international art cinemas; oral aesthetic culture and cinematic style; political critique (e.g., gender, state politics); media globalizationand resistence; the struggle for a mass audience. Enrollment limited to 50. Previous coursework in MCM, Africana Studies, or related areas highly recommended.
MCM 1200G - Cinema and Stardom: Image/Industry/Fantasy
This course focuses on the role of the star within the "machinery" of Hollywood: how stars function in the film industry, within cinematic and extra-cinematic texts, and at the level of individual fantasy and desire. The paradoxes posed by stars--represented as like yet unlike us, public yet privately known, commodities yet (super)human--suggest complex formations and implications of the star system. We will read film theories and histories and investigate films in which star images are foregrounded to explore these issues.
MCM 1200K - Hollywood as Global Cinema
Commonly treated as a U.S. national cinema, Hollywood film has long been a global institution dominating worldwide distribution. We reread U.S. narrative filmmaking and its products in relation to its global ambitions. Topics include: internationalizing the history of U.S. cinema; rethinking theories of the classical and anticlassical text; local, national and global spectatorship; concepts of cultural imperialism and cultural globalization; etc. Students interested in the class who have not fulfilled the prerequisite may apply to the instructor for permission to enroll. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 50. Students must register for the primary meeting and one film screening.
MCM 1200Q - Publicity and Surveillance
Investigates the converging technologies and practices of publicity and surveillance. Considers phenomena such as webcams, face recognition technology and networked art, as well as concepts such as enlightenment, paranoia and exhibitionism. Theoretical, historical and legal readings.
MCM 1201C - Imagined Networks, Glocal Connections
This course examines emergent "imagined networks" (Arab Spring activists, global anti-globalization networks, global climate and financial systems) impacted by new media technologies and applications. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the changing relationship between the local and the global, and how "glocal" phenomena affect national and personal identities. Readings will be theoretical, historical, political and literary. Enrollment limited to 50 sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
MCM 1201E - Feminist Theory and the Question of Sexual Subjectivity
Many contemporary theories of sexual subjectivity have to do not with the body but with gender. Gender is seen to have liberated people from the dictates of biology. But there are other feminist theories that see sexual subjectivity as reducible neither to anatomy (biologically male/female) nor to gender (culturally male/female/other). We'll look at current debates among theorists and will ask what these debates have to do with the canonical work of earlier feminist film theorists on questions of spectatorship. Readings include Butler, Copjec, Freud, Lacan, Irigaray, Kristeva, Mulvey, Doane, and others. Prerequisites: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 50 sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
MCM 1201J - Aesthetics and Politics (ENGL 1900E)
Interested students must register for ENGL 1900E.
MCM 1201K - Queer Relations: Aesthetics and Sexuality (ENGL 1900R)
Interested students must register for ENGL 1900R S01 (CRN 16779).
MCM 1201N - Advanced Written and Oral French (FREN 1510)
Interested students must register for FREN 1510 S01.
MCM 1201O - Global Media/Global War
The 20th Century has been called the age of total war. Alongside the globalized military conflicts of the past 100 years is a corresponding globalization of visual media technologies. This course is a study of the links between the technologies, strategies, tactics and technologies of the military and those of various media industries. Topics include "target markets"; flight simulators; Google Earth; "the logistics of military perception;" the bombing of television and radio stations in Serbia and Iraq; the global presence of U.S. military bases and their role in the Americanization of global culture; and Michael Bay's Pentagon contracts. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 50. First year students require instructor permission.
MCM 1201P - Freedom in Africana Political Thought (AFRI 1020B)
Interested students must register for AFRI 1020B S01.
MCM 1201R - Music and Modern Life (MUSC 1920)
Interested students must register for MUSC 1920 S01.
MCM 1201T - Russian Cinema (RUSS 1250)
Interested students must register for RUSS 1250 S01.
MCM 1201W - Modernity, Italian Style (ITAL 1030A)
Interested students must register for ITAL 1030A S01 (CRN 16787).
MCM 1201X - Global Media: History, Theory, Production (INTL 1800N)
Interested students must register for INTL 1800N S01 (CRN 20444).
MCM 1201Y - Reading Michel Foucault
This course will explore Foucault's work and impact primarily through his own writings, but also by exploring the transformation his thought has effected on tradtional ways of approaching state and society, the body, social discipline, and a number of other areas of study. In short, this course seeks to put his work in the context of ideas he meant to challenge and how those challenges have been met and incorporated in current thought about politics, society, and culture. We will follow Foucault's trajectory from what he termed "archaeology" to "geneaology." Prerequisites: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260 or 1110. Enrollment limited to 50 Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors.
MCM 1201Z - On Being Bored (ENGL 1511L)
Interested students must register for ENGL 1511L S01.
MCM 1202A - The Poetics of Confession (ENGL 1561J)
Interested students must register for ENGL 1561J S01 (CRN 26582).
MCM 1202B - Literature and Politics (ENGL 1900D)
Interested students must register for ENGL 1900D S01 (CRN 26519).
MCM 1202C - Camera Works: The Theory and Fiction of Photography (ENGL 1900V)
Interested students must register for ENGL 1900V S01 (CRN 26589).
MCM 1202D - China Through the Lens: History, Cinema and Critical Discourse (EAST 1270)
Interested students must register for EAST 1270 S01 (CRN 16635).
MCM 1202E - Extreme Asian Cinema: Contemporary Genre Cinemas in an East Asian Context
Since the late 1990's, a discourse of "extreme Asian cinema" has gained traction among aficionados of global cinema, transforming our understandings of "national cinema." In this course, we will interrogate the spectacular aesthetics of "extremity," with its violence, polymorphous perversion, and grotesquerie, in relation to social and cultural phenomena in contemporary East Asia. By analyzing the genres of the gangster film, the revival of wuxia (heroic martial arts genre) and samurai films, horror, revenge films, and techno-dystopia and ecological disaster anime, we will explore "extreme Asian cinema," as a response to cultural shifts in global identities and film experience. Enrollment limited to 50 sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
MCM 1202F - Science Fiction Cinema
Although it raises compelling philosophical, aesthetic, and socio-historical questions, science fiction cinema has been underrepresented in scholarly literature and the academic curriculum. This course surveys the modern science fiction film from experiments in the silent era through the contemporary science fiction blockbuster (with particular emphasis on the latter). Covers various thematic concerns (disaster, post-apocalypse, the future, simulation, space travel and inhabitation, future cities, alien arrivals/invasions, posthumanity) and is international in scope. Films by Kubrick, Cameron, Scott, Verhoeven, Gilliam, Bigelow, Boyle, Emmerich, and others. Readings in theory, philosophy, cultural studies, film studies, gender studies, and fiction. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 50. Not open to first-year students.
MCM 1202G - Imaging Dance and Dancing Images: Dance in and on Screen (TAPS 1280P)
Interested students must register for TAPS 1280P S01 (CRN 27469).
MCM 1202H - French Cinema: The First Fifty Years (FREN 1150C)
Interested students must register for FREN 1150C S01 (CRN 27295).
MCM 1202I - Warriors, Gangsters, and Misanthropes: Violence and Sociality in Asian Genre Cinemas
By analyzing films from a variety of popular genres, from war to horror, gangster, action-thriller, and disaster films, we will consider the problem-solving function, visual pleasure, visceral thrills, and ethical stakes of multiple forms of film violence, including state violence, gendered violence, heroic and anti-heroic violence, and spectacular, extreme, or fantasmatic violence. Further, we will ask what forms of sociality or intersubjective relations these differing modes of violence posit or problematize, to gain insight into broader questions concerning the anti-sociality of violence and the prevalence of film violence in the social, cultural, and historical contexts of contemporary East Asia. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 50 sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
MCM 1202J Faking Globalization: Media, Piracy, Urbanism
This course explores issues related to media, piracy, and development—centering on two entangled processes: faking and globalization. It asks: how do we understand globalization? And what does it mean to fake, forge or fail at it? We will examine theories of globalization and global media as well as challenges to dominant models of neoliberal modernity. Key examples include "pirate modernity," "information feudalism," parasites, terrorists, copycats and other markers of excess or imitation. Rather than dismissing alternative or counter-globalization practices as aberrations, the course examines how faking globalization enables both new forms of control and capacities in political society. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 50 sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
MCM 1202K - Garibaldi Panorama: the Invention of a Hero (from pre-cinema to digital) (ITAL 1340)
Interested students must register for ITAL 1340 S01 (CRN 14460).
