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Department of Cinema and Media Studies

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Core Faculty


  • Daniel Morgan


  • Robert Bird
  • James Chandler
  • Tom Gunning
  • David Levin
  • Richard Neer
  • D.N. Rodowick
  • Jacqueline Stewart

Associate Professors

  • Allyson Nadia Field - Director of Graduate Studies
  • Patrick Jagoda
  • James Lastra - Director of Undergraduate Studies
  • Rochona Majumdar
  • Daniel Morgan
  • Jennifer Wild

Assistant Professors

  • Salomé Skvirsky

Professor of Practice in the Arts

  • Judy Hoffman


  • Dominique Bluher
  • Marc Downie

Visiting Faculty & Associated Fellows

  • Nicholas Baer, Society of Fellows and Collegiate Assistant Professor
  • Nadine Chan, Society of Fellows and Collegiate Assistant Professor
  • Joao Pedro Chaopo, Post-Doctoral Fellow - Maria Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship
  • Jordan Schonig, Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow in the Humanities

Affiliated Faculty

  • Paola Iovene, East Asian Languages and Civilizations
  • Loren Kruger, Department of English Language and Literature
  • Laura Letinsky,Department of Visual Arts
  • Malynne Sternstein,Department of Slavic Languages and Literature
  • Catherine Sullivan,Department of Visual Arts


  • Traci Verleyen, Department Coordinator
  • Rebeca Valencia, Department Assistant


The Department of Cinema and Media Studies offers a PhD program that focuses on the history, theory, and criticism of film and related media. Faculty are drawn from a wide range of departments and disciplines, primarily in the humanities. In addition to offering its own doctoral degree, the department offers courses and guidance to students who specialize in film and related media within other graduate programs or who pursue a joint degree.

Centering on the cinema, the graduate program provides students with the critical skills, research methods, and an understanding of the debates that have developed within cinema studies as a discrete discipline. At the same time, the study of cinema and related media mandates an interdisciplinary approach in a number of respects. The aesthetics of film is inextricably linked to the cultural, social, political, and economic configurations within which the cinema emerged and which it in turn has shaped. Likewise, the history of the cinema cannot be separated from its interaction with other media. Just as it is part of a wholly new culture of moving images and sounds that includes television, video, and digital technologies, the cinema draws on earlier practices of instantaneous photography and sound recording and, in a wider sense, those media that are more often described as the fine arts (painting, sculpture, architecture, literature, theater, and music). Finally, the interdisciplinary orientation of the program entails an emphasis on the diversity of film and media practices in different national and transnational contexts and periods and thus an understanding of the cinema as a historically variable and rich cultural form.

The Film Studies Center, located on the third floor of Cobb Hall, serves as a resource for course related and individual research and as a forum for cinema and media related activities.

The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Students are expected to complete seventeen courses during their course of study, of which a minimum of twelve have to be listed among the offerings of the Department of Cinema and Media Studies. Courses must be taken for a quality letter grade; pass/fail is not an option (with the acceptance of CMST 69900 Pedagogy)

  • During their coursework, students must take three (3) advanced-level CMST seminars (60000 level); CMST 69900 Pedagogy: The Way We Teach Film does not count towards this requirement.
  1. Four (4) required courses originating in the department:
    • CMST 40000 Methods and Issues in Cinema Studies: an introduction to research methods, key concepts, and theoretical approaches, using case studies to introduce students to debates and issues in the field.
    • CMST 48500 History of International Cinema I: Silent Era, and CMST 48600 History of International Cinema II: Sound Era to 1960: a two quarter survey course that is designed as both a beginning level graduate and an upper level undergraduate course. 
    • CMST 69900 Pedagogy: The Way We Teach Film: an introduction to pedagogical methods in the field of Cinema and Media Studies. This course will take place over the course of one (1) full academic year, meeting roughly three times per quarter.
  2. Eight (8) elective courses that either originate in or are cross-listed with the Department of Cinema and Media Studies.
  3. Five (5) elective courses of the student's choosing; these courses should fit with the student's overarching research goals. Please note that language courses are not counted towards fulfilling this requirement.
  • Students entering the program with an MA from another institution or may ask to be exempt from some of these requirements. Such requests will be handled on an individual basis, and must be made directly to the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) during their first two years in the PhD Program.

Foreign Language Requirement

Given the highly international nature of the field of cinema, proficiency in two modern foreign languages has to be demonstrated in order to fulfil the foreign language requirement. Students can demonstrate proficiency by 1) earning high passes (P+) on the University's Foreign Language Reading Examinations, 2) earning an A or higher through a language course (for example FREN 33333: Reading French for Research Purposes). One of the two languages completed by PhD students in Cinema and Media Studies must be either French or German; the second language will be chosen in consultation with the graduate advisor. The foreign language requirement must be satisfied before a student will be permitted to take the Oral Fields Examinations.

Oral Fields Examinations

Students are expected to take their field examinations between the end of their second year and the end of the third year in the PhD program, depending one when the student completes coursework and foreign language requirements. Students are expected to meet with the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) prior to scheduling their exams to ensure all requirements have been met.

  • The exam will be comprised of two parts: a series of written exams and an oral defense. The student will select their examination committee in consultation with the DGS. Each examiners will collaborate with the student on a list covering a specific field of study, defined by generally canonical criteria (genre, period, nationality, movements, etc.). Please note the fields of study are not prescribed by the department. 


Graduate students in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies are expected to teach as part of their professional training. Within the department, students may hold positions as course assistants in a variety of undergraduate courses, lecturer positions teaching freestanding undergraduate courses, and supervising BA thesis projects as Undergraduate Preceptors. Students should expect to act as both course assistants and as lecturers during their time in the program. Students frequently take on teaching positions in other departments as well; please consult with the DGS for advice on doing so.


Students admitted to the PhD program, both domestic and international, are granted a five-year funding package that includes a stipend, tuition, and health insurance. The Graduate Aid Initiative (GAI) holds teaching training as a vital part of the education experience at the University of Chicago, so all fellowships include required teaching components.

  • For information regarding fellowships outside of the GAI package, please visit the 'Internal Fellowships' on the Division of the Humanities site.

The Dissertation Proposal and Reaching Candidacy

In order to be admitted to candidacy, students must write a dissertation proposal under the supervision of their dissertation committee. The dissertation proposal must be approved before the end of the student's fourth year in the program; this requirement is set by the Dean of Students Office. 

Dissertation Defense and Graduation

Upon completion of the dissertation, the student will defend it orally before the members of the dissertation committee, the Cinema and Media Studies faculty, and their colleagues in the PhD program. Once the dissertation is approved by the student's committee, the student is eligible to graduate.

The Degree of Master of Arts

Students seeking master's level study should apply to the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH); a three-quarter program of interdisciplinary study. Students build their own curriculum with graduate-level courses in any humanities department. Students choosing to focus in Cinema and Media Studies would take courses within the department and complete their thesis with a faculty advisor.

Graduate Courses in Cinema and Media Studies

CMST 30430. Gender, Sexuality, Imagination. 100 Units.

This course explores the relationships between theories of the imagination and those of gender and sexuality, with a particular emphasis on the relevance of this exploration to cinema and media studies.

Instructor(s): K.Keeling     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 20430

CMST 31810. Post-War American Avant-Garde. 100 Units.

In the 1940's the American avant garde cinema gained a new identity with the work of filmmakers like Maya Deren, and Kenneth Anger. Working primarily in 16mm, exhibiting mainly in non-commercial theaters, pursuing new models of sexuality, perception and political action, a generation of filmmakers formulated an alternative cinema culture and a new visionary aesthetic. This tradition gained further definition in the following, with journals, new critical discourses and a network of exhibition. Film modes moved through the mythic and dream-like cinema of Stan Brakhage, Bruce Baillie, the underground cinema of Ken Jacobs, Andy Warhol and Jack Smith, and the structural films of Hollis Frampton, Michael Snow and Ernie Gehr. The course will trace these develops and examine its legacy.

Instructor(s): T. Gunning     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): CMST 10100, ARTH 20000, ENGL 10800, ARTV 25300, or consent of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 21810, ARTH 21810, ARTH 31810

CMST 32302. Rome in Film and Literature. 100 Units.

We shall analyze films and fictional works that reflect both realities and myths about the "Eternal City," Rome. Classical Rome will not be studied; instead the focus will be on a trajectory of works, both written and cinematic, that are set in and explore late nineteenth to late twentieth-century Rome. The goal is to analyze some of the numerous diverse representations of modern Rome that portray historical, political, subjective, and/or fantastical/mythopoetic elements that have interacted over time to produce the palimpsest that is the city of Rome. Books by D'Annunzio, Moravia, Pasolini and Malerba; films by Fellini, Visconti, Rossellini, Bertolucci, Pasolini, and Moretti.

