LITERATURE

LIT-346
Topics in Film (3)

Course Level: Undergraduate

Topics vary by section, may be repeated for credit with different topic. Rotating topics include film and literature, national cinema, film genres, major filmmakers, and independent filmmakers. Usually offered every year.

LIT-346
001
LITERATURE
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Topics in Film (3)

David Lynch and the Cinema of the Sublime

This course looks at the innovative work of director David Lynch through the particular lens of the sublime, an aesthetic concept defined primarily as the feeling of terror and awe that arises when reason's limits are reached. Lynch's films, such as Blue Velvet, The Elephant Man, and Mulholland Drive, are perplexing and captivating because they suggest that the image of control that cultural conventions provide actually separates us from larger and more meaningful experiences. He denaturalizes the everyday, usually through satire, and then uses sounds and images to evoke a transcendent or intuitive reality that we usually repress. Throughout the course students consider competing theories of the sublime and the particular ways in which film is able to convey these ideas. In addition to eight Lynch films, we will watch Hiroshima, Mon Amour, Jaws, The Matrix, Into the Wild, Melancholia, and Life of Pi.

LIT-346
002
LITERATURE
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Topics in Film (3)

Critical Study of Pop Culture

This course investigates the role popular culture plays in not only reflecting the world around us but also in impacting the ways we shape collective identities. The course provides students with a historical and critical framework to understand how various forms of cultural productions (literature, film, music, social media.etc.) function both as the product and the creator of categories of difference (i.e. class, race, gender/ sexuality) organized within and across cultures. The course is structured chronologically, discussing issues which include: the popularization of print media in relation to the rise of the modern nation-state, early Hollywood cinema as a global vernacular, the intersection of popular culture and mass culture in anti-colonial cultural movements, media formations of diasporic communities during the Cold War, and the political economy of social media in the Neoliberal contemporary. Students ask: What is popular culture? What is its social-historical impact? How do technological developments affect the ways we consume and distribute popular culture? How do different media forms impact systems of representation through which we understand individual and collective identity?