Introduction to Film and Media Studies
Fall 2010, Monday, 6pm-9pm, 326 State Hall
Steven Shaviro (313-577-5475; 5057 Woodward, room 9309; office hours Wednesday 3:30-4:30 pm and by appointment)
This class provides an introduction to the graduate study of
film and new media. The focus will be on film theory and media theory: on
the various ways that film has been theorized over the course of the past century, and that newer media (television, video and digital and network-based
media) are coming to be theorized. We will watch a number of feature-length films and shorter films and videos in the course of the semester, but the emphasis will be on the readings, and on general questions in film and media theory and history, rather than on the interpretation of individual screen works.
There are four books required for the class, available at Marwil Bookstore (4870 Cass):
- Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen, eds., Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings (7th ed.) [BC]
- W.J.T. Mitchell and Mark B.N. Hansen, eds., Critical Terms for Media Studies [MH]
- Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media
- Raymond Williams, Television
These will be supplemented by additional readings, which will either be
linked through this syllabus, if they are available online, or else come in the form of handouts.
Schedule of Classes
September 13: MODERNITY AND THE SILENT FILM
Screenings of early cinema (1895-1910)
- Tom Gunning, "An Aesthetic of Astonishment" (BC 736-750)
- Walter Benjamin, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" (BC 665-685)
September 20: SOVIET FILM AND MONTAGE THEORY
Dziga Vertov, Man With a Movie Camera (1929)
- Sergei Eisenstein, selections from Film Form (BC 13-40)
- Vsevolod Pudovkin, "On Editing" (BC 7-12)
- Sergei Eisenstein et al., "Statement on Sound" (BC 315-317)
- Dziga Vertov, "Kinoks: A Revolution"
September 27: BAZIN AND REALISM
Jean Renoir, The Crime of Monsieur Lange (1936)
- Andre Bazin, "The Ontology of the Photographic Image" and "The Myth of Total Cinema" (BC 159-166)
- Andre Bazin, "The Evolution of the Language of Cinema" (BC 41-53)
- Siegfried Kracauer, "Basic Concepts" (BC 147-158)
- Siegfried Kracauer, "The Establishment of Physical Existence" (BC
October 4: PSYCHOANALYTIC AND FEMINIST FILM THEORY
Michael Powell, Peeping Tom (1961)
Christian Metz, from The Imaginary Signifier (BC 694-710)
- Jean-Louis Baudry, "The Apparatus" (BC 171-188)
Laura Mulvey, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" (BC 711-722)
- Slavoj Zizek, "The Matrix, or Malebranche in Hollywood" (Philosophy Today, 1999, Vol. 43, 11-26; via Proquest; available here)
October 11: THEORIZING FILM SOUND
- Michel Chion, selections from Audio-Vision
- Mary Ann Doane, "The Voice in the Cinema" (BC 318-330)
- John Belton, "Technology and Aesthetics of Film Sound" (BC 331-339)
- Claudia Gorbman, "Narrative Film Music" (Yale French Studies, No. 60, Cinema/Sound (1980), 183-203; available here)
October 18: MCLUHAN AND MEDIA THEORY
- Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media, Part 1 (1-73)
- Bruce Clarke, "Communication" (MH 131-144)
- N. Katherine Hayles, "Cybernetics" (MH 145-156)
- Bruce Clarke, "Information" (MH 157-171)
- John Durham Peters, "Mass Media" (MH 266-279)
October 25: MEDIA PAST AND FUTURE
Special guest Jussi Parikka.
Please attend Parikka's DeRoy Lecture, "Media Archaeology as Zombie Media Research," at 3:00 pm in the English Department Lecture Room (5057 Woodward, room 10302).
- Friedrich Kittler,Preface to Gramophone, Film, Typewriter
- Friedrich Kittler, "There Is No Software"
- Mark N. B. Hansen, "New Media" (MH 172-185)
- Geoffrey Winthrop-Young, "Hardware/Software/Wetware" (MH 186-198)
- John Johnston, "Technology" (MH 199-214)
- Jussi Parikka, Interview
November 1: PHENOMENOLOGY IN FILM AND MEDIA STUDIES
- Vivian Sobchack, "What My Fingers Knew"
- Vivian Sobchack, "The Scene of the Screen"
- Ann Rutherford, "Cinema and Embodied Affect"
- Bernadette Wegerstein, "Body" (MH 19-34)
- W.J.T. Mitchell, "Image" (MH 35-48)
- Bill Brown, "Materiality" (MH 49-63)
- Caroline Jones, "Senses" (MH 88-100)
- W.J.T. Mitchell and Mark B.N. Hansen, "Time and Space" (MH 101-113)
November 8: STANLEY CAVELL AND FILM THEORY
Howard Hawks, Bringing Up Baby (1938)
November 15: GILLES DELEUZE AND FILM THEORY
- Gilles Deleuze, from Cinema 1 and Cinema2 (BC 216-239)
November 22: FILM IN THE DIGITAL AGE
- Lev Manovich, from The Language of New Media (BC 785-801)
- Anne Friedberg, "The End of Cinema" (BC 802-813)
- Anne Friedberg, "Les Flaneurs du Mal(l): Cinema and the Postmodern Condition" (PMLA Vol. 106, No. 3 (May, 1991), pp. 419-431, via JSTOR)
- Michael Allen, "The Impact of Digital Technologies on Film Aesthetics" (BC 824-833)
- Kristen Whissel, "Tales of Upward Mobility" (BC 834-852)
November 29: THEORIZING TELEVISION
December 6: NETWORKS AND NEW MEDIA
- Eugene Thacker, "Biomedia" (MH 117-130)
- David Graeber, "Exchange" (MH 217-232)
- Cary Wolfe, "Language" (MH 233-248)
- Alexander Galloway, "Networks" (MH 280-296)
- Alexander Galloway, "Protocol" (Theory, Culture, and Society 23:2-3 (2006), 317-320, via SAGE Sociology Full-Text Collection)
- Eugene Thacker, "Networks, Swarms, Multitudes" (Part 1, Part 2)
December 13: NEW MEDIA FORMS
You must write four short papers (approx. 5 pages each) over the course of the semester, or one paper approximately every three weeks. Papers will be due on Mondays at the beginning of class, and each paper should be a commentary upon the readings and class discussion of the previous week. (The class will be divided into groups, so that several papers will be coming in each week).
In addition, each person in the class must help to lead class discussion for one class in the course of the semester. (Since the enrollment of the class is greater than the total number of classes, in a few cases there will be two discussion leaders, though usually there will be only one).