Instructor(s): R. West     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Taught in English; Italian majors will read the texts in the original Italian.
Equivalent Course(s): ITAL 23203, ITAL 33203

CMST 32507. Cinema and the Holocaust. 100 Units.

Focuses on cinematic responses by several leading film directors from East Central Europe to a central event of 20th century history -- the Holocaust. Nazis began a cinematic documentation of WWII at its onset, positioning cameras in places of actual atrocities. Documentary footage produced was framed by hostile propagandistic schemes; contrary to this 'method', Holocaust feature films are all but a representation of Jewish genocide produced after the actual traumatic events. This class aims at discussing the challenge of representing the Jewish genocide which has often been defined as un-representable. Because of this challenge, Holocaust films raise questions of ethical responsibility for cinematic production a search for relevant artistic means with which to engage post-traumatic representation. Therefore, among major tropes we will analyze voyeuristic evocation of death suffering; a truthful representation of violence versus purported necessity of its cinematic aesthetization; intertwined notions of chance hope as conditions of survival versus hagiographic representation of victims. The main goal is to grasp the potential of cinema for deepening our understanding of the Holocaust, the course simultaneously explores extensive continuous cinematic production of the genre its historical development in various European countries, to mention the impact of censorship by official ideologies in the Soviet Union, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia during the Cold War.

Instructor(s): Bozena Shallcross     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Course requirements: film screenings, class participation, reading assignments, one class presentation, and a final project. All readings for the core texts are in English; they can be downloaded from Canvas.
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 22507, REES 37027, REES 27027, JWSC 29550

CMST 33412. Philippe Parreno's Media Temporalities. 100 Units.

In the 2013 exhibition "Anywhere, Anywhere Out of the World, the French artist Philippe Parreno (b. 1964) turned the monumental space of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris into a living, evolving organism, where music, light, films, images, and performances led visitors through a precisely choreographed journey of discovery, based on the idiosyncratic body of work that he had created since the early 1990s. This course is devoted to an in-depth study of Parreno's work and the highly original form of media thinking that informs it. Rather than focusing on the properties of distinct media or on multimedial forms or presentation, his works explore the new forms of life and social existence that result from the various ways in which 20th- and 21st-century media technologies store, manipulate, and produce time. This is a form of thinking and artistic creation that addresses the realities of formats, programs, and platforms rather than media apparatuses and messages, and that engages everything from architecture and design to social situations, natural worlds, and virtual beings. (The course will be taught in collaboration with Jörn Schafaff).

Instructor(s): I. Blom     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): MAAD 21320, ARTH 31320, CMST 23412, ARTH 21320

CMST 33500. Pasolini. 100 Units.

This course examines each aspect of Pasolini's artistic production according to the most recent literary and cultural theories, including Gender Studies. We shall analyze his poetry (in particular "Le Ceneri di Gramsci" and "Poesie informa di rosa"), some of his novels ("Ragazzi di vita," "Una vita violenta," "Teorema," "Petrolio"), and his numerous essays on the relationship between standard Italian and dialects, semiotics and cinema, and the role of intellectuals in contemporary Western culture. We shall also discuss the following films: "Accattone," "La ricotta," "Edipo Re," "Teorema," and "Salo".

Instructor(s): A. Maggi     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 23500, ITAL 28400, FNDL 28401, GNSE 28600, ITAL 38400

CMST 33805. Opera in the Age of its Mechanical Reproducibility. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): CMST 23805

CMST 33904. Topics in Latin American Cinema and Media. 100 Units.

This seminar will focus on how to craft a creative thesis in film or video. Works-in-progress will be screened each week, and technical and structural issues relating to the work will be explored. The workshop will also develop the written portion of the creative thesis. The course is limited to seniors from CMS and DoVA, and MAPH students working on a creative thesis.

Instructor(s): J. Hoffman     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): CMST 23930; CMST 23931; departmental approval of senior creative thesis project.
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 23904, LACS 33904, SPAN 33904, CMST 23904, SPAN 23904

CMST 33905. Creative Thesis Workshop. 100 Units.

This seminar will focus on how to craft a creative thesis in film or video. Works-in-progress will be screened each week, and technical and structural issues relating to the work will be explored. The workshop will also develop the written portion of the creative thesis. The class is limited to seniors from CMS and DOVA, and MAPH students working on a creative thesis.

Instructor(s): J. Hoffman     Terms Offered: Spring Winter
Prerequisite(s): CMST 23930; CMST 23931 or 27600; departmental approval of senior creative thesis project.
Equivalent Course(s): ARTV 33905, ARTV 23905, CMST 23905

CMST 33930. Documentary Production I. 100 Units.

This course is intended to develop skills in documentary production so that students may apply for Documentary Production II. Documentary Production I focuses on the making of independent documentary video. Examples of various styles of documentary will be screened and discussed. Issues embedded in the documentary genre, such as the ethics and politics of representation and the shifting lines between fact and fiction will be explored. Pre-production methodologies, production, and post-production techniques will be taught. Students will be expected to develop an idea for a documentary video, crews will be formed, and each crew will produce a five-minute documentary. Students will also be expected to purchase an external hard drive.

Instructor(s): J. Hoffman     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Prior or concurrent enrollment in CMST 10100 recommended for undergraduate students.
Equivalent Course(s): HMRT 25106, ARTV 23930, MAAD 23930, HMRT 35106, ARTV 33930, CMST 23930

CMST 33931. Documentary Production II. 100 Units.

This course focuses on the shaping and crafting of a nonfiction video. Students are expected to write a treatment detailing their project. Production techniques focus on the handheld camera versus tripod, interviewing and microphone placement, and lighting for the interview. Post-production covers editing techniques and distribution strategies. Students then screen final projects in a public space.

Instructor(s): J. Hoffman     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): CMST 23930, HMRT 25106, or ARTV 23930
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 23931, HMRT 35107, HMRT 25107, ARTV 33931, MAAD 23931, ARTV 23931

CMST 34107. Bombay to Bollywood. 100 Units.

This course maps the transformation of the Hindi film industry in India. Starting out as a regional film production center, how did the Bombay film industry and Hindi cinema gain the reputation of being the leader of Indian cinema? This despite the fact that most critical acclaim, by the state and film critics, was reserved for "art cinema." Through an analysis of Hindi films from the 1950s to the present we map the main trends of this complex artistic/ industrial complex to arrive at an understanding of the deep connect between cinema and other social imaginaries.

Instructor(s): R. Majumdar     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 20509, HIST 26709, HIST 36709, SALC 30509, SALC 20509, CMST 24107

CMST 34112. Screening India: Bollywood and Beyond. 100 Units.

Cinema is, unarguably, the medium most apposite for thinking through the complexities of democratic politics, especially so in a place like India. While Indian cinema has recently gained international currency through the song and dance ensembles of Bollywood, there remains much more to be said about that body of films. Moreover, Bollywood is a small (though very important) part of Indian cinema. Through a close analysis of a wide range of films in Hindi, Bengali, Kannada, and Urdu, this course will ask if Indian cinema can be thought of as a form of knowledge of the twentieth century.

Instructor(s): R.Majumdar     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): SALC 30511, SALC 20511, HIST 36808, CMST 24112, KNOW 24112, HIST 26808, KNOW 34112

CMST 34201. Cinema in Africa. 100 Units.

This course examines Africa in film as well as films produced in Africa. It places cinema in Sub Saharan Africa in its social, cultural, and aesthetic contexts ranging from neocolonial to postcolonial, Western to Southern Africa, documentary to fiction, art cinema to TV. We will begin with La Noire de... (1966), ground-breaking film by the "father" of African cinema, Ousmane Sembene, contrasted w/ a South African film, African Jim (1959) that more closely resembles African American musical film, and anti-colonial and anti apartheid films from Lionel Rogosin's Come Back Africa (1959) to Sarah Maldoror's Sambizanga, Ousmane Sembenes Camp de Thiaroye (1984), and Jean Marie Teno'ss Afrique, Je te Plumerai (1995). The rest of the course will examine cinematic representations of tensions between urban and rural, traditional and modern life, and the different implications of these tensions for men and women, Western and Southern Africa, in fiction, documentary and ethnographic film, including 21st century work where available.

Instructor(s): Loren Kruger
Prerequisite(s): Second-year standing or above in the College; recommended for advanced undergrads and grad students in CMST, CRES, African studies, English and/or Comparative Lit with interests in race and representation, Africa and the world
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 22900, CRES 34201, ENGL 48601, CMST 24201, CMLT 42900, ENGL 27600, CRES 24201

CMST 34520. Cowboys and Tramps in Film and Literature. 100 Units.

