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Film & Media Studies

If you don’t know how to use media, media will use you.

Film and Media Studies seeks to understand the moving image—something that we engage with, use to communicate, and are entertained by, almost every day. Simply watching lots of media does not teach us how media works, and how media works on us—as individuals and as a culture. Film and Media Studies deals with the study of the moving image in everything from cinema to television to video art to the internet to video games and well beyond—any moving image that can be seen on any kind of screen.

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Requirements & Courses

Goals for Majors in Film and Media Studies

  • The ability to critically analyze works from a wide variety of moving image media (e.g., cinema, television, video art, streaming video, mobile apps, video games, GIFs) and artistic modes (e.g., narrative, documentary, experimental)
  • A keen awareness of moving images’ contexts (political, historical, cultural, technological, industrial and social) and how these evolve over the life of their circulation
  • Research skills that cover a range of types and levels—basic Internet research, in-depth scholarly research, archival research—and an understanding of how to use different kinds of research appropriately
  • An ability to make creative media, at least an introductory production level, with a critical eye and reflective mindset
  • Proficiency at sharing ideas effectively through three types of communication:
    • Written: majors will be able to write clearly and persuasively in a range of formats and for a range of audiences (e.g., blog posts, short response papers, conference abstracts, in-depth research papers)
    • Spoken: majors will be able to present ideas orally in a range of settings (e.g., one-on-one with the instructor, in small discussion groups, in large classroom discussions, through in-class presentations)
    • Media: beyond the form of creative media-making majors learns in their production classes, they will also learn to communicate scholarly ideas about media through media (e.g., by making websites, video essays, podcasts, GIS mapping projects)

Film and Media Studies Major

Requirements

Ten courses

  1. FMS 150
  2. One media history course (a survey course covering approximately 50 years of one moving image medium’s global history): FMS 250FMS 251 or other course in the Five Colleges with adviser approval.
  3. FMS 290
  4. One film, video, digital production and/or screenwriting course: FMS 280FMS 281, FMS 282, FMS 283 or other course in the Five Colleges with adviser approval.
  5. Three courses in a focus, normally chosen by the second semester of junior year, designed by the student in consultation with the adviser; at least one course must be taken at the advanced level. Focus areas include, but are not limited to:
    • Theories of film and/or other media
    • Production
    • National/transnational cinemas and/or other media industries
    • Intersectionality (emphasizing some meaningful conceptual combination of gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, class, ability, age, and more)
    • Moving image audiences and cultures
    • Comparative genres
    • Avant-garde/experimental
    • Documentary/non-fiction
    • Media histories
    • Media industry studies
    • Television studies
    • Digital media
    • Popular culture
  6. Three additional electives
Major Requirement Details
  • No more than four courses in the major can be production courses.
  • Three courses must be taken at the advanced level, at least one of which must be a 300-level seminar.
  • One course must centrally address alternatives to commercial media (e.g., documentary or experimental/avant-garde work).
  • Only one component course (in which the moving image figures significantly but is not the central focus of the course) may count for the major.

Honors

Admission by permission of the department.

Film and Media Studies Minor

Requirements

Six courses

  1. FMS 150
  2. FMS 290 or an FMS 300-level seminar
  3. Four electives
  • All courses to be taken at Smith except by permission of the chair or minor adviser.
  • No more than two courses in the minor can be production courses.

Courses

FMS 150 Introduction to Film and Media Studies (4 Credits)

This course introduces students to FMS through units that pair four scholarly approaches with four influential media forms: the Aesthetics of Film, the History of Television, the Ideologies of Video Games, and the Technologies of Internet Media. Through these units, students will ask: what human desires animate our relationship with media? For what purposes have people invented and evolved these technologies? How do makers use them, and what are audiences seeking in them? These questions will help students see the fundamental forces that unite film, television, video games and Internet media alongside the elements that distinguish them from each other. Enrollment limited to 30. (E) {A}

Fall

FMS 237 The Documentary Impulse (4 Credits)