MCM 1202L - The Many Faces of Casanova (ITAL 1400J)
Interested students must register for ITAL 1400J S01 (CRN 23869).
MCM 1202M Issues in Contemporary Hollywood Cinema
How can we begin to think about contemporary Hollywood? This course examines Hollywood filmmaking from the end of the studio era through the present. It interrogates the concept of "classical Hollywood cinema" as it persists, develops, and/or attenuates outside of its natural habitat under the studio monopolies, addressing topics and areas like genre revisionism, New Hollywood, technological development, postmodernity/simulation, digitization, corporatization, merchandising, globalization, Vietnam, counterculture, Reaganism, 9/11, etc. Films by the likes of Sirk, Fuller, Hitchcock, Peckinpah, Kubrick, Scorsese, Coppola, Cassavetes, Polanski, Malick, Spielberg/Lucas, Carpenter, Bigelow, Cameron, Scott, Verhoeven, Lynch, Nolan, Peter Jackson, Jonze, P.T. Anderson, Rian Johnson, Winding Refn. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 50 sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
MCM 1202N Performance Theory: Ritual, Play and Drama in Context (TAPS 1230)
Interested students must register for TAPS 1230.
MCM 1202O What is Revolution? Olympe de Gouges, Hannah Arendt and C.L.R. James (COLT 1813G)
Interested students must register for COLT 1813G.
MCM 1202P Fellini (ITAL 1030A)
Interested students must register for ITAL 1030A.
MCM1202Q Word, Media, Power in Modern Italy (ITAL 1590)
Interested students must register for ITAL 1590.
MCM 1202R Rhetorics of New Media
Digital technologies have shaped culture, but they've also shaped how we talk about culture, and about art, bodies, and communities. Is there political potential in the trend toward computerization? Or might technophilia and technocracy obstruct collective betterment? We’ll study the legitimizing rhetorics of our increasingly digital present, and read electronic literature, print sci-fi, film, games, and art, along with cultural theory spanning the past half century. Historically arrayed, our topics range from globalization to the aesthetics of code, the newness of new media, technics-out-of-control, gamification of war, technologies of race and gender, digital narratology, and the ideology of computationalism. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0220, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 50 sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
MCM 1202S Click here to Continue: Bodies, Identities and Practices in a Digital Age
Why is the notion of ‘post-racial’ synonymous with this digital age? How are political and social effects visible not only in the practice of digital technology, but in the underlying structure itself?
Crossing the fields of digital humanities, critical theory, feminist theory, race studies, and new media studies, this course considers how technology is a constant reflection of fantasies and fears. We will consider the interplay between users, humans, bodies, avatars, code and systems as we simultaneously practice and critique the prevalent forms of digital technology in our lives today. Readings include work by Nakamura, Gonzalez, Haraway and Coleman.
MCM 1202T Perverse Cinema (ENGL 1762A)
Interested students must register for ENGL 1762A.
MCM1202U Sex and Sexuality in American Film
What is the connection between “sex” and “sexuality,” and how do these terms intersect in film and theory? In this course, we take a long historical view of both mainstream and experimental American film. We look at how sex and sexuality have been depicted on screen, while exploring cinema’s role in the construction of diverse, often radical, identities and practices. We test a range of critical approaches—deconstruction, feminism, close reading, queer historiography—to the theory of sexuality, and read major figures in film from Greta Garbo, Orson Welles, and Rock Hudson to Lizzie Borden, Divine, and the Brokeback cowboys.
MCM 1202X Twentieth-Century Western Theatre and Performance (TAPS 1250)
Interested students must register for TAPS 1250.
MCM 1202Y World Cinema in a Global Context (ITAL 1029)
Interested students must register for ITAL 1029.
MCM 1202Z Native American sin the Media: Representation and Self-Representation on Film (ETHN 1890G)
Interested students must register for ETHN 1890G.
MCM 1203A Gaming of the Oppressed: Theory and Design
This course gives an overview of various types of “serious games” or “anti-oppressive games” that range from videogames to immersive transmedia storytelling games. We will explore issues of why gaming is so enticing and the potential games have through their history, procedure, and design. We will then examine the role games play in our everyday lives and games’ potential for understanding motivation, education, and labor. Students will also work with complimentary theories of race formation, queer theory, and gender identity. At the end of the semester, students have the opportunity to create their own game.
MCM 1203B Politics + Aesthetics of Hollywood
Hollywood is an industry, a cultural bellwether, and a globally distributed artform. This course will consider these functions together, asking how Hollywood’s aesthetics connect to its ideology and commerce. Focusing on the post-studio life of Hollywood, and on Hollywood’s preoccupation with sex and violence, we’ll pay special attention to the genres of melodrama and crime film, 1945-2000. We’ll read film theory, “Hollywood novels,” and documents of film culture, and watch films by filmmakers who were central to the industry (like Hitchcock and Minnelli) as well as by those at its margins (from Lupino and Waters to Burnett and Cronenberg).
MCM 1203C Tv Time Machine: History, Represenation and Politics
How does television both document and represent historical events? This course examines American history “as seen on TV”: how viewers watch noteworthy events live; how television archives crucial moments and time periods; and how genres such as the news, period drama and sitcom, and reality TV differ in their representations. We consider what makes television a unique medium for which to study history, particularly focusing on questions of gender, class, race, and sexuality. Utilizing approaches including the study of collective memory, historiography, aesthetic and textual analysis, and media theory, we will assess the imbrication of American history and popular culture.
MCM 1203D Back to the Future: Nostalgia and Futurity in Contemporary Sci-Fi TV and Telefantasy
How do contemporary science fiction and fantasy television programs not only imagine our future, but also our past? How do visions of the future from the past inform both of these genres today? And what does contemporary TV’s nostalgic longing for futures past suggest about where the medium is headed? This course addresses these and other related questions while providing students with an overview of contemporary English-language sci-fi and fantasy television. The course combines elements of both the lecture and seminar, and will included screenings of such varied programs as Babylon 5, True Blood, and Dr. Who.
MCM 1203E Intellectural Life and Culture in the Post-Western World
No one alive today has experience of a world in which the United States is not the leading economic power. This is the world we shall all encounter, however, very soon. Such headlines are small indices of an emerging post-Western future. We will investigate the intellectual, political and aesthetic culture of this future. What will change when Judaeo-Christian societies no longer monopolize global conversation? When societies that have historically rejected Western capitalism come to dominate it? What new ideas will be unleashed in such a world, and what will their consequences be for our thinking about politics, economy and identity? This is a half-credit course.
MCM 1500 - Senior Seminars in Modern Culture and Media
Preference given to seniors in any of the MCM concentrations. In each section, enrollment is limited to 20. Written permission will be given after the first meeting. Prerequisite: two Modern Culture and Media courses.
MCM 1500C - Archaeology of Multimedia
A historical and theoretical study of "multimedia" from magic lanterns to the Internet. Examines the ways in which media have always been multiple and have always impacted on each other, as well as the ways that various media discourses constitute an "archive" of the knowable and sayable.
MCM 1500D - Contemporary Film Theory
Major arguments in film theory from the late 1960s to the present, contextualized by contemporaneous intellectual tendencies and selected films. Some key issues: cinematic specificity and signification, the politics of form and style, subjectivity/spectatorship, gender/sexuality, postmodern media, digital theory and cinema. Readings from figures such as Baudry, Bordwell, Deleuze, Doane, Elsaesser, Gunning, M. Hansen, Heath,, Jameson, Koch, Manovich, Metz, Mulvey, Pasolini, Rodowick, L. Williams, Willemen, Wollen, etc. Enrollment limited to 20. Prerequisite: one MCM core course. Preferences given to juniors, seniors, and graduate students. All others seeking permission, must attend the first class.
MCM 1500J - Feminist Theory and the Problem of the Subject
Readings in contemporary feminist theory and 20th-century theories of subjectivity. Topics include interpellation, modes of address, apostrophe, positionality; texts include Butler, Haraway, Spillers, Spivak. Previous work in feminist theory strongly recommended.