The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the invention of two distinctly American literary archetypes: the cowboy and the hobo. Based on historical conditions of labor, economics, and westward expansion, the cowboy and the hobo, though both itinerant workers primarily employed seasonally in agriculture and ranching, were depicted very differently in literature and, later, film, during the decades in which they held influence over America's imagination and mythologization of itself. Evoking responses from fear to admiration and pity to envy, the cowboy and the hobo, both as historical figures and as fictional types, reflected the evolving realities of-and the broad range of attitudes toward-labor, masculinity, and place in a modernizing America. This course will examine literary and cinematic representations of hoboes, tramps, cowboys, and gunslingers from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s, tracing their historical and cultural contexts. We will address pulp and dime novels as well as literary masterpieces, stage plays, poems, and feature films from the silent and sound eras, paying special attention to the effects of different media and art forms on the depiction and mythologization of these figures. Other themes include violence and the state, the American West, technology (trains, automation in agriculture, weapons), immigration and migration, race, and material culture. Authors and directors include Jack London, Charlie Chaplin, John Ford, Preston Sturges, Jack Kerouac, Hart Crane, Bret Harte, Terrence Malick, and Martin Scorsese.

Instructor(s): Matt Hauske     Terms Offered: Spring 2014
Note(s): Current MAPH students and 3rd and 4th years in the College. All others by instructor consent only. Screenings Thursday 3:30-6:30.
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 24530, MAPH 34510, ENGL 25801

CMST 34521. Film and Revolution. 100 Units.

On the fiftieth anniversary of 1968 our course couples the study of revolutionary films (and films about revolution) with seminal readings on revolutionary ideology and on the theory of film and video. The goal will be to articulate the mechanics of revolution and its representation in time-based media. Students will produce a video or videos adapting the rich archive of revolutionary film for today's situation. The films screened will be drawn primarily from Soviet and US cinema, from the 1920s to the present day, proceeding more or less chronologically. We begin with newsreels and a "poetic documentary" by Dziga Vertov; they will be paired with classic readings from revolutionary theory, from Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin to Fidel Castro and Bill Ayres, and from film theory, including Vertov, Andre Bazin and Jean-Luc Godard. Readings will acquaint students with contemporary assessments of the emancipatory potential of film.

Instructor(s): R. Bird; C. Smith     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): REES 36071, REES 26071, CMST 24521

CMST 34531. Cowboy Modernity. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): CMST 24531, MAPH 35514

CMST 34550. Central Asian Cinema. 100 Units.

Nowhere has the advent of modernity been more closely entwined with cinema than in Central Asia, a contested entity which for our purposes stretches from Turkey in the West to Kyrgyzstan in the East, though our emphasis will be squarely on Soviet and post-Soviet Central Asia (especially Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan). This course will trace the encounter with cinematic modernity through the analysis of individual films by major directors, including (but not limited to) Shukhrat Abbasov, Melis Ubukeev, Ali Khamraev, Tolomush Okeev, Sergei Paradzhanov, Gulshad Omarova. In addition to situating the films in their cultural and historical situations, close attention will be paid to the sources of Central Asian cinema in cinemas both adjacent and distant; to the ways in which cinema enables a distinct encounter with modernity; and to the cinematic construction of Central Asia as a cultural entity.

Instructor(s): R. Bird     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): PQ: CMST 10100 Introduction to Film or consent of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 24550, REES 23157

CMST 34568. The Underground: Alienation, Mobilization, Resistance. 100 Units.

The ancient and multivalent image of the underground has crystallized over the last two centuries to denote sites of disaffection from-and strategies of resistance to-dominant social, political and cultural systems. We will trace the development of this metaphor from the Underground Railroad in the mid-1800s and the French Resistance during World War II to the Weather Underground in the 1960s-1970s, while also considering it as a literary and artistic concept, from Fyodor Dostoevsky's Notes from the Underground and Ellison's Invisible Man to Chris Marker's film La Jetée and Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker. Alongside with such literary and cinematic tales, drawing theoretical guidance from refuseniks from Henry David Thoreau to Guy Debord, this course investigates how countercultural spaces become-or fail to become-sites of political resistance, and also how dissenting ideologies give rise to countercultural spaces. We ask about the relation between social deviance (the failure to meet social norms, whether willingly or unwittingly) and political resistance, especially in the conditions of late capitalism and neo-colonialism, when countercultural literature, film and music (rock, punk, hip-hop, DIY aesthetics etc.) get absorbed into-and coopted by-the hegemonic socio-economic system. In closing we will also consider contemporary forms of dissidence-from Pussy Riot to Black Lives Matter-that rely both on the vulnerability of individual bodies and global communication networks.

Equivalent Course(s): CMST 24568, REES 26068, REES 36068, SIGN 26012

CMST 34913. Making Sense of a Moving World: Japanese Cinema Through 1945. 100 Units.

The aim of this course is to explore a variety of filmmaking practices in relation to historical and cultural trends in Japan from the 1910s to the end of the Second World War. While we will watch films of the great auteurs such as Mizoguchi, Ozu, and Naruse, the increasing number of subtitled films and DVDs of prewar Japanese cinema allows for unprecedented access to a wide variety of filmmaking practices. Hence, in addition to auteur films, we will watch old-school period films and adaptations from popular literature, high speed nihilistic action films, socialist "tendency" films, critical documentaries, melodramas, experimental film and animation, and wartime propaganda. Along with the films, we will read writings on film by a range of thinkers and artists to engage with a variety of issues, including gender, realism, modernism, propaganda, human/animal, violence, and mass culture. We will look at the ways cinema, as both a participant in and a unique reflection on modernity, fundamentally transformed the relationship of Japan to the world.

Instructor(s): Phil Kaffen     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 24913

CMST 35100. Avant-Garde in East Central Europe. 100 Units.

The avant-gardes of the "other" Europe are the mainstay of this course, which focuses especially, but not exclusively, on the interwar avant-gardes of Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, and Yugoslavia. A comparative framework is employed whenever lucrative to comprehend the East/Central European movements in the wider context of the European avant-garde. The course also traces the development and legacy (political and artistic) of these avant-gardes in their contemporary scenes. Plastic, verbal, and performative arts (including film) are studied.

Instructor(s): Malynne Sternstein     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 35500, REES 23141, ARTH 25500, REES 33141, CMST 25100

CMST 35102. Narratives Suspense in European/Russian Lit/Film. 100 Units.

This course examines the nature and creation of suspense in literature and film as an introduction to narrative theory. We will question how and why stories are created, as well as what motivates us to continue reading, watching, and listening to stories. We will explore how particular genres (such as detective stories and thrillers) and the mediums of literature and film influence our understanding of suspense and narrative more broadly. Close readings of primary sources will be supplemented with critical and theoretical readings. Literary readings will include work by John Buchan, Arthur Conan Doyle, Feodor Dostoevsky, Graham Greene, Bohumil Hrabal, and J.M. Coetzee. We will also explore Alfred Hitchcock's take on 39 Steps and the Czech New Wave manifesto film, Pearls of the Deep. With theoretical readings by: Roland Barthes, Viktor Shklovsky, Erich Auerbach, Paul Ricoeur, and others.

Equivalent Course(s): REES 33137, CMLT 22100, ENGL 26901, CMST 25102, ENGL 46901, REES 23137, HUMA 26901

CMST 35514. Symbolism and Cinema. 100 Units.

In his 1896 essay on cinema, Russian writer Maxim Gorky described the new medium to "madness or symbolism." The connection between cinema and symbolism was not surprising insofar as symbolism was a dominant aesthetic paradigm throughout Europe at the time. However it does suggest (perhaps surprisingly) that from the very beginning cinema was seen as a means of visualizing the non-rational, uncanny and even invisible. This course examines the relationship between symbolism and cinema with particular attention to French and Russian writings and films. Examining how symbolist aesthetics became applied to the cinematic medium, we will pay particular attention the resources it provided for conceptualizing the uncanny and the mystical. We will question whether there exists a distinct symbolist tradition in film history and how it relates to notions of poetic or experimental cinema. Films will represent a broad cross-section of European (and some American) cinema, from Jean Epstein to Sergei Eisenstein and Alexander Dovzhenko, and from Stan Brakhage to Andrei Tarkovsky.

Instructor(s): R. Bird
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 25514, REES 26019, REES 36019

CMST 35600. Magic and the Cinema. 100 Units.

No description available.

Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 26200, CMST 25600, ARTH 36200

CMST 35953. Transmedia Game. 100 Units.

This experimental course explores the emerging game genre of "transmedia" or "alternate reality" gaming. Transmedia games use the real world as their platform while incorporating text, video, audio, social media, websites, and other forms. We will approach new media theory through the history, aesthetics, and design of transmedia games. Course requirements include weekly blog entry responses to theoretical readings; an analytical midterm paper; and collaborative participation in a single narrative-based transmedia game project. No preexisting technical expertise is required but a background in any of the following areas will help: creative writing, literary or media theory, web design, visual art, computer programming, performance, and game design.

