Film & Media Studies Theory

Whitman College – FMS 387

Syllabus

FMS Theory Syllabus - Full PDF.

 

CLASS SCHEDULE

WK 1 HOW DO WE THEORIZE MEDIA? 

WED 9/4: Introductions; Approaches to Reading Theory

  • Arnold, “Culture and Anarchy” (Red 3-11)
  • Leavis, “Mass Civilization and Minority Culture” (Red 12-19)

WK 2 MARXISM 

MON 9/9 – The Basics

Storey: “Classical Marxism,” (Blue 59-61)

Selected Marx & Engels (Red 58-61)

SCREENINGA Face in the Crowd (Kazan 1957)

WED 9/11 – The Culture Industry

  • Storey, “The Frankfurt School” (Blue 62-69)
  • Adorno and Horkheimer, “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception” (CLEo)
  • Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (B&C 665-685)

WK 3 SEMIOTICS / STRUCTURALISM 

MON 9/16: The Study of Signs

SCREENING: Queen Christina (Mamoulian 1933)

WED 9/18: Structuralism

  • Storey, “Roland-Barthes: Mythologies” (Blue 118-125)
  • Barthes, “Myth Today” (Red 261-269)
  • Barthes, “The Face of Garbo” (B&C 471-473)

WK 4 IDEOLOGY / RESISTANCE  

MON 9/23 – Ideology

  • Storey, “Althusserianism” (Blue 70-78)
  • Althusser, “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses” (Red 302-312)

SCREENING:  The Matrix (Wachowski Brothers 1999)

WED 9/25 – Hegemony

  • Storey, “Hegemony” (Blue 79-81)
  • Gramsci, “Hegemony, Intellectuals, and the State” (Red 75-80)
  • Storey, “Rockin’ Hegemony: West Coast Rock” (Red 88-97)

WK 5  MODES OF RESISTANCE 

MON 9/30: Alternate Readings

  • Storey, “Post-Marxism and Cultural Studies” (Blue 82-87)
  • Hall, “Encoding/Decoding” (CLEo)

SCREENING: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Hawks 1954)

WED 10/2: Queering Pop Culture

  • Doty, “What Makes Queerness Most?” “There’s Something Queer Here” (CLEo)
  • Sontag, “Notes on Camp” (CLEo)

WK 6 PSYCHOANALYSIS/FEMINIST THEORY 

MON 10/7: Psychoanalysis

  • Storey, “Freudian, Lacanian, Cine-Psychoanalysis” (Blue 91-106)
  • Freud, “The Dream-Work” (Red 246-254)
  • Lacan, “The Mirror Stage” (Storey 255-260)

SCREENING: Rear Window (Hitchcock 1954)

WED 10/9: The Male Gaze

  • Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and the Narrative Cinema” (B&C 711-722)
  • Modleski, “The Master’s Dollhouse: Rear Window” (B&C 723-735)

WK 7 FEMINISM POST-MULVEY  

MON 10/14: NO CLASS – FOUR DAY

WED 10/16: Abjection

  • Kristeva, “Approaching Abjection” (CLEo)
  • Creed, “Horror and The Monstrous-Feminine: An Imaginary Abjection” (CLEo)

WK 8 CRITICAL RACE THEORY 

MON 10/21: Racial Ideologies

  • Storey, “Race and Racism” “Ideology of Racism” “Orientalism” (Blue 167-178)
  • Said, “Introduction to Orientalism” (CLEo)
  • Dyer, Selections from White (CLEo)

SCREENINGBamboozled (Lee 2000)

WED 10/23: Race and the Media

  • Hall, “Racist Ideologies and the Media” (CLEo)

WK 9 POSTMODERNISM

MON 10/28: Postmodernism/Postmodernities

  • Malpas, “The Postmodern” (CLEo)

SCREENING: Moulin Rouge (Luhrmann 2001)

WED 10/30: Postmodern Media Culture

  • Storey, “Jean Baudrillard” “Postmodern Music,” “Postmodern Television”
  • Baudrillard, “The Precesssion of Simulacra” (Red 409 – 415)

WK 10 THE GENIUS OF THE SYSTEM 

MON 11/4: The Studio System

  • Jewell, “How Howard Hawks Brought Baby Up” (B&C 515-522)
  • Schatz, “The Whole Equation of Pictures” (B&C 523-528)

WED 11/6: The Star System

  • McDonald, “Stardom as a System” (CLEo)
  • Allen, “The Role of the Star in Film History” (CLEo)

WK 11 GENRE THEORY 

MON 11/11: Making Lists

  • Altman, “A Semantic/Syntactic Approach to Film Genre” (B&C 552-563)
  • Schatz, “Film Genre and Genre Film” (B&C 564-575)

WED 11/13: Body Genres

  • Williams, “Film Bodies: Gender, Genre, and Excess” (B&C 602-616)

WK 12 CANONS AND TASTE FORMATION 

MON 11/18: The Auteur Theory

  • Sarris, “Notes on the Auteur Theory in 1962” (B&C 451-454)
  • Wollen, “The Auteur Theory” (B&C 455-462 (stop after Hawks))
  • SCREEN ON OWNHis Girl Friday (Hawks 1940) or Red River (Hawks 1950)

WED 11/20: The Aristocracy of Culture

  • Bourdieu, “The Forms of Capital” (CLEo)
  • Wilson, “Let’s Talk About Love” (CLEo)

THANKSGIVING BREAK

WEEK 13 – CHOOSE YOUR OWN THEORY ADVENTURE 

WEEK 14 – CONFERENCING 

FINAL PAPER DUE: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19TH 5 PM 

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