MCM 1500K - Film and the Avant-Garde
An examination of film's historical relations with various avant-garde movements from surrealism, French Impressionism, German Expressionism, and Dadaism to the theoretically informed independent film of the 1970s and beyond. However, the goal of the course is not a historical survey but the investigation of various conceptualizations of "avant-gardism" and its relation to modernity, mass-culture, and technology.
MCM 1500L - Film Theory
Major positions in the history of film theory, contextualized by both contemporaneous filmmaking and intellectual approaches (phenomenology, Marxism, structuralism/poststructuralism, feminism, etc.) Key issues include: cinematic specificity, cinematic representation and the real, the politics of form and style, cinema and language, subjectivity and spectatorship, film and postmodern "media." Readings in Munsterberg, Arnheim, Kracauer, Bazin, Balazs, Metz, Heath, Mulvey, Williams.
MCM 1500O - Film Theory: From Classical Film Theory to the Emergence of Semiotics
Readings from earliest film theory through the emergence of cinema semiotics, with awareness of contemporaneous filmmaking and underlying philosophical and ideological tendencies. Some key issues: cinematic specificity and relations to other media; the politics of cinema; filmic representation and the real; cinema, modernity, and modernism; mass culture debates; cinema, language and signification. Readings drawn from Adorno, Arnheim, Balázs, Bazin, Benjamin, Bergson, Debord, Eco, Eisenstein, Epstein, Kracauer, Lukács, Merleau-Ponty, Metz, Munsterburg, Pasolini, Sartre, Wollen, etc. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors, seniors and graduate students.
MCM 1500S - In the Public's Eye: Publicity and Surveillance
Investigates the converging technologies and practices of publicity and surveillance. Considers phenomena from the paparazzi to digital surveillance, from the commodification of privacy to reality television, in order to analyze this convergence's impact on theories of public sphere. Theoretical and historical readings. Class hours include viewing time.
MCM 1500X - Middlemarch and the Sopranos
The world of The Sopranos has been called "a postmodern Middlemarch, whose inhabitants' moral and spiritual development (or devolution) unfolds within a parochial social milieu." This course offers a comparative analysis of Eliot's 1871-72 novel and HBO's (continuing) television drama, juxtaposing these two very popular, very powerful serializations in formal, thematic, ideological and narrative terms.
MCM 1501B - Nation and Identity: The Concept of National Cinema
Comparative study of constructions of nationhood in films and written texts about cinema. Interrogation of the discursive, political and epistemological power achieved by different version of the concept "national cinema" and the kinds of collective identities they imagine, from early cinema to globalized media. Readings by theorists, historians and filmmakers. Screenings from pertinent contexts (e.g. Weimar Germany, U.S. classical cinema, Japanese 1930s, third cinema, New German Cinema, New Chinese cinema, multinational corporate cinema, etc.)
MCM 1501C - National Cultures/Global Media Spheres
Contemporary cultural practices and media processes are often described as being implicated in "globalization," but this is a linkage that may well predate the present. This course examines theoretical, historical, and critical texts that conceive of media culture through notions of globalization, with attention to the status of nation and cultural identity in a transnational context.
MCM 1501I - Reading Marx
What is it to read Marx now? We will begin with a group of key texts written by Marx drawn from different points in his development, including the first volume of Capital. We will study influential later reinterpretations and commentaries on Marx that argue for his contemporary importance (e.g., Althusser, Balibar, Benjamin, J. Butler, Derrida, Haraway, Hardt, Negri, Zizek, etc.
MCM 1501K - Seeing Queerly: Queer Theory, Film, Video
While cinema has typically circumscribed vision along (hetero) sexually normative lines, can film also empower viewers to see "queerly"? How do we, as sexual subjects (gay and straight), "look" in the cinema, in both senses of the word? How have sexual desires been portrayed across film history, and how might audiences wield the look, appropriating or creating imagery with which to (re)formulate subjectivity and sexuality? This course addresses such questions as it considers both "mainstream" and "alternative" productions. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors, seniors and graduate students. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0260, or 1110, or instructor permission. Students MUST register for the lecture section and the screening.
MCM 1501N - Television Time and Space
Explores television's temporal and spatial construction, considering how television demarcates time (regulating it through flow and segmentation, articulating work and leisure times, marking familial and national events, encouraging rhythms of reception) and space (mapping public and private space, defining a "global media culture" through local viewings, representing and enacting travel and exchange, creating imaginary geographies and communities).
MCM 1501O - Television, Gender, and Sexuality
This course investigates how television produces and reproduces constructions of gender and sexuality through its institutional form (as it maps relations between the public and the private, the domestic and the social, the inside and the outside), narrative patterns (as it circulates family romances, links gender and genre, and mediates sexual and social tensions), and spectatorial relations (as it variously addresses viewers as sexed and gendered subjects, consumers and commodities, familial and defamiliarized viewers). DPLL
MCM 1501Q - The Close-Up: Theory and Practice
An examination of the use of the close-up in film and theory, from the "primitive" cinema to IMAX and from Münsterberg to Aumont and Deleuze. Special attention to the way in which the close-up has been associated insistently with the face and its heightened cultural significance, with the advent of a "cinematic language," and with questions of cinematic space and scale.
MCM 1501W - The Rhetoric of New Media
An examination of contemporary theories and practices of "new media," but in particular cyberspace; investigates the ways in which information technologies are challenging our inherited ideas about knowledge and ethics. All written work for the seminar will be digital. Application required. Occasional screenings to be announced during semester.
MCM 1502B - Publicity and Surveillance
Investigates the converging technologies and practices of publicity and surveillance. Considers phenomena such as webcams, face recognition technology and networked art, as well as concepts such as enlightenment, paranoia and exhibitionism. Theoretical, historical and legal readings.
MCM 1502C - Race And/As Spectacle
Theoretical and historical examination of race and/as spectacle, from 19th century world fairs and exhibitions to 20th century media events. Focuses on the productive relationship between race and media, from early cinema to the Internet.
MCM 1502E - Theories of the Photographic Image
Examines the history of attempts to assimilate the photographic image to a theory of representation. Will analyze theories of photography, chronophotography, film with respect to issues of time, subjectivity, historicity, the archive. Will also address the rise of the digital image and its potential threat to photography. Readings in Kracauer, Benjamin, Bourdieu, Barthes, Batchen, Marey, Bazin, Aumont and others.
MCM 1502H - Information, Discourse, Networks
Examines the historical emergence of information in relation to language and networks more broadly defined. Some key issues: the rise of new media, cyborgs and other post-human beings, the intersections between post-structuralism and cybernetics and between computer and human languages, and networked multitudes. Readings from Friedrich Kitler, Jacques Derrida, Norbert Wiener, Williams Burroughs, Felix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors, seniors and graduate students. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0260, or 1110, or instructor permission. Students MUST register for the lecture section and the lab.
MCM 1502J - Race as Archive
Examination of the importance of race to the logic and practice of biological, technological and cultural archives. Engaging the similarities and differences between the categorization of race in these fields, the course will focus on race as a justification for archives more broadly, and race as an archival trace "evidence" of a biological or cultural history. Readings will be theoretical, historical and literary. Preferences given to students in Modern Culture and Media, Art-Semiotics, Modern Culture and Media- German, Modern Culture and Media-Italian, Semiotics-French, Ethnic Studies, and Science & Technology Studies. All others seek permission from the instructor.
MCM 1502K - Real TV
How does television bring "real" events to us? How do we know what's "real"? What kinds of "realities" exist on television, and how do they operate (in relationship to one another, to TV fantasy, and to our everyday lives)? This course will consider not only some specific "reality genres" (news, catastrophe coverage, "surveillance programming," documentary and docudrama, talk and game shows, reality series and "docu-soaps") but the representational modes that define the reality of commercial television as a whole. Issues to be addressed include: TV "liveness," crisis and scandal, therapeutic discourses, "surveillance society," media simulation, realism and anti-realism, civic and commercial discourses, and television's construction of history and knowledge. Preference given to graduate students, seniors, and juniors in Modern Culture & Media and Art-Semiotics. Prerequisites - two of the following: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, 1110. Interested students who cannot pre-register should come to the first day of class for an application for admission by instructor permission.