Instructor(s): P. Jagoda     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 25953, ARTV 25401, TAPS 28457, ARTV 35401, ENGL 32311, CMST 25953, CRWR 26003, CRWR 46003

CMST 35954. Alternate Reality Games: Theory and Production. 100 Units.

Games are one of the most prominent and influential media of our time. This experimental course explores the emerging genre of "alternate reality" or "transmedia" gaming. Throughout the quarter, we will approach new media theory through the history, aesthetics, and design of transmedia games. These games build on the narrative strategies of novels, the performative role-playing of theater, the branching techniques of electronic literature, the procedural qualities of video games, and the team dynamics of sports. Beyond the subject matter, students will design modules of an Alternate Reality Game in small groups. Students need not have a background in media or technology, but a wide-ranging imagination, interest in new media culture, or arts practice will make for a more exciting quarter.

Instructor(s): Patrick Jagoda, Heidi Coleman     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Third- or fourth-year standing. Instructor consent required. To apply, submit writing through online form at; see course description. Once given consent, attendance on the first day is mandatory.
Note(s): Note(s): English majors: this course fulfills the Theory (H) distribution requirement.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 28466, CMST 25954, ARTV 30700, ENGL 25970, ENGL 32314, MAAD 25954, BPRO 28700, ARTV 20700

CMST 36402. Orson Welles. 100 Units.

Course description unavailable.

Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): PQ: CMST 10100 Introduction to Film or consent of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 26402

CMST 36403. Post WWII American Mise en Scene Directors. 100 Units.

This course will treat the style of a number of American Hollywood feature film directors during the two decades after World War II, including Nicholas Ray, Anthony Mann, Otto Preminger, and others. These directors were singled out at that time by the critics writing for the French journal Cahiers du Cinema as auteurs, directors with a consistent style. Critics in France, England, and the USA used the term mise en scene to discuss their use of framing, performance, editing, and camera movement and especially their use of new technologies such as wide screen and color. This course will explore the concept of directors' style as well as the mode of close analysis criticism that grew out of this concept.

Equivalent Course(s): AMER 26403, CMST 26403

CMST 36405. D.W. Griffith. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): AMER 26405, FNDL 26405, AMER 36405, CMST 26405

CMST 36500. The Films of Alfred Hitchcock. 100 Units.

No single filmmaker has equaled Alfred Hitchcock's combination of popular success, critical commentary and widespread influence on other filmmakers. Currently, his work is so familiar it threatens to be taken for granted. This course will reveal Hitchcock as the filmmaker who systematically used the stylistics of late silent film to forge a dialectical approach to the so-called Classical Style. Hitchcock devised a relation among narrative, spectator and character point of view, yielding a configuration of suspense, sensation and perception. Tracing Hitchcock's career chronologically, we will follow his intertwining of sexual desire and gender politics, and his reshaping of melodrama according to Freudian concepts of repression, memory, interpretation and ab-reaction, as he navigates from silent film to sound and from Great Britain to Hollywood.

Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 38405, CMST 26500, FNDL 26501, ARTH 28405

CMST 36503. Scandinavian Cinema in the Classic Period (1910-1960) 100 Units.

During the 1910s Scandinavian cinema was among the most popular cinemas in the world. The best directors, actresses, and actors developed a mastery of cinematic expression and screen appearance never seen before in cinema. Erotically charged melodramas and comedies were the most popular genres, but also poetic masterpieces such as The Passion of Joan of Arc are key works from this era. The course will explore the breathtaking appearances of such celebrated female stars as Asta Nielsen and Greta Garbo, and analyze silent masterpieces such as Blom's early science fiction films, the dramas of Christensen, Stiller, Sjostrom, and Dreyer, and the early films of Tancred Ibsen and Ingmar Bergman. All readings are in English.

Instructor(s): E. Rossaak     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): PQ: CMST 10100 Introduction to Film or consent of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 26503

CMST 36504. Ingmar Bergman: Cinema & Theater. 100 Units.

This course will focus on cinematographic representations of theatrical and other artistic practices, primarily exemplified by many of Ingmar Bergman's films (e.g. The Seventh Seal and Fanny and Alexander) but also in the work of other film-directors. It will explore historical and theoretical issues related to the mutual interactions between cinema and theatre also discussing cinematographic techniques in playwriting as exemplified in plays by Henrik Ibsen (e.g. Peer Gynt) and August Strindberg (e.g. A Dream Play and The Ghost Sonata). Throughout most of his creative career Bergman worked both in theatre and film and even if he is mostly known outside of Sweden as a film director, his theatrical career was as innovative. The work of the film-auteur and the theatre director are for Bergman closely connected, not only through the actors he worked with - during summers for the screen and during the theatre seasons in stage productions - but also through the choice of themes, which are often in direct dialogue with each other in the two media, generating complex meta-aesthetic, inter-medial discourses, depicting and problematizing the work and role of the artist in a broad range of social and ideological contexts. Interested 3rd and 4th year undergraduates allowed by instructor consent. ATTENDANCE AT FIRST CLASS SESSION IS MANDATORY.

Note(s): Interested third- and fourth-year undergraduates allowed by instructor consent. Atttendance at first class session is mandatory.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 38310, TAPS 28310, CMST 26504

CMST 36601. The Soviet Visual Experience. 100 Units.

The Soviet Union was a world in pictures, enabled and shaped by the media revolutions that accompanied every major period in its history, from the rise of cinema to the dawn of the internet. We will try to see communism as history and as promise, and to see how this relates to our own desire for social change in our own worlds. We will examine the interaction between Marxism, state power and image culture by focusing on key moments from the entire lifespan of the USSR (1917-1991) and from across the range of media,from graphic art and film to their reflections in literature and aesthetic theory. In addition to class readings and discussions, we will be able to engage directly with a vast array of material at exhibits of graphic art (three on campus, three more across the city) and film series that will be conducted in fall 2011 as part of the city-wide Soviet Arts Experience.

Instructor(s): R. Bird     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): REES 36017, CMST 26601, REES 26017

CMST 36705. Kieslowski: The Decalogue. 100 Units.

In this class, we study the monumental series "The Decalogue" by one of the most influential filmmakers from Poland, Krzysztof Kieślowski. Without mechanically relating the films to the Ten Commandments, Kieślowski explores the relevance of the biblical moral rules to the state of modern man forced to make ethical choices. Each part of the series contests the absolutism of moral axioms through narrative twists and reversals in a wide, universalized sphere. An analysis of the films will be accompanied by readings from Kieślowski's own writings and interviews, including criticism by Zizek, Insdorf, and others.

Equivalent Course(s): REES 37026, REES 27026, CMST 26705, FNDL 24003

CMST 37005. Filming the Police. 100 Units.

This course examines documentary film.

Equivalent Course(s): CMST 27005

CMST 37011. Experimental Captures. 100 Units.

This production-based class will explore the possibilities and limits of capturing the world with imaging approaches that go beyond the conventional camera. What new and experimental image-based artworks can be created with technologies such as laser scanning, structured light projection, time of flight cameras, photogrammetry, stereography, motion capture, sensor augmented cameras or light field photography? This hands-on course welcomes students with production experience while being designed to keep established tools and commercial practices off-kilter and constantly in question.

Instructor(s): M. Downie     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): ARTV 37923, ARTV 27923, CMST 27011

CMST 37205. Film Aesthetics. 100 Units.

The main questions to be discussed are: the bearing of cinema on philosophy; or in what sense, if any, is cinema a form of philosophical thought? What sort of distinctive aesthetic object is a film, or what is the "ontology" of film? What, in particular, distinguishes a "realist" narrative film? What is a "Hollywood" film? What is a Hollywood genre? Authors to be read include, among others, Bazin, Cavell, Perkins, Wilson, Rothman. Films to be seen and discussed, among others, include films by Bresson, Ford, Ophuls, Cukor, Hitchcock, and the Dardenne brothers. (I)

Instructor(s): J. Conant, R. Pippin     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 27205, PHIL 30208, PHIL 20208, SCTH 38112

CMST 37230. Modern Film Theory. 100 Units.

This course will examine influential writings on photography, film, and film narrative published in the post-war period in the context of semiology, structuralism, and narratology. We will examine how questions of form, structure, and narrative in film and photography are addressed by critics writing from the end of World War II until the early seventies, especially in France and Italy. In what ways can the image be considered a sign? How do images come to have meaning in a denotative or connotative sense? What are the principal codes organizing images as narrative media and how do spectators recognise those codes? Readings will include work by Roland Barthes, Christian Metz, Jean Mitry, Noël Burch, Raymond Bellour, Umberto Eco, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and David Bordwell, among others.

Instructor(s): D.N. Rodowick     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): CMST 10100, ARTH 20000, ENGL 10800, ARTV 25300, or consent of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 27230

CMST 37700. Advanced Photography. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): CMST 27700

CMST 37800. Theories of Media. 100 Units.