The drive to represent reality has animated media makers throughout history. In the service of this urgent, impossible ambition, documentarians have used myriad forms of media and produced some of each form’s most complex works. This course examines how they have done so, concentrating on different approaches to documentary (observational, ethnographic, essayistic, autobiographical) and considering work in photography, film, television, radio/podcasts, websites and virtual reality. Throughout the semester, students interrogate the boundaries of the documentary mode, the unique ethical considerations of doing documentary work and the social, cultural and technological factors that shape documentary’s history and current practice. Enrollment limited to 28. {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

FMS 239 The Curious Case of Online Streaming: Online Streaming, Sharing, and Piracy in the Digital Age (4 Credits)

By providing viewers from different parts of the world easier access, new online streaming services also familiarize global audiences with quality programming. Emerging local streaming services mimic this model and aim to produce such shows to attract viewers to their platforms by applying the same standards to their originals. A close look at these new online streaming models reveals the complicated relationship between online sharing, piracy and online streaming. While moving between theory and case studies, this class explores this complicated relationship. (E) {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

FMS 242 Pop Docs: Documentary Influence in Popular Media (4 Credits)

Pop Docs examines how documentary techniques that originated in art house and experimental film have migrated into mainstream entertainment media. We’ll study popular forms of non-fiction media: true crime streaming series and podcasts, reality TV, YouTube vlogs, and other social media content. In doing so, we’ll ask: what core tenets of documentary work do these forms discard and retain? How do these evolutions impact the ethics of recording real people and their lives? Why are audiences drawn to “reality” content, and how savvy are they about the distance between what appears on screen and the lived experience of those recorded? Prerequisites: FMS 150 or 237. {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

FMS 247 American Film and Culture from the Depression to the Sixties (4 Credits)

This course explores the relationship between film and culture during some of the most crucial decades of "The American Century." It looks at the evolving connection between films and their audiences, the extent to which films are symptomatic of as well as influential on historical periods, major events and social movements, and the ways in which film genres evolve in relation to both cultural change and the rise and fall of the Hollywood studio system. Among the questions we'll consider: How did the Depression have an impact on Hollywood film style and form? How were evolving ideas about American motherhood puzzled out in American cinema of the period? What were some of the important differences between the way mainstream U.S. cinema and European film represented World War II? How did Civil Rights and the Red Scare become appropriate topics for Westerns? Did the lighthearted veneer of the fluffy sex comedies of the sixties actually hide some serious questions about labor, independent female subjectivity and heteronormativity? Particular and sustained attention will be paid to relations among gender, genre, race and class. {A}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

FMS 248 Women and American Cinema: Representation, Spectatorship, Authorship (4 Credits)

A survey of women in American films from the silent period to the present, examining: 1) how women are represented on film, and how those images relate to actual contemporaneous American society, culture and politics; 2) how theoretical formulations, expectations and realities of female spectatorship relate to genre, the star and studio systems (and other production and distribution modes), dominant and alternative codes of narration and developments in digital and new media modes; and 3) how women as stars, writers, producers and directors shape and respond to, work within and against, dominant considerations of how women look (in every sense). {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

FMS 250 Global Cinema After World War II (4 Credits)

The post-war period was a time of increasing globalization, which brought about a more interconnected and international film culture. But it was also a time during which certain key national cinemas defined, or redefined, themselves. This course examines both trends, as well as focuses on the work and influence of significant directors and landmark films, emphasizing not only cinematic and cultural specificity, but also cross-cultural, and transhistorical concerns. What makes a film Italian or Brazilian or British? How does national identity help shape any country’s cinema, and how do films help shape national identity? How do films circulate through other cultures and what kinds of conversations do films from one nation or culture have with others? How and when is the idea of nation a counterproductive way to think about cinema? How do ideas of history and self inform cinema, and vice versa? How do we need to adjust our own spectatorship as we engage with films from other places and times? We examine films, filmmakers, and film movements including: Italian Neo-realism, French New Wave, New German Cinema, Brazilian Cinema Novo, Chinese Fifth Generation, Hong Kong Action Cinema, and the films of Ousmane Sembene, Thomas Gutierrez Aléa, Satyajit Ray, Akira Kurosawa, Julie Dash and Spike Lee. Satisfies the mediahistories requirement for the film and media studies major. {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

FMS 251 A Global History of Television (4 Credits)