MCM 1502N - Derrida and Telecommunications
Derrida famously proclaimed that writing preceded speech¿rendering all communications a form of writing¿but he also argued that the history of psychoanalysis would have been different if Freud had used e- instead of snail-mail. Tracing Derrida's thought re. telecommunications from Grammatology to Writing Machines, as well as engaging his interlocutors (Samuel Weber, Avital Ronell, etc.), this course examines the importance of medium-specificity to post-structuralism. Prerequisite - two of the following: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, 1110. Preferences given to juniors and seniors in Modern Culture and Media, Art-Semiotics, Modern Culture and Media-German, Modern Culture and Media-Italian, Semiotics-French, Science Studies, Anthropology, Comparative Literature, English, Gender Studies, and Philosophy. All other seek permission from the instructor.
MCM 1502P - Nation and Identity in Cinema
Comparative study of constructions of nationhood in films, different cinematic strategies, and written texts about cinema. We will examine the discursive, political and epistemological power achieved by different versions of the concept of "national cinema" and the kinds of collective identities they imagine, from early cinema to current globalized media. Readings by theorists, historians and filmmakers. Screenings from pertinent contexts (for example, Weimar Germany, U.S. classical cinema, Japanese 1930s, third cinema, New German Cinema, New Chinese cinema, multinational corporate cinema, etc). Enrollment limited to 20 juniors, seniors and graduate students. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0260, or 1110, or instructor permission. Students MUST register for the lecture section and the screening.
MCM 1502T - Film Noir: Femmes Fatales, Urban Space, and Paranoia
An examination of film noir, concentrating on the classic films of the 1940s and 1950s, but also investigating film noir's relation to German Expressionism as well as remakes and reincarnations of the genre such as Blade Runner. We will discuss various methodologies: psychoanalysis, ideological analysis, close textual analysis, the historiography of noir. Films by Lewis, Tourneur, Wilder, Hawks, Lang, Pabst, Welles, Preminger, Hitchcock, Ray. Readings in Copjec, Zizek, Naremore, Dimendberg, Vernet, Jameson. Enrollment limited to 20. Primarily for MCM senior concentrators and MCM graduate students; other qualified students must obtain permission from the instructor.
MCM 1502U - Media and Memory: Representing the Holocaust
The Holocaust has been described as unimaginable, at the limits of representation. Yet there have been numerous attempts to imagine and represent it, across media (film, television, graphic novels), genres (documentary, melodrama, comedy, fantasy), and modalities (through history and memory, "high" and "low" culture, fiction and nonfiction, reporting and marketing). Considering such attempts to represent the unrepresentable and "mediate" the immediacy of trauma, this course will explore media texts and theoretical/philosophical reflections on the Holocaust. Enrollment limited to 20. Prerequisite: one of the following: MCM 0110, MCM 0230, MCM 0240, MCM 0250, MCM 0260, MCM 1110. Preferences given to juniors, seniors, and graduate students. All others seek permission from the instructor.
MCM 1502V - Theories of the Body and the Limits of Constructionism
Scholars currently argue that cultural constructionism went too far, that theories of subjectivity that dominated the academy for over two decades neglected the materiality of the body. We will examine these criticisms as well as what it means to theorize the body. Readings include Merleau-Ponty (phenomenology), Freud and Dolto (psychoanalysis), Damasio (neurology), Fausto-Sterling (biology), Butler, Grosz, Kirby, Moore, Wilson, etc. Enrollment limited to 20. Prerequisite: one related MCM course.
MCM 1502X - Race and/as Technology
This course asks: to what extent can race be considered a technology? That is, not an identity that is true or false, but rather a technique that one uses, even as one is used by it? Ranging from contemporary cyborgs to early 20th century eugenics, it investigates what race does, regardless of what we think it is. Readings will be theoretical, historical and literary. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors, seniors and graduate students. All other seek permission from the instructor. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110.
MCM 1502Y - Simulation Speed Implosion: Theories of Media Technology
Jean Baudrillard and Paul Virilio are generally regarded as two of media studies most notorious pessimists and hyperbolists. Yet they are also theorists who treat the media as technological systems that transcend the traditionally held boundaries of the cultural, economic, social and political. This course will place Baudrillard and Virilio in a context of media theory and technology studies rooted in the work of Harold Innis and Marshall McLuhan while demonstrating important differences between these figures. We will engage in close readings of Baudrillard's and Virilio's major works as well as some of the writings of their interlocutors. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors, seniors and graduate students. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110.
MCM 1502Z - Art Cinema and Its Legacy
Art cinema is associated with directors who achieved international prominence after World War II, with unconventional narrative films that were understood as expressions of original artistic subjectivities and film movements like the French New Wave (e.g., Antonioni, Bergman, Fellini, Godard, Resnais, and many others). Art cinema defined how many imagined non-Hollywood cinema in a global context, but was neither avant-garde nor necessarily political. Its legacy persists to the present, for example, in the reception of recent Iranian cinema and New Taiwanese cinema. We will study its aesthetic and textual strategies, its significance in global film history, and its theoretical implications. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110.
MCM 1503A - The Ethics of Romanticism (ENGL 1560Y)
Interested students must register for ENGL 1560Y S01.
MCM 1503B - Jane Austen and George Eliot (ENGL 1560A)
Interested students must register for ENGL 1560A S01.
MCM 1503C - "Terrible Beauty": Literature and the Terrorist Imaginary (ENGL 1760I) Interested students must register for ENGL 1760I S01.
MCM 1503D - W. G. Sebald and Some Interlocutors (ENGL 1761Q)
Interested students must register for ENGL 1761Q S01 (CRN 26515).
MCM 1503E - Aesthetic Theory/Cultural Studies
Aesthetic thought has a long and varied history, but aesthetic categories have only recently become a central concern of cultural studies. This course combines readings in the history of aesthetics and aesthetic education; twentieth-century work on aesthetics from various philosophical and disciplinary perspectives (from “aesthetic theory” and the “anti-aesthetic” to “a return to aesthetics”); and recent scholarship addressing (while not necessarily celebrating) the reemergence of aesthetic questions in cultural and media studies and the evolving relationship of the aesthetic to categories such as ideology, form and virtuality. Readings from Schiller and Kant to Adorno, Berube, Foster, Galloway, Ranciere and Spivak. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors. Instructor permission required.
MCM 1503F - Critical Methodologies: Contemporary Literary Theory (ENGL 1900I) Interested students must register for ENGL 1900I S01 (CRN 27039).
MCM 1503G - Representations of Suffering in History and Media
This course will explore accounts of suffering in works on slavery, genocide, as well as extra-legal violence (lynching, gay bashing) in order to explore debates about the representation of violence and the use of new technologies of representation. Readings include historians, critical and legal theorists, and journalists. We will also explore recent debates around images of suffering and the reemergence of "shame" as a topic in the context of combatting violence and asserting identity in queer theory. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors, seniors and graduate students. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110, or instructor permission.
MCM 1503H - Literature and the Ideology of the Aesthetic (ENGL 1950B) Interested students must register for ENGL 1950B S01 (CRN 26963).
MCM 1503I - Digital Media and Race: Ethnicity, Technicity, Embodiment
Are we becoming post-racial in the digital age? This course questions what constitutes "race" through exploration of the ways technology affects identity. Turning to examples from new media art, World of Warcraft, cyborgs and cyberculture, the role of race in the "natural" body, and the formation of identity in online communities, we will explore the relationship between race and digital media. We draw upon critical race theory, critical theories of new media and technology, postcolonial theory and posthumanism to provide a clear and nuanced understanding of race and identity, situating it within the digital culture of our increasingly virtual world. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.
MCM 1503J - Film Authors and Authorship
Who is the "author" of a film? Drawing on readings about authorship from literary theory, semiotics, poststructuralism and film studies, and close attention tofilms by major American and international directors (e.g. Hitchcock, Welles, Mizoguchi, Antonioni, Tarkovsky, Godard, Akerman, Jodorowsky, Deren, Brakhage, Malick, Scorsese, Lynch, Kiarostami, Aronofsky, Nolan, Bigelow), this course examines theories and practices of film authorship and the historical development of the idea of film directors as authors within film criticism and theory. Film authorship will also be considered in relation to other formations such as genre, national cinema, gender, race, coloniality, etc. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.