This course will explore the concept of media and mediation in very broad terms, looking not only at modern technical media and mass media, but at the very idea of a medium as a means of communication, a set of institutional practices, and a habitat in which images proliferate and take on a "life of their own." The course will deal as much with ancient as with modern media, with writing, sculpture, and painting as well as television and virtual reality. Readings will include classic texts such as Plato's Allegory of the Cave and Cratylus, Aristotle's Poetics, and modern texts such as Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media, Regis Debray's Mediology, and Friedrich Kittler's Gramophone, Film, Typewriter. We will explore questions such as the following: What is a medium? What is the relation of technology to media? How do media affect, simulate, and stimulate sensory experiences? What sense can we make of concepts such as the "unmediated" or "immediate"? How do media become intelligible and concrete in the form of "metapictures" or exemplary instances, as when a medium reflects on itself (films about films, paintings about painting)? Is there a system of media? How do we tell one medium from another, and how do they become "mixed" in hybrid, intermedial formations? We will also look at recent films such as The Matrix and Existenz that project fantasies of a world of total mediation and hyperreality.

Instructor(s): W. J. T. Mitchell     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Any 100-level ARTH or COVA course, or consent of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 35900, CMST 27800, AMER 30800, ENGL 12800, ENGL 32800, ARTV 20400, ARTH 25900

CMST 37802. Art and Public Life. 100 Units.

The aim of this seminar-colloquium will be to work through some of the most advanced thinking on ideas about publics and their relation to questions of community, politics, society, culture, and the arts. From John Dewey through Hannah Arendt and Jurgen Habermas, the notion of the public has remained central to a wide variety of debates in the humanities and social sciences. What is a public? How are publics constituted? What is the role of real and virtual space, architectural design, urban planning, and technical media, in the formation of publics? And, most centrally for our purposes, what role can and do the arts play in the emergence of various kinds of publics? The colloquium aspect of the course will involve visiting speakers from a variety of disciplines, both from the University of Chicago faculty, and from elsewhere.

Instructor(s): W.J.T. Mitchell, T. Gates     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 32821, MUSI 35014, ARTV 37911, ARTH 47911

CMST 37803. Digital Media Theory. 100 Units.

This course introduces students to the critical study of digital media and participatory cultures, focusing on the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Sub-fields and topics may include history of technology, software studies, platform studies, video-game studies, electronic literature, social media, mobile media, network aesthetics, hacktivism, and digital public. We will also discuss ways that digital media theory intersects with and complicates work coming from critical theory, especially feminist, Marxist, queer, and transnational theories. Readings may include work by theorists such as Ian Bogost, Wendy Chun, Mary Flanagan, Alexander Galloway, Mark Hansen, Katherine Hayles, Friedrich Kittler, Alan Liu, Lev Manovich, Franco Moretti, Lisa Nakamura, Rita Raley, and McKenzie Wark. Through a study of contemporary media theory, we will also think carefully about emerging methods of inquiry that accompany this area of study, including multimodal and practice-based research. Students need not be technologically gifted or savvy, but a wide-ranging imagination and interest in new media culture will make for a more exciting quarter.

Instructor(s): Patrick Jagoda     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 32313

CMST 37805. Framing, Re-framing, and Un-framing Cinema. 100 Units.

By cinema, we mean the art of the moving image, which is not limited to the material support of a flexible band called film. This art reaches back to early devices to trick the eye into seeing motion and looks forward to new media and new modes of presentation. With the technological possibility of breaking images into tiny pixels and reassembling them and of viewing them in new way that this computerized image allows, we now face the most radical transformation of the moving image since the very beginnings of cinema. A collaboration between the OpenEndedGroup (Marc Downie and Paul Kaiser), artists who have created new modes of the moving image for more than decade, and film scholar Tom Gunning, this course will use this moment of new technologies to explore and expand the moving image before it becomes too rigidly determined by the powerful industrial forces now propelling it forward. This course will be intensely experimental as we see how we might use new computer algorithms to take apart and re-experience classic films of the past. By using new tools, developed for and during this class, students will make new experiences inside virtual reality environments for watching, analyzing, and recombining films and that are unlike any other. These tools will enable students, regardless of previous programming experience, to participate in this crucial technological and cultural juncture.

Equivalent Course(s): CMST 27805, ARTV 20805, ARTV 30805

CMST 37810. Cinema and New Media. 100 Units.

Over the past two decades, new media such as television, computers and the web, digital image production, and video games have begun to transform, and even supplant, the social and cultural prominence of cinema. This course will look at how these media work: the history of their development, the changes they have brought about in a broader media culture, their political implications, and their social status and significance (e.g., the place they occupy in culture, the kinds of interactions they make possible). The focus will equally be on the ways in which cinema has responded to the changing digital landscape, which will be explored through both blockbuster and experimental films as well as video and web-based art. Readings will be taken from the history of film theory, recent work in media history and archeology, and theoretical studies of digital media and technology.

Instructor(s): D. Morgan     Terms Offered: Autumn

CMST 37911. Augmented Reality Production. 100 Units.

Focusing on experimental moving-image approaches at a crucial moment in the emerging medium of augmented reality, this class will explore and interrogate each stage of production of AR works. Students in this production-based class will examine the techniques and opportunities of this new kind of moving image. During this class we'll study the construction of examples across a gamut from locative media, journalism, and gameplay-based works to museum installations. Students will complete a series of critical essays and sketches towards a final augmented reality project using a custom set of software tools developed in and for the class.

Instructor(s): M. Downie     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 27911, ARTV 37921, ARTV 27921

CMST 37920. Virtual Reality Production. 100 Units.

Focusing on experimental moving-image approaches at a crucial moment in the emerging medium of virtual reality, this class will explore and interrogate each stage of production for VR. By hacking their way around the barriers and conventions of current software and hardware to create new optical experiences, students will design, construct and deploy new ways of capturing the world with cameras and develop new strategies and interactive logics for placing images into virtual spaces. Underpinning these explorations will be a careful discussion, dissection and reconstruction of techniques found in the emerging VR "canon" that spans new modes of journalism and documentary, computer games, and narrative "VR cinema." Film production and computer programming experience is welcome but not a prerequisite for the course. Students will be expected to complete short "sketches" of approaches in VR towards a final short VR experience.

Equivalent Course(s): MAAD 27920, ARTV 37920, ARTV 27920, CMST 27920

CMST 38100. Issues in Film Music. 100 Units.

This course explores the role of film music in the history of cinema. What role does music play as part of the narrative (source music) and as nondiegetic music (underscoring)? How does music of different styles and provenance contribute to the semiotic universe of film? And how did film music assume a central voice in twentieth-century culture? We study music composed for films (original scores) as well as pre-existent music (e.g., popular and classical music). The twenty films covered in the course may include classical Hollywood cinema, documentaries, foreign (e.g., non-Western) films, experimental films, musicals, and cartoons.

Instructor(s): B. Hoeckner
Note(s): This course typically is offered in alternate years.
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 28100, MUSI 30901, MUSI 22901

CMST 38310. Kafka and Performance. 100 Units.

This laboratory seminar is devoted to exploring the texts of Franz Kafka through the lens of performance. In addition to weekly scenic experiments and extensive critical readings (on Kafka as well as performance theory) we will explore the rich history of adapting Kafka in film, theater, puppetry, opera, and performance.

Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 22110, FNDL 22115, GRMN 32110, CMST 28310, GRMN 23110, TAPS 32110

CMST 38700. History of International Cinema, Part III: 1960 to Present. 100 Units.

This course will continue the study of cinema around the world from the late 1950s through the 1990s. We will focus on New Cinemas in France, Czechoslovakia, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, and other countries. We will pay special attention to experimental stylistic developments, women directors, and well-known auteurs. After the New Cinema era we will examine various developments in world cinema, including the rise of Bollywood, East Asian film cultures, and other movements.

Instructor(s): J.Lastra     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): This course follows the subject matter taught in CMST 28500/48500 and CMST 28600/48600, but these are not prerequisites.
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 28700

CMST 38921. Introduction to 16mm Filmmaking. 100 Units.

The goal of this intensive laboratory course is to give its students a working knowledge of film production using the 16mm gauge. The course will emphasize how students can use 16mm technology towards successful cinematography and image design (for use in both analog and digital postproduction scenarios) and how to develop their ideas towards constructing meaning through moving pictures. Through a series of group exercises, students will put their hands on equipment and solve technical and aesthetic problems, learning to operate and care for the 16mm Bolex film camera; prime lenses; Sekonic light meter; Sachtler tripod; and Arri light kit and accessories. For a final project, students will plan and produce footage for an individual or small group short film. The first half the class will be highly structured, with demonstrations, in-class shoots and lectures. As the semester continues, class time will open up to more of a workshop format to address the specific concerns and issues that arise in the production of the final projects. This course is made possible by the Charles Roven Fund for Cinema and Media Studies.