Television has long been associated with domestic--both in terms of home and the nation--consumption. However, digital technologies have challenged this confinement. Following the lead of satellite technologies and the global wave of economic liberalization, television content has become more mobile, and spread of digital technologies has further contributed to this mobility. This course examines the global journey of television starting from its conception and ending in the current digital era. (E) {A}

Spring

FMS 261 Video Games and the Politics of Play (4 Credits)

An estimated 63% of U.S. households have members who play video games regularly, and game sales routinely exceed film box office figures. As this medium grows in cultural power, it is increasingly important to think about how games make meaning. This course serves as an introduction to Game Studies, equipping students with the vocabulary to analyze video games, surveying the medium’s genres, and sampling this scholarly discipline’s most influential theoretical writing. The particular focus, though, is on the ideology operating beneath the surface of these popular entertainment objects and on the ways in which video games enter political discourse. Enrollment limited to 25. {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

FMS 262 Television Without Borders: TV Flows Across the World (4 Credits)

Desperate Housewives in Argentina? The O.C. in Turkey? Sherlock in the United States? Television defies national borders more than ever. Although TV has travelled around the world for a long time, the rules have changed since the early 2000s. The increasing popularity of format adaptations, new centers of production, new technologies of circulation--such as online streaming platforms--open up new waves of television flows. As television globalizes, content creators try new ways to export and adapt content. By providing exposure to a diverse television content "flowing" around the world, FMS 262 helps students gain insight into the globalization of popular culture. (E) {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

FMS 265 Film in the Digital Age (4 Credits)

Film, a dominant entertainment form in the twentieth century, faces sweeping changes in the twenty-first. Digital technologies are widely replacing film cameras and projectors, theatrical exhibition continues to decline as audiences watch movies on smaller and smaller screens, and the list of other entertainment forms competing for the public’s attention grows longer each year. Appropriating Peter Greenaway’s provocation, "Cinema is dead, long live cinema," this course will consider the challenge digital media present to film’s primacy, but also the ways in which film has survived and thrived during this and previous periods of dramatic technological change. Prerequisite: FMS 150. {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

FMS 280 Introduction to Video Production (4 Credits)

This course provides a foundation in the principles, techniques and equipment involved in making short videos, including: development of a viable story idea or concept, aesthetics and mechanics of shooting video, the role of sound and successful audio recording and the conceptual and technical underpinnings of digital editing. Students make several short pieces through the semester, working towards a longer final piece. Along with projects and screenings, there are reading assignments and writing exercises. Prerequisite: FMS 150 (may be concurrent) or its equivalent. Enrollment limited to 12. Application and instructor permission required. {A}

Fall, Spring

FMS 281 Screenwriting Workshop (4 Credits)

This course provides an overview of the fundamentals of screenwriting. Combining lectures and script analyses, students focus on character development, story structure, conflict and dialogue featured in academy award-winning screenplays. Students begin with three creative story ideas, developing one concept into a full-length screenplay of their own. Through in-class read-throughs and rewrites, students are required to complete ~30 pages of a full-length screenplay with a detailed outline of the entire story. Cannot be taken S/U. Prerequisites: FMS 150 or ARS 162. FMS 150 strongly encouraged. Enrollment limited to 12. Application and instructor permission required. {A}

Fall, Spring, Annually

FMS 282ap Topics in Advanced Moving Image Production-Advanced Production (4 Credits)

Through conventional filmmaking aesthetics and techniques, this advanced course includes hands-on trainings and workshops geared toward creating a feature-length project. Developing a long-form narrative, experimental, documentary or episodic project, students write thirty pages of a full-length screenplay, while also producing, directing and editing a ten-minute sample clip. This course features DSLR digital video production, lighting and sound exercises, editing techniques and various distribution strategies. Prerequisites: FMS 150 & FMS 280 or ARS 162. Application and instructor permission required. {A}

Fall, Spring, Annually

FMS 283 Directing Actors (4 Credits)

This course approaches motion picture directing through conservatory-style studio practice with a focus on directing actors. Through structured in-class exercises, assigned readings and out-of-class assignments, students develop and practice working methods including script and scene analysis and annotation, rehearsal techniques and supporting performance through camera placement and movement. Through theatre games, scene-work and projects, students explore story, dramatic structure, emotional relationships and interpretation within the visual framework of the moving image. Prerequisite: FMS 280. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission required. (E) {A}