MCM 1503K - Memory and Modern Media: Permanence and Presence in Film and Digital Media
Film and digital media, often claim to remember or preserve our experiences. But what does it mean to capture, catalogue and archive experiences by such media? How are mediated memories encoded within a larger cultural order? How do these media make fleeting moments permanent, lend an air of truth to the image, compose an archive of experiences? We will study key examples in photography, experimental and mainstream cinema, video art, and new media, which engage with memory and visuality. Readings include key critics and theorists concerned with these issues. Screenings will include Marey, Brakhage, Kurosawa, Tarkovsky, Frampton, and Marker. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.
MCM 1503L - South Korean Cinema: From Golden Age to Korean Wave (EAST 1950U) Interested students must register for EAST 1950U S01 (CRN 27437).
MCM 1503M - Outside Media
Media technologies (e.g. film, television, digital) are often understood in relation to a rather limited set of locations, meanings, and practices. For instance, we generally take for granted that films are exhibited in movie theaters and TV in the home. Beyond such routine sites, this course examines the import of anthropological and spatial approaches to media and media theory. Focus on non-domestic media, intermediality, and contexts outside the cultural center (e.g. subaltern, non-western). Readings draw on anthropology, cultural geography, social theory, and media/cultural studies. Students will also develop media ethnographic projects utilizing video, photography, sound recording, etc. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.
MCM 1503N Video Theory
This course takes as its starting point Sean Cubitt's assertion in the early 1990s that there is not and never will be "video theory"—an assertion tethered to video's perceived lack of a single or essential form. Focus on the history and theory of video across "old" and "new" media, including sound and image reproduction, broadcasting, video art, documentary, gaming, digital culture, and the internet. We will consider various theoretical understandings of video and their relation to production/distribution/ exhibition, aesthetics, ideology, virtuality, and mass culture. Readings drawn from Cubbit, Armes, Renov, Derrida, Galloway, Hilderbrand, Larkin, Elsaesser, Manovich, Deleuze, Sundaram, Juhasz, and others. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.
MCM 1503O - Market Economy, Popular Culture, and Mass Media in Contemporary China (EAST 1950G) Interested students must register for EAST 1950G S01 (CRN 23679).
MCM 1503P - Introduction to Theories of Narrative (ENGL 1900X)
Interested students must register for ENGL 1900X S01 (CRN 14963).
MCM 1503Q Communication Culture and Literary Politics
A common concept of "medium" ties communication culture to art and literature. But what's a medium? Is it basic material for a work of art, like a sculptor's clay? Is it a communications device, like a telephone? Or is it a means to share information, like a network? The course explores the social ramifications of these questions, while also considering how politics can mediate art and technology, not just the other way around. Materials include novels by Delany, Yamashita, Mackey, and LeGuin; video art; and media and community theory by Nancy, Terranova, Rancière, Riley, Mattelart, and Liu. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.
MCM 1503R Photography and Human Rights
In the context of the current abundance of "images of atrocity" showing global human rights violations, this course will return to one milestone exhibition, The Family of Man (1955) as a potential archive containing "visual clauses" of a Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Through this exhibition, some subsequent photographic examples and related films, we will ask new questions about the documentary genre, about the role of imagination in photography, and about the use of photography in studying history, including a history of a potential past that never was and of the actual present that should not be. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.
MCM 1503S Cinema and Memory
This course investigates some of the major ways in which cinema has been associated with memory from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Drawing from the history of cinema practice and criticism, as well as from key theories of memory, it provides multiple frameworks for making sense of cinema as a technology of memory. While we will examine popular films, emphasis is also placed on local, minority, non-theatrical, and small-scale cinemas. Topics to be covered include film archives, prosthetic memory, trauma, community and home movies, race, migration, nostalgia, and postmodernism. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.
MCM 1503T Sensing Time: Affect and the Moving Image (GNSS 1960R)
Interested students must register for GNSS 1960R.
MCM 1503U Post '80's Asian Cinemas: From New Waves to Digital Generations
This course focuses on the "independent" cinemas of East Asia (the three Chinas, Korea, Japan, etc.), among other Asian film and video cultures (India, Iran, Thailand, etc.). We will explore entangled "new waves," genre cinemas, documentary movements, video amateurs and activists, as well as issues related to distribution (film festivals, disc and torrent cultures, shadow economies), aesthetics, genre, political society, and the growing field inter-Asian cultural studies. In short, beyond the "national" cinemas model, this course takes a comparative/regional look at the cinemas and film/video theories of the new Asia. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110.
MCM 1503V Reading Michel Foucault
A study of Foucault's work from his early texts through his last. We will look at the ways Foucault challenged conventional thinking with his theories of discourse, epistemic rupture, disciplinary formations, power, sexuality, biopolitics, governmentality, and the care of the self. We will examine the questions and tensions that drive Foucault's work internally and will consider the ways his thinking has been both used and perhaps abused. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110.
MCM 1503W Getting Emotional: Passionate Theories (ENGL 1560W)
Interested students must register for ENGL 1560W.
MCM 1503X The Ekphrastic Mode in Contemporary Literature (ENGL 1762B)
Interested students must register for ENGL 1762B.
MCM 1503Y Freud, Lacan and the Science of Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis, it could be said, is the mother tongue of our modernity. If Hollywood fell hard for Freud in the 40s, it was not unlike other industries. This, in fact, is Foucault's argument: capitalism is an incitement to speak psychoanalysis, all the better to instate mechanisms of bio-power. This seminar will demonstrate why Foucault is precisely and productively wrong; how capitalism sets out to destroy psychoanalysis's prized discovery: surplus enjoyment. Rather than contest the claim that Freud invented a science of sex, we will uncover the exotic force of this science, which divides what bio-power tries to synthesize. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0220, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.
MCM 1503Z Dialogues on Feminism and Technology
This experimental course asks students to reexamine the critical practices and discourses of science and technology through a feminist lens. “Dialogues on Feminism and Technology” is part of a worldwide network of feminist scholars, artists, and activists called femtechnet. We will ask students to consider how feminist thought contributes to computing, hacker culture, new media, nanotechnology, surrogacy, genetic culture, bioart, and a wide range of related topics. Students will be expected to participate in the discussion of the class both online and in person, give short presentations, write a research paper, and complete a creative assignment outlined in the syllabus. Limited to 20 juniors and seniors.
MCM 1504A From Photography to Film: Theories of the Image (ENGL 1950E)
Interested students must register for ENGL 1950E.
MCM 1504B Democracy Among the Ruins (POLS 1823M)
Interested students must register for POLS 1823M.
MCM 1504G Chinese Women, Gender, and Feminism from Historical and Transnational Perspectives (EAST 1950B)
Interested students must register for EAST 1950B.
MCM 1504H The Panorama and the 19th-Century Visual Culture (ITAL 1340)
Interested students must register for ITAL 1340.
MCM 1504I Image, Music, Text (ENGL 1762C)
Interested students must register for ENGL 1762C.
MCM 1504J Kubrik (ENGL 1762D)
Interested students must register for ENGL 1762D.
MCM 1504K Queer Theories (HMAN 1971I)
Interested students must register for HMAN 1971I.
MCM 1504L Radical Poetics + World Cinema
“Cinema is a language,” so they say. But what kind of language? Is it prose, telling stories about the world? Or is it poetry, with no formal rules but those it imposes upon itself, and with enough creative energy to remake or shatter the world? As we’ll see, “film poetry” has, since cinema was born, been a watchword to filmmakers and theorists for whom cinema might deform the world’s grotesque structures of power. We’ll read manifestoes of radical poetics and “film poetry”—authors range from Glissant and Kristeva to Ruiz and Pasolini—and watch political films from all seven continents.
MCM 1504M The Politics and Practices of Digital Media
Crossing the fields of digital humanities, critical theory, feminist theory, race studies, and new media studies, this course considers how technology is a constant negotiation of fantasies and fears, politics and practices. We will consider the negotiation between users, bodies, code and systems as we simultaneously practice and critique the prevalent forms of digital technology. We will address questions such as: how are political and social effects visible not only in the practice of digital technology, but in the underlying structures themselves? How are digital technologies both producing and produced by certain forms of sociality and cultural discourse?
MCM 1700 - Seminars in Production
Topics vary from year to year and instructor to instructor. In each section, enrollment is limited to 20. Written permission given after the first meeting.
MCM 1700A - Approaches to Digital Cinema
An advanced seminar for students of film and video production. Examines the impact of digital technologies on the forms and practices of time-based media. A production seminar in which students undertake a semester-long project. Requires technical competence and completion of an intermediate level production class. Projects may include digital films, video, installations, and other media-based works. Application required.