Equivalent Course(s): ARTV 23808, CMST 28921, ARTV 33808

CMST 39002. Motion Pictures in the Human Sciences. 100 Units.

This course will examine the relationship between moving images, particularly motion-picture films, and the human sciences, broadly construed, from the early days of cinema to the advent of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). It will use primary source documents alongside screenings to allow students to study what the moving image meant to researchers wishing to develop knowledge of mind and behavior, and what they thought film could do that still photography and unmediated human observation could not. The kinds of motion pictures we will study will vary widely, from infant development studies to psychiatric films, from documentaries to research films, and from films made by scientists or clinicians as part of their laboratory or therapeutic work to experimental films made by seasoned filmmakers. We will explore how people used the recordings they made in their own studies, in communications with other scientists, and for didactic and other purposes. We will also discuss how researchers' claims about mental processes-perception, memory, consciousness, and interpersonal influence-drew on their understandings of particular technologies.

Instructor(s): A. Winter     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 35208, HIST 25208, CHSS 35208, HIPS 25208, CMST 29002

CMST 39300. Aesthetics: Phil/Photo/Film. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): CMST 29300, PHIL 21100, PHIL 31301, ARTH 27301, ARTH 37301

CMST 40000. Methods and Issues in Cinema Studies. 100 Units.

This course offers an introduction to ways of reading, writing on, and teaching film. The focus of discussion will range from methods of close analysis and basic concepts of film form, technique and style; through industrial/critical categories of genre and authorship (studios, stars, directors); through aspects of the cinema as a social institution, psycho-sexual apparatus and cultural practice; to the relationship between filmic texts and the historical horizon of production and reception. Films discussed will include works by Griffith, Lang, Hitchcock, Deren, Godard.

Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 39900, MAPH 33000, ENGL 48000

CMST 40400. Problems in the Study of Gender and Sexuality: Media Wars. 100 Units.

In our contemporary moment, we have become accustomed to terms such as 'counter-terrorism' that signal an effort to resist internal and external threats, and those suggesting that we live in an age of 'post-truth' dominated by 'corporate-media,' 'fake news,' and 'fact-challenged' journalism. Taking this platform as our starting place, this class explores how these terms and their use have been gendered; have situated both gender and sexuality as either weapons of resistance or objects of destruction. This class will be historically organized insofar as we will begin our discussion with ways that media - broadly conceived to include cinema, print and visual-cultural forms, television, and the internet - have aimed to 'counter' patriarchal, heteronormative, and hegemonic systems of representation of gender and sexuality.

Instructor(s): J. Wild; L. Janson     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 31105, GNSE 11005, MAAD 20400, CMST 20400

CMST 42719. Music, Mixed Emotions, Modernity. 100 Units.

This seminar explores the relationship between music and emotion, focusing on emotions that have a special affinity with the experience of modernity, as expressed in music and film. A major portion of the seminar will be concerned with mixed emotions, including forms of pleasurable sadness, ranging from the Elizabethan cult of melancholia prominent in the music of John Dowland to modern bittersweetness, as manifest in nineteenth-century melodrama and such films as Back Street (1941) and La La Land (2016). Readings will include scholarship in musicology and film studies as well as empirical research in psychology and affect theory. Participants will take turns in functioning as "experts" for select seminar sessions by preparing readings and objects for class discussion. Participants taking the class for credit will present a 25-minute research paper at a mini-conference in Week 11.

Instructor(s): Berthold Hoeckner     Terms Offered: Autumn. Offered Autumn 2018 Thursdays 9:30am-12:20pm in JRL room 264
Equivalent Course(s): MUSI 42719

CMST 43418. Surrealism and Cinema. 100 Units.

This seminar examines the relations between Surrealism and the cinema in interwar France, and the aesthetic, political, and theoretical debates produced by their encounter. To what extent may Surrealism, in its varied iterations, be productively read through the optic of cinema, and even as a cinematic movement? And to what extent is cinema an implicitly Surrealist medium? In addition to tracing a precise history of Surrealism, cinema, and its discontents during this period through works by Louis Aragon, Antonin Artaud, Georges Bataille, Walter Benjamin, André Breton, Luis Buñuel, René Clair, Joseph Cornell, Salvador Dalí, Robert Desnos, Germaine Dulac, Louis Feuillade, Sigmund Freud, Jean Painlevé and Geneviève Hamon, Jean Vigo, and others, this class explores the potential of Surrealism as a methodology for critical and theoretical studies of cinema, literature, culture, and history.

Equivalent Course(s): FREN 36218

CMST 44601. Opera and Film, China/Europe. 100 Units.

This seminar will explore the mutual attraction of cinema and opera across the two vast operatic cultures of Europe and China in order to interrogate the many cross-cultural issues that their media encounters produce and accentuate. Such issues include changing relations to myth, ritual, history, and politics; cross-dressing and gender-bending; closed forms or open; stock characters wand plots or narrative fluidity. We will ask why in both China and Europe, opera repeatedly became the conflicted site of nationalist and modernizing aspirations, reiterations of tradition, and attempts at avant-gardism. When the presumed realism of film meets the extravagant hyperperformativity of opera, the encounter produces some extraordinary third kinds-media hybrids. Film repeatedly wrestled with the inherent histrionics of opera through the use of such devices as close-ups, camera angles, shot reverse shot, displacement of sound from sight, acousmatic sound, and trick photography. Such devices were generally meant to suture the supposed improbabilities of the operatic art form, incongruities often based on extravagant and transcendent relationships to realism. Such cinematic renderings of opera are highly revealing of fundamental faultlines in the genres themselves and revealing of the cultures that produced them.

Instructor(s): J. Zeitlin and M. Feldman     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): EALC 41401, TAPS 41401, ITAL 41419, CDIN 41401, MUSI 45019

CMST 44606. China's New Documentary Cinema. 100 Units.

Since the early 1990s, the "new documentary" has emerged as one of the most prominent phenomena in Chinese film and video, widely circulating at international film festivals and eliciting considerable critical debate. This course examines the styles and functions of China's "new documentary" over the last fifteen years, paying particular attention to the institutional, cultural, economic, and political conditions that underpin its flourishing. This overview will lead us to consider questions that concern the recent explosion of the documentary form worldwide, and to explore the tensions and imbalances that characterize the global circulation of the genre. We will address such issues as: what is "new" about China's recent documentary cinema; the "national" and "transnational" dimensions of documentary filmmaking, and the ways in which these dimensions intersect in its production and circulation; the extent to which the international demand for "unofficial" images from China has contributed to its growth; the politics involved in documentary filmmaking, and the forms and meanings of "independent" cinema in the wake of intensified globalization; the links between Chinese documentary and the global rise of documentary filmmaking, and the ways in which they challenge extant concepts and theorizations of the genre.

Instructor(s): P. Iovene
Equivalent Course(s): EALC 35402, EALC 24502, CMST 24606

CMST 47803. The Body of Cinema: Hypnoses, Emotions, Animalities. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 37803, CMST 27803

CMST 48117. Seminar: Music in Sound Studies. 100 Units.

This graduate research seminar will explore the relationship between film music and film sound. Our focus will be exploratory, based on an eclectic list of films, supplemented by relevant readings in film music studies and film sound studies. Participants will provide sample analyses of films, short reports on weekly readings, and write a research paper to be presented at a mini-conference in Week 11.

Equivalent Course(s): MUSI 44417

CMST 48500-48600. History of International Cinema I-II.

This sequence is required of students majoring in Cinema and Media Studies. Taking these courses in sequence is strongly recommended but not required.

CMST 48500. History of International Cinema I: Silent Era. 100 Units.

This course provides a survey of the history of cinema from its emergence in the mid-1890s to the transition to sound in the late 1920s. We will examine the cinema as a set of aesthetic, social, technological, national, cultural, and industrial practices as they were exercised and developed during this 30-year span. Especially important for our examination will be the exchange of film techniques, practices, and cultures in an international context. We will also pursue questions related to the historiography of the cinema, and examine early attempts to theorize and account for the cinema as an artistic and social phenomenon.

Instructor(s): A.Field     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Prior or concurrent registration in CMST 10100 required. Required of students majoring or minoring in Cinema and Media Studies.
Note(s): This is the first part of a two-quarter course.
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 28500, CMLT 22400, ARTV 20002, ARTH 38500, ENGL 29300, ENGL 48700, MAPH 33600, CMLT 32400, ARTH 28500

CMST 48600. History of International Cinema II: Sound Era to 1960. 100 Units.

The center of this course is film style, from the classical scene breakdown to the introduction of deep focus, stylistic experimentation, and technical innovation (sound, wide screen, location shooting). The development of a film culture is also discussed. Texts include Thompson and Bordwell's Film History: An Introduction; and works by Bazin, Belton, Sitney, and Godard. Screenings include films by Hitchcock, Welles, Rossellini, Bresson, Ozu, Antonioni, and Renoir.