Fall

FMS 290 Colloquium: Theories and Methods of Film and Media Studies (4 Credits)

This course is designed to give FMS majors and minors a solid grounding in the primary methods of the field. In other words, what are the broad approaches scholars have taken to the study of media, and what specific methodological strategies have proved most effective? The class begins with theory as one such method--one that zooms out to ask broad questions about the essential nature of a medium. The history unit shifts the focus to how media are impacted by and implicated in the progression of time and culture. Finally, the criticism unit features strategies for analyzing individual media objects. Priority given to FMS majors and minors. Prerequisite: FMS 150. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission required. {A}

Spring

FMS 311 Seminar: Media Fandom, Participation and Fan Studies (4 Credits)

Trending their fandom’s names on Twitter, funding the big screen adaptation of their favorite shows via Kickstarter, and in some cases, getting out on the streets for physical protests--Media fans and fandoms have become more visible in the digital age. However, fan practices pre-date the widespread use of the internet. This course explores the past and the present of media fandom alongside the ways in which fans have been represented and studied. While surveying the history of fandom and fan studies, the course studies the notions of participation, engagement and activism in connection with fan practices. Priority given to FMS majors and minors. Prerequisite: FMS 150. Enrollment limited to 12. Juniors and seniors only. Instructor permission required. (E) {A}

Fall, Spring, Annually

FMS 312 Seminar: Approaching Queer Media (4 Credits)

Approaching Queer Media considers the recent proliferation of LGBTQ+ representations in popular culture from historical, technological, commercial, social and legal perspectives. Approaching queer media as a historically specific yet shifting and-relational object of study, the course uses a critical framework of trajectories to consider disparate movements of queer media across historical periods, national boundaries, physical spaces and ideological assumptions, asking: What counts as queer? Is there a queer canon? A queer gaze? How is queer media history done? This course asks students to critically engage with a wide variety of moving images and intertexts from pre-code silent cinema to TikTok. Prerequisite: FMS 150. Enrollment limited to 12. Juniors and seniors only. (E) {A}

Fall

FMS 340ip Seminar: New Research in Film and Media Studies-Identity, Representation and Media (4 Credits)

This topic focuses on the the latest models for thinking about the politics of representation in media, moving beyond the binary of positive and negative images and outmoded ways of measuring "diversity." With particular emphasis on critical race studies and queer and trans studies, we will explore three different approaches to designing a major research project: "Close-up: Practicing Detailed Analysis," "Wide Angle: Conceptualizing a Broad Study" and "Jump Cut: Disrupting Reader Expectations." In what ways can we see difference operating at a structural level in media forms, alongside its more traditional representations through characters and stories? How do concepts like race, gender and sexuality undergird the very systems of film, television and video games, and how do they challenge our conventional understanding of those media? Prerequisite: FMS 150. Juniors and Seniors only. Enrollment limited to 12. {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

FMS 345 Seminar: ​Violence, Mortality and the Moving Image (4 Credits)

If cinema is, as André Bazin writes, "change mummified," violence and death are among the most dramatic physical changes it can "mummify." This course studies the long, complex relationship between cinema and these bodily spectacles. How has censorship impacted the way violence has been screened? How can cameras make the internal processes of death externally visible? What are the ethics of filming "real" violence and death in a documentary mode? How are cultural attitudes toward violence and death reflected in and shaped by films? As a cautionary note, this course necessarily includes graphic representations of violence and death. Prerequisites: FMS 150. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission required. {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

FMS 350sd Seminar:Topics-Questions of Cinema-Film and Visual Culture from Surrealism to the Digital Age (4 Credits)

This class investigates the moving image and its relationship to the rest of 20th and 21st century art, especially visual culture. Working with the premise that film has been arguably the most influential, powerful and central creative medium of the age, the course examines how film has been influenced by, and how it has influenced, interacted with, critiqued, defined, and been defined by other media. Historically we examine how film has moved from a marginal to a mainstream art form, while still often maintaining a very active avant-garde practice. We’ll look at how cinema and other moving images have consistently and trans-historically grappled with certain fundamental issues and themes, comparing the nature of cinematic investigations with those of other media. Over the course of the semester, we shall also attend to the idea of “film” in relation to the larger category of “moving image.” Does not fulfill ARH research seminar requirement. Enrollment limited to 12. Juniors and seniors only. Instructor permission required. {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

FMS 400 Special Studies (1-4 Credits)

Admission by permission of the department.