MCM 1700B - Approaches to Narrative
A production seminar for intermediate to advanced students in film and/or video production. Students complete a substantial media project in the course of the semester. Class meetings will focus on close readings and critical feedback of students' work during all phases of production. Texts related to narrative theory and production will be discussed. Screenings of exemplary works will supplement the class. Class members should have completed at least one time-based media class. Students are expected to be competent technically. An application will be completed during the first class session and the final class list will be determined after this meeting, with permission of the instructor. S/NC
MCM 1700D - Reframing Documentary Production: Concepts and Questions
An advanced seminar for students of video and/or film production. Focuses on the critical discussion and production of documentary. A major project (10-20 minutes) and in-class presentations of work-in-progress required. Readings on the theory and practice of the form and selective screenings augment the presentation of student work. Class members should have completed at least one time-based media class. Students are expected to be competent technically. Application required. Application is available in the MCM office. Students must bring a completed application to the first class to be considered for admission. The final class list will be determined after this meeting, with permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 20. S/NC.
MCM 1700J - Tv/Tv: Commercial and Alternative Television
Given the centrality of commercial television in our culture, what possibilities exist for independent television viewing and/or independent television production? How might we re-write TV, either by stimulating alternative readings and new interpretive practices or by creating alternative texts and new modes of transmission? Combining theory and practice (television studies and video production), this course will encourage students to critique commercial television through both media analysis and their own video work. Enrollment limited to 20. Preference given to advanced students (graduate students, seniors, juniors) in Modern Culture & Media, Art-Semiotics, MCM German, MCM Italian, Semiotics French and Visual Arts. Prerequisites: any two previous MCM courses. Interested students who cannot pre-register should come to the first day of class to fill out an application for admission by instructor permission.
MCM 1700M - Techniques of Surveillance
In the decades since George Orwell wrote 1984, Big Brother has evolved from a menacing specter of government power into a form of entertainment--a reality TV show that makes a game of the camera's watchful eye. Yet from NSA wiretapping to Facebook, our images and words are relentlessly tracked and profiled. This production seminar investigates surveillance as an object of cultural fascination and as a means of production in cinema, television, social software, and media art. Students give presentations and produce media art projects. Readings include Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, and Laura Mulvey. Enrollment limited to 20. S/NC
MCM 1700N - Open Source Culture
Where do we draw the line between sampling and stealing? What would it mean to call a urinal a work of art? This production seminar explores the tension between artistic appropriation and intellectual property law, considering open source software as a model for cultural production. We will trace a history of open source culture from Cubist collage and the Readymades of Marcel Duchamp through Pop art and found footage film to Hip Hop and movie trailer mashups. Students give presentations and produce media art projects. Readings include Roland Barthes, Nicholas Bourriaud, and Rosalind Krauss. Enrollment limited to 40. S/NC LILE
MCM 1700P - Radical Media
Walter Benjamin wrote that in the age of mechanical reproduction art ceases to be based on ritual and "begins to be based on another practice--politics." What is the relation between art and politics in an age of digital distribution? This course explores the nexus of media production and political action from the films of Sergei Eisenstein to WikiLeaks. Students give research-based presentations and produce media art projects. Readings include Guy Debord, Michel de Certeau, Hakim Bey. Enrollment limited to 40. S/NC LILE
MCM 1700Q - Approaches to Media Form
A production seminar for advanced students, organized around the completion of a substantial film or video project. Screenings and discussions will emphasize alternative approaches to media practice. Students will conduct a series of presentations on their own work as it progresses. Intermediate level production class required. Application required. Applications (available at the MCM department) should be completed and returned by, October 10, 2008. Decisions will be posted on the MCM office door at the beginning of pre-registration. Enrollment limited to 20. Instructors permission required. S/NC. Students MUST register for the lecture section and the screening.
MCM 1700R - The Art of Curating
It is sometimes said in contemporary art circles that curators are the new artists. Curating involves a wide range of activities, including research, selection, commissioning, collaboration with artists, presentation, interpretation, and critical writing. This production seminar considers curatorial practice as a form of cultural production, paying particular attention to questions of audience, ethical responsibility, and institutional context. Students give presentations, develop exhibition proposals, and curate exhibitions. Visiting curators present case-studies on recent projects. Readings include Douglas Crimp, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, and Nicholas Bourriaud. Enrollment limited to 40. S/NC LILE
MCM 1700S - Narrative and Immersion
A production course examining the potentials for engagement in new media installations. The course draws on techniques of narrative to establish engagement in immersive environments. Students will be introduced to cinematic concepts, interactive technologies, multi-channel video and surround sound environments. Classes meetings will consist of viewing and analysis of exemplary work, discussion of readings, and critiques of student projects. An additional 1-hour technical workshop will be devoted to learning Jitter. Class members should have completed advanced work in film/video, digital sound, and/or creative writing. Open to upper-level undergraduate students and graduate students. The final class list will be determined after the first class meeting, by permission of instructor. Lab times to be announced. S/NC
MCM 1700T Approaches to Narrative
A media production course concerned with practical and conceptual aspects of narrative in contemporary film and dv cinema. After attention to technique (use of 16mm film and digital cameras, lighting, sound and editing), the second half of the semester will be devoted to individual projects and discussion of them. Screenings and close analysis of contemporary narrative films from the current global renaissance in narrative cinema, involving filmmakers in China, Thailand, the Philippines, Argentina, Greece, Portugal, etc. – partly led by feature filmmakers with backgrounds in the art world. Requirements include a group project and an individual, advanced level project in film/video. Application required. Application is available in the MCM office. Students must bring a completed application to the first class to be considered for admission. The final class list will be determined after this meeting, with permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors. S/NC
MCM 1700U Experimental Data Representation
MCM 1970 - Directed Research: Modern Culture and Media
Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.
MCM 1990 - Honors Thesis/Project in Modern Culture and Media
Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course. Eighth semester students only
Graduate level courses (2100 - 2990)
MCM 2100 - Studies in Cultural and Social Theory
MCM 2100A - Contemporary Feminist Theory and the Problem of the Subject
Recent feminist theory represents the persistence of identity politics and the problem of the subject in various forms: through the "intersectionality" of race, class and gender; in the idioms of psychoanalysis; in terms of the "queer" subject. We will examine these often conflicting theories and the subjects of feminism they invoke with particular attention to the modes of address.
MCM 2100B - Criticism and Culture in Marxist Theory
Major texts and arguments in 20th century Western Marxist cultural theory, from Lukács through the present. Focus on problems in the conception and reading of culture and cultural texts. Where appropriate, consideration of interaction with other major theoretical frameworks (e.g., aesthetics, phenomenology, semiotics, psychoanalysis, feminism, postcolonial criticism, globalization theory, etc.). Enrollment limited to 20 graduate students. Permission required for undergraduates only.
MCM 2100G - Freud and Lacan
Readings of major texts by Freud and Lacan will stress the relations between language, subjectivity and sexuality and the feminist use and/or critique of psychoanalytic concepts. We will also look at texts by other theorists (e.g. Melanie Klein, Heinz Kohut) and investigate the clinical implications of various approaches. Familiarity with semiotic and poststructuralist theory required. Enrollment limited to 20. Primarily for MCM graduate students; other qualified graduate students and MCM seniors must obtain permission from the instructor.
MCM 2100J Space and Time in Media Discourse
The course asks how space and time are conceptually, socially and aesthetically constructed thru different media. Perspectival constructions of space and time were always in the center of analysis when it came to cultural representations of the subject. Here will be the main focus of the course: Reconstructing the discourses on perspectivism (Nietzsche), pictorial perspective (Renaissance perspective) and temporalities of media like seriality, repetition, duration etc. During the course we will look on concepts of narrative and temporal perspectives in the context of general theories of time as well as in the context of specific media as photography and film.
MCM 2100H - History of Theory: Histroicism vs. Psychoanalysis
An examination of the often heated debates between two major branches of cultural criticism: the Foucaultians (“historicism”) and the Lacanians (psychoanalysis). What are the stakes—theoretical, critical, political—in the debates? To what extent do the theories of Foucault and Freud/Lacan converge and diverge? Special focus on questions of the screen and spectatorship. Readings include Lacan, Foucault, Freud, Copjec, Butler, Laclau, Zizek, and others. Enrollment limited to 20. This course is for Graduates only. Upperclass undergraduates require instructor's permission.