Instructor(s): R.Bird     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Prior or concurrent registration in CMST 10100 required. Required of students majoring or minoring in Cinema and Media Studies.
Note(s): CMST 28500/48500 strongly recommended
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 28600, ARTV 20003, REES 25005, REES 45005, ENGL 29600, ARTH 28600, ENGL 48900, CMLT 32500, ARTH 38600, MAPH 33700, CMLT 22500

CMST 53500. Guillotine / Barricade: Figures of History Across Media. 100 Units.

Taking up the French historical technologies of the guillotine and the barricade, this doctoral seminar explores the history of political spectacle, violence, death, and resistance as also part of a history of figuration-conceptualized by Julia Kristeva as the establishment of a relation between two historical realities-across media. We will examine the actual materials and practices of the guillotine and the barricade alongside literary, artistic, and filmic works that deploy the figural logic of both technologies as part of their formal, representational, and/or political articulation. This seminar thus seeks to examine the methodological stakes of inter-medial and interdisciplinary history and historiography that draws equally from French history, literature, visual art (including sculpture), architecture, and film. This class will be taught in English; French reading and research skills are not necessary, but would be beneficial.

Instructor(s): J. Wild     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CDIN 53500, FREN 43501

CMST 55250. Straight Lines and Infrastructural Sensibilities. 100 Units.

In this course, we will use the proliferation of straight lines in 20th century art as a point of departure for studying the changing relations between art and infrastructural frameworks - whether such frameworks are used as models or sources of inspiration, or are concretely deployed as a technical or material support. In this context, composer and Fluxus pioneer La Monte Young's 1960 Draw A Straight Line and Follow It (and a number related works) may be seen to signal a shift in the relation between art and infrastructure: Here, the industrial technologies evoked in the work of Bauhaus, Constructivism and Dada/Surrealism seem to have given way to the post-industrial infrastructures that become more socially and economically significant after 1945, with the emergence of electronic and digital networks. We will study the significance of the straight line across a wide range of media and expressions, including architecture, painting, drawing, film, video and computer art. More specifically, we will look at how the changing deployment of the straight line in art signals changes in the relation between bodies, sensation/sensibility and technical systems that operate at macroscale as well as microscale levels.

Instructor(s): I. Blom     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 41350

CMST 59900. Reading And Research: Cmst. 100 Units.

This course is intended for graduate students in the Cinema and Media Studies program; the subject matter, course of study, and individual requirements are arranged with the instructor prior to registration.

CMST 61001. Black Film as Art / Black Art as Film. 100 Units.

The aesthetic dimensions of "Black film" tend to be subordinated to historical, social and political lines of inquiry - histories of "art film" tend not to include works by Black artists. This seminar foregrounds questions of form and style in film and video works by a wide range Black artists in order to develop new ways of understanding the complex, mutually constitutive relations between Blackness and the moving image. We will pursue experimental practices by Black film and video makers - beginning in the era of segregated "race film" production of the 1910s-40s, considering moments of stylistic experimentation in the narrative films of Micheaux, Maurice and Williams. We then discuss later film and videomakers who work more consistently and explicitly in experimental modes - the second category includes film and video works by Black visual and performance artists who exhibit in gallery and museum contexts. Along the way, we will discuss intersections with vanguard practices in related art forms, curatorial efforts, and movements between the art world and the film industry.

CMST 61032. Theory, Blackness, and Cinema. 100 Units.

This seminar explores what might be encountered under the categories of "Blackness" and "audio-visuality" with an emphasis on African-American and Black diasporic audio-visual culture. We will consider a range of studies of "Blackness" produced in English in the areas of African American and Black Studies, cinema and media studies, performance studies, art history, and visual studies.

Instructor(s): K. Keeling     Terms Offered: Spring

CMST 61101. Birth of a Nation. 100 Units.

This seminar explores the history and resonance of D. W. Griffith's epic Birth of a Nation, 100 years after its release in 1915. Based on Thomas Dixon's novels The Leopard's Spots (1902) and The Clansman (1905) and their theatrical adaptations, the film's landmark stylistic innovations, unprecedented publicity and box office performance, and heavily protested representations of U.S. slavery and its aftermath have generated critical questions about the relationships between politics and film aesthetics that continue to animate our understanding of the "power" of the moving image. We will explore the film's style and its popular and critical reception, and the challenges it poses for film historiography. We will examine the film within Griffith's oeuvre (including his previous antebellum and Civil War dramas like His Trust and His Trust Fulfilled [1911]), and subsequent works including Intolerance (1916), his reflection on the Birth's contentious circulation. Topics explored include uses of blackface in the silent era; strategies of literary adaptation; the Dunning school of the Reconstruction era and critical responses (e.g., W. E. B. Du Bois and others); the careers of the film's cast and crew; film censorship and protest ; silent film historiography and Birth's prominent place in it; cinematic responses to the film, especially by African American filmmakers, from Emmett Scott's Birth of a Race (1918) to Oscar Micheaux's Within Our Gates (1920) to Spike Lee's Bamboozled (2000)

Equivalent Course(s): AMER 61101

CMST 61102. The L.A. Rebellion and the Politics of Black Cinema. 100 Units.

Equivalent Course(s): CRES 61102

CMST 61820. Minsterlsy-Vaudeville-Cinema: Racialized Performance and American Popular Culture. 100 Units.

What would it mean to say that minstrelsy was a foundational practice in the development of American popular culture, and that the emergence of American cinema must be understood through the lens of its ubiquity? This course therefore investigates the persistence of minstrelsy in American popular culture from the early 19th century to the turn of the 20th century. It traces the development of its tropes, themes, and practices from traveling tent shows to the variety theater of vaudeville and to the emergence of cinema. We will attempt to make legible the functionings of its racist caricatures, account for its popularity and longevity, and explore moments of creative resistance to its dehumanizing portrayals of African Americans. We will look at 19th century performers and composers including T.D. Rice, Billy Kersands, Stephen Foster, Bert Williams and George Walker, Ernest Hogan, May Irwin, Sissieretta Jones. We will also consider later filmmakers working with and against the racialized representations of minstrelsy including D.W. Griffith, Al Jolson, Oscar Micheaux, and Stepin Fetchit, and contemporary reimaginings, confrontations and reckonings, including those of Spike Lee, Dave Chappelle, Christopher Harris, and Edgar Arceneaux. Emphasis will be on methods of primary historical research as well as theories of race, gender and performance.

Instructor(s): A.Field     Terms Offered: Winter

CMST 63701. Neo-Avant-Wave: Post War Film Experiment in France. 100 Units.

The New Wave. The Neo-Avant Garde. Rarely have these film and art movements been placed into an explicit historical or theoretical dialog or dialectic. It will be the task of this seminar to do just that. We will begin our study with a brief look into the pre-WWII situation of radical art and film movements, and classic theories of the avant-garde and neo-avant-garde. Turning our attention to the rise of Lettrism within the context of post-war film and art culture, we will subsequently evaluate the conditions that surrounded the emergence of New Wave filmmaking and criticism, and that include the Situationist International and Nouveau Réalisme. As we move toward and beyond the events of May 1968, we will bring our study of social documentary, politically militant forms, collective film and art practices, and historiography to bear on purportedly stable understandings of the New Wave, its art historical forebearers, and its heirs. Reading knowledge of French is required. While some of our texts will appear in English translation, many will not. The seminar will be conducted in English, but the last thirty minutes of each session will be conducted in French. This component is intended to improve students' oral proficiency, but it will not be used in student evaluation. Screenings are mandatory. With some possible exceptions, films will be subtitled. Students enrolled in FREN 43713 will be required to complete all reading and writing in French.

Instructor(s): Jennifer Wild     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): FREN 43713, ARTH 43701

CMST 64511. Film and Revolution. 100 Units.

On the fiftieth anniversary of 1968 our course couples the study of revolutionary films (and films about revolution) with seminal readings on revolutionary ideology and on the theory of film and video. The goal will be to articulate the mechanics of revolution and its representation in time-based media. Students will produce a video or videos adapting the rich archive of revolutionary film for today's situation. The films screened will be drawn primarily from Soviet and US cinema, from the 1920s to the present day, proceeding more or less chronologically. We begin with newsreels and a "poetic documentary" by Dziga Vertov; they will be paired with classic readings from revolutionary theory, from Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin to Fidel Castro and Bill Ayres, and from film theory, including Vertov, Andre Bazin and Jean-Luc Godard. Readings will acquaint students with contemporary assessments of the emancipatory potential of film.

Equivalent Course(s): REES 64511

CMST 64903. Theory, Media and the Moving Image in Japan. 100 Units.