Fall, Spring

FMS 430D Honors Project (4 Credits)

A thesis on a film and media studies topic or a creative project. 8 credits for the full-year course.

Fall, Spring

Crosslisted Courses 

AMS 235 American Popular Culture (4 Credits)

This course offers an analytical history of American popular culture since 1865. We start from the premise that popular culture, far from being merely a frivolous or debased alternative to high culture, is an important site of popular expression, social instruction and cultural conflict. We examine theoretical texts that help us to read popular culture, even as we study specific artifacts from a variety of pop culture sources, from television shows to Hollywood movies, the pornography industry to spectator sports, and popular music to theme parks. We pay special attention to questions of desire, and to the ways popular culture has mediated and produced pleasure, disgust, fear and satisfaction. Alternating lecture/discussion format. Enrollment limited to 25. {H}{S}

Fall, Spring, Alternate Years

ARH 290ss Colloquium: Topics in Art Historical Studies-Swords and Scandals (4 Credits)

Since the beginning of cinema, the decadence of the ancient Romans has been a subject of fascination. Starting with HBO's Rome (2005-2007) and Ridley Scott's Gladiator (2000), we'll explore the multiple sources of the visual tropes used to construct this universe and seek to analyze it in aesthetic, historical, and ideological terms. Their twentieth-century counterparts from films of the silent era to Hollywood epics like Spartacus (1960) and Cleopatra (1963) as well as cult classics like Caligula (1979) will be scrutinized in order to gain an understanding of how Romans function cinematically as cultural signs in varying historical contexts. Enrollment limited to 20. {A}{H}

Fall, Spring, Variable

EAL 253 Korean Cinema: Cinema and the Masses (4 Credits)

This course offers a survey of Korean film history in light of cinema's relationship to the masses. As a popular art form, cinema has always been in close contact with its audiences. Cinema has contributed to the emergence of modern masses. By examining how cinema has shaped its audiences and vice versa, this course charts the development of Korean cinema as a popular entertainment as well as an art form during the last hundred years. This course starts from the globalization of Korean cinema and its transnational audiences and chronologically harks back to the colonial period. {H}{L}

Fall, Spring

EAL 273 Colloquium: Women and Narration in Modern Korea (4 Credits)

This class explores modern Korean history from women's perspectives. It charts the historical and cultural transformation in modern Korea since the 1920s by coupling key terms of modern history with specific female figures: (1) Colonial modernity with modern girls in the 1920s and 30s; (2) colonization and cold-war regime with "comfort women" and "western princesses" from the 1940s to the 1960s; (3) industrial development under the authoritarian regime in the 1970s with factory girls; and (4) democratization and multiculturalism with rising feminists in the new millennium. {H}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

EAL 281 Colloquium: Revising the Past in Chinese and Taiwanese Film and Literature (4 Credits)

This colloquium explores how China and Taiwan recollect, reflect and reinterpret their past and how multifaceted traditions are represented in a new light on the world stage. We will reflect on our perceptions and receptions of the past through close readings of films and literature from China and Taiwan. We will explore what aspects of the past are erased, re-packaged, or re-imagined and why. These preeminent figures and events – in history or fiction – presented in film and literature include, but are not limited to, Confucius, the First Emperor of China, Mulan, Qiu Jin, and Nie Yinniang. All readings are in English translation. Chinese text will be provided upon request. Enrollment is limited to 20. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

FRN 252cl Topics in French Cinema-Cities of Light: Urban Spaces in Francophone Film (4 Credits)

From Paris to Fort-de-France, Montreal to Dakar, this class studies how various filmmakers from the Francophone world present urban spaces as sites of conflict, solidarity, alienation and self-discovery. How do these portraits confirm or challenge the distinction between urban and non-urban? How does the image of the city shift for “insiders” and “outsiders”? Other topics to be discussed include immigration, colonialism and globalization. Works by Sembène Ousmane, Denys Arcand, Mweze Ngangura and Euzhan Palcy. Course taught in French. {F}