MCM 2100I Habits of Living: Affect and New Media
How have we become habituated to and inhabitants of new media, and what are the effects of this voluntary and involuntary habituation? Focusing on the relationship between new media and affects—environmentally-provoked, non-conscious responses, central to the formation of individual / group perception—this course investigates new media networks as structures created through constant human and non-human actions. Enrollment limited to 20. This course is for Graduates only. Upperclass undergraduates require instructor's permission. Students must register for the primary meeting and the film screening.
MCM2100K American LGBT and its Global Other: Performance as Method (TAPS 220M)
Interested students must register for TAPS 2200M.
MCM 2100L THe Politics of Precariousness and Resilience (POLS 2355)
Interested students must register for POLS 2355.
MCM 2100M Liveness: Performance and Neoanimism in Late Capitalism (TAPS 2200N)
Interested students must register for TAPS 2200N.
MCM 2110 - Studies in Textual and Critical Theory
MCM 2110B - Freud and Lacan
This course will stress the relations between language, subjectivity and sexuality and the feminist use and/or critique of psychoanalytic concepts. Familiarity with semiotic and poststructuralist theory required. Additional readings in Laplanche, Weber, Zizek, Gallop, Butler.
MCM 2110E - The Reading Effect and the Persistence of Form (ENGL 2900M)
Interested students must register for ENGL 2900M S01 (CRN 17317).
MCM 2110F The Plasticity of Form
Cultural and literary studies have increasingly engaged with the question of the aesthetic and, as a consequence, with the problematics of reading, spectatorship and the user that emerges in new media. Our course will approach the articulation of subject and object at stake in these questions through the category of form. We will examine historical conceptualizations of form in various disciplines along with contemporary efforts to think form in critical, rhetorical, dynamic, interactive, and rhizomatic modes: to think the plasticity of form. Readings will range from Williams, Deleuze and Mulvey to Jacques Rancière and Catherine Malabou. Enrollment limited to 20 graduate students. Upperclass undergraduates require instructor permission.
MCM 2110G "This is what you were born for": Optimism and Futurity (ENGL 2561F)
Interested students must register for ENGL 2561F.
MCM 2110H Deleuze, Rancière, Literature, Film: The Logic of Connection (ENGL 2900S)
Interested students must register for ENGL 2900S.
MCM 2110I Forms of Reading in the Wake of Humanities (ENGL 2900U)
Interested students must register for ENGL 2900U.
MCM 2110J Wordliness and Hannah Arendt
On the 50th anniversary of Eichmann in Jerusalem, this seminar asks: How did Hannah Arendt's experience as a Jewish refugee from Hitler's Germany shape her democratic theory? Do her democratic theory and suggestive category worldliness provide a distinctive way to look at post-Holocaust diasporic conditions? We review main categories of political philosophy such as state, sovereignty, nation, violence, vulnerability and power, also using Butler, Kafka and more. Enrollment limited to 15 graduate students.
MCM 2120 - Studies in Media Theory
MCM 2120A - Media Archaeology
Provides an intellectual history of "Media Archaeology," focusing on contributions by the "SophienstraBe" departments of Humboldt University in Berlin and on the importance of Marshall McLuhan and Michel Foucault, amongst others, to its development. Readings by Friedrich Kittler, Wolfgang Erst, Cornelia Vismann.
MCM 2120B - New Media Theory
An interdisciplinary investigation of "New Media Theory," bringing together historically significant texts from the fields of media, film, literary, music, visual, HCI and cultural studies, with more recent texts in new media studies. As well as exposing students to the canon (from hypertext theory to software studies, HCI to media archaeology), the course will also address the question: what is at stake in the creation of this canon and this discipline? Preferences given to Seniors and Graduate Students in Modern Culture and Media, Art-Semiotics, Modern Culture and Media-German, Modern Culture and Media-Italian, Semiotics-French, English, Comparative Literature, German, Literary Arts, Music, and Science and Technology Studies. All others seek permission from the instructor.
MCM 2120C - Cinema, State Violence and the Global
Theoretical and political conceptions of state and global violence posed against the theory and history of cinema, as representational apparatus and as instruction. Special attention to the establishment of film as global medium around World War I; current issues around the global, state, and biopower; "postmodern media culture;" etc. Readings from sociopolitical theorists (e.g. Weber, Schmitt, Arendt, Foucault, Agamben, Hardt and Negri, etc.) and media scholars/theorists (e.g. Virillio, Prince, L. Williams, Miller, etc.) Enrollment limited to 20. Permission required for undergraduates only.
MCM 2120D - Derrida and Telecommunications
Derrida famously proclaimed that writing preceded speech--rendering all communications a form of writing--but he also argued that the history of psychoanalysis would have been different if Freud had used e-instead of snail-mail. Tracing Derrida's thought re. telecommunications from Grammatology to Writing Machines, as well as engaging his interlocutors (Samuel Weber, Avital Ronell, etc.), this course examines the importance of medium-specificity to post-structuralism. Enrollment limited to 20 graduate students. Permission required for undergraduates only.
MCM 2120E - Cinema, Media Culture and Political Theory: Rancière and Others
There is a strand of contemporary thinkers concerned with political theory, in whose writings media and especially film play significant roles. Jacques Rancière has produced a major body of work on political theory, on aesthetics, and on film as well as media culture. This class will focus on a close examination of his political theory, his conceptions of film and media, and relations between the two fields in his writings. For comparison, we will also look at smaller samples of texts on political theory and film drawn from figures such as Agamben, Badiou, Jameson, etc. Enrollment limited to 20. This class is for Graduates only. Upperclass undergraduates require instructor permission.
MCM 2120F - Concepts of Space and Time in Media Discourses (HMAN 2970C)
Interested students must register for HMAN 2970C S01.
MCM 2120G - Film and Philsophy after Deleuze
Examining the recent but still expanding interest of major contemporary philosophers in the cinema and the corresponding interest of film scholars in contemporary philosophy, the seminar assesses the impact and aftermath of Gilles Deleuze's ground-establishing intervention in the mid-1980s on Cinema Studies. The seminar will include consideration of include Stanley Cavell, Jacques Ranciere, Alain Badiou, Jean Luc Nancy, Giorgio Agamben among others. A prior working acquaintance with Deleuze’s Cinema books is advisable. Enrollment limited to 20. This course is for Graduates only. Upperclass undergraduates require instructor's permission.
MCM 2300 - Studies in Styles, Movements, and Genres
MCM 2300A - Real TV
This course will investigate the construction of reality on U.S. television, considering not only specific reality genres (news and "magazine" programs, crisis coverage, docudrama, talk and game shows) but the discursive and representational modes that define the "reality" of commercial television as a whole. Issues include: "liveness"; social relevancy"; therapeutic discourse; TV personalities; media simulation; independent television; and new technologies/realisms.
MCM 2300B - Television, Gender and Sexuality
This course investigates how television produces and reproduces constructions of gender and sexuality through its institutional form (as it maps relations between the public and the private, the domestic and the social, the inside and the outside), narrative patterns (as it circulates family romances, links gender and genre, and mediates sexual and social tensions), and spectatorial relations (as it variously addresses viewers as sexed and gendered subjects, consumers and commodities, familial and defamiliarized viewers). Enrollment limited to 20. Preference given to graduate students, and then to seniors and juniors in Modern Culture & Media, Art- Semiotics, MCM-German, MCM-Italian, Semiotics French and Gender and Sexuality Studies. Instructors permission required for all undergraduate students. Interested students who cannot pre-register should come to the first day of class to fill out an application for admission.
MCM 2300C - After Postmodernism: New Fictional Modes (ENGL 2760X)
Interested students must register for ENGL 2760X S01.
MCM 2300D - Historicism/Photographic Media: From Kracauer and Benjamin to the DEFA Documentary (GRMN 2660H)
Interested students must register for GRMN 2660H S01.
MCM 2300E - Things Not Entirely Possessed: Romanticism and History (ENGL 2561B)
Interested students must register for ENGL 2561B S01 (CRN 16829).
