This course explores written, visual, and oral “texts” that cross boundaries of genre and media. Beginning with genres such as creative nonfiction, docudrama, hip hop, podcasts, and spoken word (to name but a few) that were themselves disruptions of the traditional not so long ago, we will move on to examine current examples of images, sounds, and words that call into question the very concept of genre.
Amy Quan Block II, 1 credit, MW at 4:00 – 5:15 Smiddy 113
Why do audiences make some films popular and not others? What does that tell us about the kinds of narratives that resonate with mass audiences? How do some films convey messages that function as cultural landmines and others have underlying messages that shift digital, cultural, economic, ideological, social, environmental, and political landscapes? In this class, we discuss how filmmakers function as dominant storytellers through their uses of narratives, words, images and sounds to rhetorically engage current debates and issues. As such, we consider the methods of rhetorical criticism to help uncover their arguments and implications. In this course student will write reflections on required readings and films and attend FLEFF screenings.
Chris House Block II, 1 credit, W 4-6:30 PM Friends Hall 309
This course will delve into issues to help students learn how in disruption there is an opportunity for human relationships to improve/evolve, and what it is about disruption that leads to failure. The Blasey-Ford and Kavanaugh hearings will be discussed along with other ‘disrupting’ events to prepare students for critically viewing films screened during the Festival.
Jerry Mirskin Block II, 1 credit, W 6:50-9:30 pm 3/20 – 4/17
The current overdose epidemic in the United States is presented in the media as a new development in rural America that overwhelmingly impacts white people. Federal agencies and community groups have hastened to frame substance users as unwitting passive victims of an overzealous and unscrupulous medical industry, shifting from previous cultural assumptions that positioned other users, mostly urban and black, as junkies and criminals who are better off dead or in jail. This course intends to disrupt these perspectives. It will question how the dominant narrative presents and racializes the overdose epidemic. We will look at stories, data and films, and interview guests to unpack what is happening to the junkies, criminals, and victims in this epidemic.
Stewart Auyash Block II, T/Th 4-5:15, 1 credit Hill Center G03
Asian American documentaries have long served a subversive role to contest and disrupt commercial media representations of Asians. This class will challenge representations of Asians and Asian Americans in popular media by examining documentaries made by Asian and Asian American filmmakers that serve as a communal history and a history of agency and consciousness. By learning the rhetorical device of the documentary from professors in different fields of study (Anthropology and Film Theory), students in this mini-course will have a rare opportunity to learn how to unthink Eurocentrism and question race and representation through a critical and interdisciplinary lens.
Sue-Je Gage and Sueyoung Park-Primiano W 3-4:50 PM Block II, 1 credit
Images of massive human migration have become more frequent recently, with the latest example found in Ai Wei Wei’s documentary Human Flow (2017). While this film addresses both political and environmental refugees, the course will focus on environmental refugees to examine the impact of climate change. Moreover, sudden natural disasters—such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions—and gradual environmental changes—such as coastal erosion, rising sea-level and desertification—affect the most vulnerable populations for whom the option to migrate is not readily available. In this way, students will compare documentary films on climate change with activist, government, and scientific discourses to understand the complex nexus of the environment and migration.
Sueyoung Park-Primiano Block ll , 1 credit, M 4-6:00 pm Friends Hall 309
The United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes a goal to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development and to provide access to justice. This course will explore that goal by discussing what we mean by an effective and accountable criminal justice system able to combat corruption. Students will study the unsustainability of social injustice, wrongful convictions and efforts to combat corruption through film, selected readings, case studies and guest speakers.
Veronica Fox Block II, 1.5 credits, MW 4-5:15 pm Williams Hall 310