Fall, Spring, Variable

FRN 392sc Seminar: Topics in Culture-Stereotypes in French Cinema (4 Credits)

In this seminar, students look at films that make a deliberate and often caricatural use of stereotypes in order to make a statement, whether it is to provoke, examine, question, or simply illustrate some aspects of French culture or national consciousness. The stereotypes students consider include cinematic genres (comedies), as well as themes or topics (tradition versus modernity, ‘Frenchness’, racial and class differences). In doing so, students pay particular attention to the way these stereotypes are staged, what their modes of inquiry are, and what conversations, if any, they promote. Films by Renoir, Tati, Buñuel, Jeunet, Ozon, and Sciamma among others. Weekly or bi-weekly film viewings.  Readings in film criticism and relevant fields. In French. Enrollment limited to 12. Juniors and seniors only. Instructor permission required. {A}{F}

Fall, Spring, Variable

GER 231wc Topics in German Cinema-Weimar Cinema (4 Credits)

During the brief period between the fall of the Kaiser and the rise of the Nazis, Germany was a hotbed of artistic and intellectual innovation, giving rise to an internationally celebrated film industry.  With an eye to industrial, political, and cultural forces, this course explores the aesthetic experience of modernity and modernization through formal, narrative, and stylistic analyses of feature films from the "Golden Age" of German cinema. Films by Wiene, Lange, Murnau, Pabst, Ruttmann, Sternberg, Sagan and Riefenstahl. Conducted in English. {A}{H}

Fall, Spring, Variable

GER 300vk Topics in German Culture and Society-Vom Krieg Zum Konsens: German Film Since 1945 (4 Credits)

This course investigates German film culture since the fall of the Third Reich. Included are works by Fatih Akin, Michael Haneke, Werner Herzog, Margarethe von Trotta and Wolfgang Staudte. Students learn to analyze film and conduct basic research in German. Discussion addresses aesthetic and technical issues; portrayals of race, gender, class and migration; divided Germany and its reunification; and filmic interventions into the legacy of Nazism. Conducted in German. Prerequisite: GER 250 or equivalent. {A}{F}

Fall, Spring, Variable

POR 202 Barriers to Belonging: Youth in Brazilian Film (4 Credits)

This course will serve as an introduction in English to Brazilian Cinema through the theme of youth, identity, social barriers, and a search for belonging. Course materials, films and class discussions will address such topics as migration, belonging and displacement, coming-of-age challenges, discovery and adversity, self, society and sexuality, family and loss. Selected readings and screenings will highlight the work of Brazilian filmmakers such as Walter Salles, Ana Muylaert, Sandra Kogut, Fernando Meirelles, and others. Student assignments will encompass both critical and first-person memoir essays; students may also respond via work-and-image production (videos; digital narratives; and comics. Taught in English. {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

RES 273/ WLT 273 Cosmic Cold War: Russian and Western Science Fiction in Political Context (4 Credits)

Offered as RES 273 and WLT 273. How did the "final frontier" of space become a "front" in the Cold War? As the US and USSR competed in the Space Race, science fiction reflected political discourses in literature, film, visual art and popular culture. This course explores Russian and Western science fiction in the contexts of twentieth-century geopolitics and artistic modernism (and postmodernism), examining works by Bogdanov, Kubrick, Tarkovsky, Butler, Haraway, Pelevin and others. The survey considers science fiction’s utopian content and political function, as well as critical and dystopian modes of the genre. No prerequisites or knowledge of Russian required; first-year students are welcome to enroll. Enrollment limited to 40. {A}{H}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

RES 275 Avant-Garde as Lifestyle: Cinema and Socialism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (4 Credits)

Explores the avant-garde film traditions of Eastern and Central Europe, including works from the Soviet Union, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. The course focuses on how avant-garde filmmakers engaged with the socialist project in the USSR and Eastern Bloc, and its call for new forms, sites and life practices. The course investigates how avant-garde cinema represents everyday life amidst the public and private spaces of socialism. In approaching the relationship between cinema and space, students consider examples of architecture (Constructivist, Functionalist, Brutalist), as well as theoretical writings by and about the avant-garde. Conducted in English, no prerequisites. {A}{H}{S}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SAS 201 Mother-Goddess-Wife-Whore: Female Sexuality and nationalism in South Asian Cinema (4 Credits)