MCM 2300F Animation
The course focuses on the notion of animation as a general concept. This includes more than just the genre of animation films. We will start with an introduction into the tradition of the notion of 'livelihood' and the concept of the soul (e.g. anima): How is the spectator animated by film? Further we will proceed to texts that are discussing anthropological meanings of animation in the sense of animism. The main focus will then be on the discussion of general concepts of film as medium of animation per se and on different procedures of animating of and in film. Enrollment limited to 20.
MCM 2300G Collaboration and the Event of Photography
This course will question the concept of "collaboration" through a variety of moments and projects of collaboration between photographers, photographed persons and spectators that take place in different political contexts. Collaboration is a form of relation that may be idyllic or problematic, liberating or coercive, generating knowledge or disseminating ignorance, empowering or intimidating, involving assistance and solidarity as much as abuse; it may take place among friends or between enemies, and it may create friendship as much as it may complicate it. Reviewing this spectrum of possibilities we shall ask how collaboration informs and transforms the event of photography. Enrollment limited to 15 graduate students. Upperclass undergraduates require instructor permission. Students must register for the primary meeting and one film screening.
MCM 2310 - Studies in Textual Formations
MCM 2310C - Eisenstein and Political Modernism
Eisenstein's theories and films are a formative moment in cinema and media history, bringing together the ambitions of politicized film and modernist aesthetics. From the first, they were invoked by a range of radical theorists and filmmakers all the way from Brecht and Benjamin to Metz and Deleuze, as well as a variety of filmmaking practices such as militant documentary, third cinema and Godard. In this seminar, we will intensively study Eisenstein's theories, filmic practices and shifting historical contexts, from the heady days of the politically and aesthetically avant-garde 1920s, through the transformations of his theories in the 1930s and 1940s (many only available posthumously) and of his later film projects (several unfinished). We will also trace out some filiations and rereadings of Eisenstein within the history of politically conversant modernist film practices and theories. Permission required for undergraduates only; undergraduates seeking permission must attend the first class session.
MCM 2310D - The Idea of a Medium
What is a "medium" (a term we often seem to take for granted)? An examination of issues of medium specificity, intermediality, convergence, formalism and the idea of a "post-medium era," in relation to the media of print, photography, film, television, and digital media. We will also investigate the role of the museum and alternative screening or exhibition spaces as well as "virtual space" in delineating reception of the media. Enrollment limited to 20. Primarily for MCM graduate students; other qualified graduate students and MCM seniors must obtain permission after the first class. Students MUST register for the lecture section and the screening.
MCM 2310E - TV Space and Time
Explores television's temporal and spatial construction, considering how television demarcates time (regulating it through flow and segmentation, articulating work and leisure times, marking familial and national events, encouraging rhythms of reception) and space (mapping public and private space, defining a "global media culture" through local viewings, representing and enacting travel and exchange, creating imaginary geographies and communities). Enrollment limited to 20. Preferences given to graduate students. All others seek permission from the instructor. Students MUST register for the lecture section and the screening.
MCM 2310G - Cultural Studies and the Problem of Form
This course examines the emergence and contemporary practice of "cultural studies" with a focus on concepts of form. We will consider cultural studies critiques of disciplines, canons, and the aesthetic; the politics of form; theories of reading and spectatorship; "popular" and "mass" forms; and competing definitions of culture as form arising in fields from visual and media studies to postcoloniality and queer theory. Readings from Williams, Hall, Mulvey, Althusser, Spivak, Deleuze, Hartman, Agamben, Sedgwick, Galloway. Instructor permission required. All students seeking permission must attend first class.
MCM 2310H - Television Realities
How does television bring "real" events to us? How do we define or know what's "real"? What kinds of "realities" exist on television, and how do they operate (in relationship to one another, to TV fantasy, to social structures, and to our everyday lives)? This course will consider not only some specific "reality genres" (news, catastrophe coverage, "live" and "historical" programs, "surveillance programming," documentary and docudrama, talk and game shows, reality series and "docu-soaps") but the representational modes that define the reality of commercial television as a whole. Enrollment limited to 20 graduate students. Permission required for undergraduates only.
MCM 2310I - At the Limits: Media Representation of the Holocaust
The Holocaust has been described as unimaginable, at the limits of representation. Yet there have been numerous attempts to imagine and represent it, across media (film, television, graphic novels), genres (documentary, melodrama, comedy, fantasy), and modalities (through history and memory, "high" and "low" culture, fiction and nonfiction, reporting and marketing). Considering such attempts to represent the unrepresentable and mediate the immediacy of trauma, this course will explore media texts and theoretical/philosophical reflections on the Holocaust. Enrollment limited to 20. This course is for Graduates only. Upperclass undergraduates require instructor's permission.
MCM 2330 - Critical Genres
MCM 2500 - Studies in the History of Media
MCM 2500A - Film and Modernity
An examination of films and film movements from 1895 through the 1930s in relation to the rise of modernity, modernization, and modernism. We will analyze the films through the lenses of theories of technology, temporality, the avant-garde, and the emergence of mass culture. Readings in Gunning, Bergson, Simmel, Kracauer, Benjamin, Jameson, Hansen, and others.
MCM 2500C - Media Archaeology
Provides an intellectual history of "Media Archaeology," focusing on contributions by the "Sophienstraße" departments of Humboldt University in Berlin and on the importance of Marshall McLuhan and Michel Foucault, amongst others, to its development. Readings in Friedrich Kittler, Wolfgang Erst, Cornelia Vismann. Permission required for undergraduates only.
MCM 2500D - Archaeologies of the Projected Image
Analysis of the history and theory of projected images from the magic lantern to IMAX. We will examine theories of scale, architecture, and perspective in order to consider the changing size of moving images, from the flip book to the cinema screen to the cell phone. We will also consider theories of mass culture, aesthetic technologies, the sublime, and public art. Readings in Jonathan Crary, Siegfried Kracauer, Sigmund Freud, Walter Benjamin, Henri Lefebvre, Jean-François Lyotard, Friedrich Kittler, Laurent Mannoni, Erkki Huhtamo, and others. Enrollment limited to 20 graduate students. Permission required for undergraduates only.
MCM 2500E - Temporality in/and the Cinema
An examination of the cinema’s historical and theoretical position as a mode of representing time. Is time recorded or produced by film? How can we analyze duration in the cinema? What is the cinema’s relation to the archive and to modernity? We will read work by Bergson, Freud, Marey, Kracauer, Benjamin, Deleuze, and others. Films by Lumière, Griffith, Snow, Tsai Ming-Liang, Hitchcock, and others. Enrollment limited to 20. This course is for Graduates only. Upperclass undergraduates require instructor's permission.
MCM 2500F Visualizations in the Humanities: From the Cabinet of Curiosities to the Geoparser (AMST 2661)
Interested students must register for AMST 2661.
MCM 2510 - Studies in Nationality and Transnationality
MCM 2510A - Art Cinema as Transnational Textual Strategy
In the 1960s, Antonioni, Bergman, Buñuel, Fassbinder, Fellini, Godard, Resnais, etc. achieved international,global, prominence by bending mainstream narrative cinema conventions in the name of original national and artistic subjectivities. But such "art cinema" has pervaded film history, from the 1920s (e.g. German Expressionism) to the present (e.g. New Iranian Cinema). Investigation of art cinema's textual strategies, conceptual underpinnings, and historical functions.
MCM 2510B - Cinema, State and Global Violence
Theoretical and political conceptions of state and global violence posed against the history of cinema, as representational apparatus and as institution. Special attention to the establishment of film as a global medium through World War I, and current work around "globalization," "postmodern media culture," etc. Readings from sociopolitical theorists (e.g. Weber, Arendt, Angabem, Hardt and Negri, Foucault) and cinema/media scholars (e.g. Virillio, Prince, L. Williams, Miller. Enrollment limited to 20.
MCM 2510C - The Adventures of Dignity
What is the ideological function of "dignity" as it is invoked in human rights discourses? What concepts of humankind and what fantasies of wholeness are assumed and reiterated? Readings include histories of human rights, treatises on dignity from Kant to Foucault, Elaine Scarry, and other theorists. Enrollment limited to 20. This course is for Graduates only. Upperclass undergraduates require instructor's permission.
MCM 2800 - Special Topics in Modern Culture and Media
MCM 2980 - Independent Reading and Research in Modern Culture and Media
Individual reading and research for doctoral candidates. Not open to undergraduates. Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.
MCM 2990 - Thesis Preparation
No description available.