This course sets out to explore the history and present of film and media theory in Japan. To that end, we will engage close readings of translated writings spanning the 20th century and into the 21st. The course is most centrally focused on cinema as the predominant moving image art or technology for much of the 20th century. We will explore its relationship to sociological issues such as economy, technology, and mass consumption, as well as philosophical and aesthetic issues of subjectivity, time and space, mediation, and representation. At the same time, we will attempt to situate such writings within a broader constellation of writings on literature, philosophy, photography, animation, and new media in Japan, and when possible, Western film and media theory. The emphasis in the class is on readings, but there will be a screening component as well. No Japanese language ability is required.

Instructor(s): Phil Kaffen     Terms Offered: Winter

CMST 64904. Remapping New Waves: New Cinemas, Film Theory and Criticism in Japan. 100 Units.

We have recently seen a growing number of works that aimed at a broader and renewed understanding of the new cinemas of the 1960s in Japan, with more complex accounts of the historical, geographical, and geopolitical trajectory of the Japanese New Wave. Ongoing investigations have largely ascribed its rise to Oshima Nagisa, the central figure in the publicity-driven phenomenon known as the "Shōchiku Nouvelle Vague" (Nūberu Bāgu). Amidst these new scholarly texts, there are still a series of theoretical and historical/historiographical questions that have remained underexplored: where did the Japanese New Wave come from, and what actually constituted it? How did the emergence of the new cinema intersect with larger media, social, and intellectual history? Did the cinematic medium have to be radicalized in order to become 'new'? How was such 'newness' visualized, accousticized, and registered by other sensory cues in the cinema? How was the emergence of the new cinema in dialogue with institutions? Placing films in the contexts of the era's media-scape, this course will delve into an analytical reconsideration of this rich period of Japanese cinema specifically from the perspective of the Japanese New Wave. While we will aim to capture the exhilaration of the Japanese New Wave by closely analyzing existing studies on some of its key makers and their works, special attention will be given to what has been left out of the category as it is conventionally understood, such as educational and industrial films. All required readings are in English. Participants with reading ability in Japanese will be asked to take on additional readings in Japanese and present on them in class.

Equivalent Course(s): EALC 44904

CMST 67203. Contemporary Film Theory. 100 Units.

This course will read and discuss the body of film theory that emerged after 1960, beginning with the work in film semiology of Christian Metz, through the theorists of the sixties that David Rodowick includes under the term "political modernism;" the theorist associated with Screen (such as Stephen Heath) and their debates with the Post Theorists such as Bordwell and Carroll, the work of Stanley Cavell on film, and ending with a consideration of Giles Deleuze and his Cinema books.

Instructor(s): Tom Gunning     Terms Offered: Autumn

CMST 67207. Aesthetics. 100 Units.

This seminar explores the intersection of film and philosophical aesthetics. Aesthetics has become a curiously central topic not only within cinema and media studies but also in the disciplines that surround it. From speculative realists to critical theorists to political theorists of various stripes; aesthetics have been taken to have methodological and conceptual primacy. This course takes several paths to explore and evaluate these accounts. First, it looks at the question of why aesthetics has emerged in the present situation: what unresolved questions or problems does it respond to? What is its appeal for the current state of politics and media? Second, it places the recent debates within a longer history of philosophical aesthetics. Which resources from this tradition are being drawn on-and, of equal importance, which are not? Last, the course examines the usefulness of aesthetics within cinema and media studies by testing it against the details of film form. To this end, we will look at several key moments in the history and theory of montage to see whether aesthetics can provide new insights.

Instructor(s): D. Morgan     Terms Offered: Autumn

CMST 67211. What Was Mise-en-scène? 100 Units.

Mise-en-scène is often understood as a synonym for the act of directing, especially in theater. In film style it is associated with the importance accorded to the placement of props and characters within the film frame, usually in combination with camera movement. This concept was especially important in film criticism of the fifties and sixties and often connected with key post-WWII filmmakers such as Nicholas Ray, Douglas Sirk and Otto Preminger. This seminar will explore the concept both as historical critical concept, and as an ongoing way to discuss the nature of film style.

Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 47211

CMST 67410. Cinema and Comedic Modernism. 100 Units.

Description forthcoming.

Instructor(s): X. Dong     Terms Offered: Spring

CMST 67411. Film Theory and the Competition of Modernisms. 100 Units.

CMST 67812. The Archive of Absence: Theories and Methodologies of Evidence. 100 Units.

In this graduate seminar we will investigate theories and historiographic methodologies of approaching problems of evidence in film history, with a particular focus on approaches to nonextant film, film fragments, unidentified film, and other "mysteries" of film history. Some of these problems are about gaps: how has film history grappled with the absence and instability of the film artifact? Others, especially in a newly digital world, involve abundance: how can film history and historiography navigate the polyvalences of meaning brought about by an ever-expanding archive? This course will combine theoretical readings, analyses of case studies, and students' own research. Topics to be covered include the use of extrafilmic evidence and primary paracinematic evidence, fiction and speculative approaches to history, theories of evidence, and archival theories and practices. We'll also focus on the possibilities and limits of various historiographic methodologies, touching on the use of oral history, biographic research, and official and unofficial discourses. Cases will be drawn from the silent era to contemporary cinema, and from a range of film practices including avant-garde, Classical Hollywood, African American, European art cinema, and others.

Instructor(s): A. Field     Terms Offered: Spring

CMST 67820. The Image in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. 100 Units.

This course will examine closely the recent dramatic advantages in the fields of image analysis and generation in a broad range of contexts: from the lab to their everyday use in social media and government surveillance. Students will be given the opportunity to sharpen their understanding of the possibilities and limits of machine learning by testing contemporary algorithms against datasets of their own design. This course seeks to close the critical and cultural distance between industrial advances in image understanding, the scientific discourses behind this field, and conceptions and uses of the image traditionally available to the humanities.

Instructor(s): M. Downie     Terms Offered: Winter

CMST 68008. Senses and Technology. 100 Units.

This seminar examines the fraught relationship between the human sensorium, and its mediations through what we might call "sense technologies," such as photography, phonography, moving images, radio, computers, telephones and virtual reality. Understanding aesthetic practices as concretizations of sense experience or as formal realizations of experience has a long and storied history as does modeling devices on suppositions about how we see, hear, touch, etc. The contradictions that inevitably arise between practice and theory are one of the motors or both formal and technological change, and the dialectic between how we understand sensory experience in general and how it manifests itself in various institutional settings (the laboratory, the courts, the film industry, video gaming, etc.) will be a touchstone for the class. We will examine both theoretical and historical approaches to understanding various sense/technology relationships since the eighteenth century.

Instructor(s): J. Lastra     Terms Offered: Winter

CMST 68400. Style and Performance from Stage to Screen. 100 Units.

Actor is the oldest profession among arts. Cinema is the youngest art there is. What happens with faces, gestures, monologues, and voices; ancient skills like dance or mime; grand histrionics etc. when arts of performance hit the medium of screen? This course will focus on the history of acting styles in silent films, mapping "national" styles of acting that emerged during the 1910s (American, Danish, Italian, Russian) and various "acting schools" that proliferated during the 1920s ("Expressionist acting," "Kuleshov's Workshop," et al.). We will discuss film acting in the context of various systems of stage acting (Delsarte, Stanislavsky, Meyerhold) and the visual arts.

Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 48905

CMST 69002. Cinema and Labor. 100 Units.

CMST 69900. Pedagogy: The Way We Teach Film. 100 Units.

This course, spread across the year, is an introduction to pedagogical methods in the field of Cinema and Media Studies. It is intended for, and open only to, CMS PhD Students. This course meets through the full academic year

Instructor(s): J. Wild     Terms Offered: Autumn. A full year course, with enrollment only occurring in Autumn.
Prerequisite(s): CMST 69900 is open only to CMS PhD students; requires department consent.
Note(s): This course meets through the full academic year.

CMST 69901. The Films of Ozu Yasujiro. 100 Units.

This course explores Ozu Yasujiro's works from both national and transnational perspectives. Through an intense examination of Ozu's robust film making career, from the student comedies of the late 1920s to the family drama (in Agfacolor) of the early 1960s, we will locate Ozu's works at a dialogic focal point of Japanese, East Asian, American, and European cinema.

CMST 70000. Advanced Study: Cinema & Media Studies. 300.00 Units.

Advanced Study: Cinema Media Studies

For further information concerning the PhD Program in Cinema and Media Studies, please see the Graduate Program pages on the department's website. Prospective students should also reach out to the Department Coordinator ( with questions or requests for more information.

Information on how to apply

The application process for admission and financial aid for all graduate programs in the Humanities is administered through the divisional Office of the Dean of Students. The Application for Admission and Financial Aid, with instructions, deadlines and department specific information is available online at:

Questions pertaining to admissions and aid should be directed to or (773) 702-1552.

International students must provide evidence of English proficiency by submitting scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). (Current minimum scores, etc., are provided with the application.) For more information, please see the Office of International Affairs website at, or call them at (773) 702-7752.

Cinema and Media Studies Courses