This course examines the relationship between female sexuality and nationalism in South Asian cinema, focusing on the crucial role that gender plays in the formation of postcolonial national identities, both on screen and beyond. The class considers diverse forms of cinematic resistance, especially the work of directors who challenge gender norms. Students look at films from Bollywood and from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Afghanistan. The class includes guest-lectures by South Asian activists and filmmakers. (E) {A}{H}{S}

Fall, Spring, Variable

SPN 225 Colloquium: Muslim Women in Film (4 Credits)

This course provides the student with the academic writing skills necessary to successfully undertake writing assignments in the upper-division Spanish courses. The course focuses on expository and argumentative writing, but some attention is devoted to writing narratives and descriptions. Grammar is reviewed within the context of the writing assignments. Fulfills the writing requirement for the major. Prerequisite: SPN 220 or sufficient proficiency in Spanish. Enrollment limited to 18. Priority given to majors, minors and second-year students planning to study abroad. {A}{F}{L}

Fall

SPN 255 Colloquium: Muslim Women in Film (4 Credits)

Focusing on films by and about Muslim women from Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, this transdisciplinary course will explore one question: What do Muslim women want? Students will watch and study critically films in Farsi, Hebrew, French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, and different Arabic dialects. Class discussion and assignments will be primarily in Spanish. Enrollment limited to 25. {A}{F}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

THE 360 Production Design for Film (4 Credits)

Filmmaking is storytelling. This story can be told by the actors or by its visuals. Every film employs a production designer who, with the director and cinematographer, is in charge of the visual design of the film. In this class we learn how a production designer breaks down a script to determine which scenes should be shot on location and which should be built as sets. Each student makes design choices for the entire script. Whether picking out locations or creating sets to be shot on a soundstage, this class examines what makes one design choice better than another. Students also learn the basic skills to communicate their designs through storyboards, photo research and drafting. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission required. {A}

Fall, Spring, Alternate Years

THE 361 Screenwriting I (4 Credits)

The means and methods of the writer for television and the cinema. Analysis of the structure and dialogue of a few selected films. Prerequisite: THE 261 or THE 262 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 12. Writing sample required. {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

THE 362 Screenwriting II (4 Credits)

Intermediate and advanced script projects. Prerequisite: THE 361. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission required. {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

WLT 266md Colloquium: Topics in South African Literature and Film (4 Credits)

A study of South African literature and film with a focus on adaptation of literary texts to the screen. The course pays particular attention to the ways in which the political, economic and cultural forces of colonialism and apartheid have shaped contemporary South African literature and film: for what purposes do South African filmmakers adapt novels, biographies and memoirs to the screen? How do these adaptations help us visualize the relationship between power and violence in apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa? How do race, class, gender, sexuality and ethnicity complicate our understanding racial, political and gender-based violence in South Africa? Enrollment limited to 18. {L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

Faculty

Şebnem Baran

Film and Media Studies

Visiting Assistant Professor of Film & Media Studies

Sebnem Baran

Anaiis Cisco

Film and Media Studies

Assistant Professor of Film & Media Studies

Anaiis Cisco

Jennifer Malkowski

Film and Media Studies

Associate Professor of Film & Media Studies; Chair, Film & Media Studies

Jennifer Malkowski

Morocco is great trash, and movies are so rarely great art, that if we cannot appreciate great trash, we have very little reason to be interested in them.”

Pauline Kael

Closeup of a old film reel

“A new medium is never an addition to an old one, nor does it leave the old one in peace. It never ceases to oppress the older media until it finds new shapes and positions for them.”

Marshall McLuhan

Closeup of an old television set

“We have created a new kind of person in a way. We have created a child who will be so exposed to the media that he will be lost to his parents by the time he is 12.”

David Bowie

Closeup of video game controllers

Contact Department of Film & Media Studies

Hillyer Hall 102
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: 413-585-3103 Email: jmalkows@smith.edu

Administrative Assistant: Jeanette Wintjen

Chair: Jen Malkowski