2019-2020 Catalogue

Cinema (CIN)

CIN 270 Introduction to Cinema Studies     (3 credits)

Fulfills LIT requirement or A&S elec.

Though it's barely a century old, the medium of cinema has quickly become one of the most popular and influential of all the arts, and has played a major role in shaping modern civilization. Because it shares many of the main qualities of novels (it tells stories); of painting (it involves framed images); of theater (actions are presented before an audience); and even of dreams (it gives us fantasies while we relax in the dark), cinema is also perhaps the richest of all art forms. This course surveys the first 100 years of movie making with emphasis on four related issues: the characteristics of the cinema medium; cinema history; authorship in literature and film; and implications of cinema as a cultural institution. Films may include foreign and American films of both the silent and the sound eras.


CIN 370 Selected Topics in Cinema Studies     (3 credits)

Cinema is often considered the most significant art form of the 20th century. Because of its importance and complexity, there are many ways of approaching films. They may be seen as escapist fantasies with a powerful influence on people's lives; as expressions of the attitudes of a culture; as works of art shaped by a great director; or as commercial and industrial products. Focuses on one or another of this wide range of subjects. In recent years, topics have included: The Films of Alfred Hitchcock; Feminism and Film; Horror Movies; European Art Cinema; and Romantic Comedy. Allows repetition for credit.


CIN 371 Great Directors     (3 credits)

This course will focus on the work of a single director or a group of related directors, investigating their characteristic themes and concerns, and their special ways of using the medium of cinema to tell a story. One recent version of this course was devoted entirely to Hitchcock; a second examined four great directors: Fellini, Bergman, Truffaut, and Altman. Other directors to whom the course might be devoted include: Wilder, Lang, and Lubitsch; Scorsese, Ford & Hawks; and Orson Welles.


CIN 372 Genre Studies     (3 credits)

This course, focusing on a single genre, will be concerned with identifying the characteristic themes and techniques of specific genres, and exploring the meaning of different genres and the function that these genres play in organizing our social or psychic lives. The specific genre studied will very from year to year and will include such significant genres as mysteries, westerns, musicals, Film Noir, comedy and romantic comedy and horror.

CIN 375 Women and Film     (3 credits)

Fulfills LIT requirement or A&S elec.

This course focuses on the major contributions that women have made to cinema, as characters in the stories being told, as actresses playing the parts, as filmmakers directing and producing films, and as critics who have, in the past 30 years, substantially reshaped the way we think about, talk about, and even make films. The specific emphasis will vary from semester to semester, but eachversion of this course will pay special attention to the issue of gender in cinema.

Focus: DIV


CIN 376 International Cinema     (3 credits)

Fulfills LIT requirement or A&S elec.

This course focuses on one of the wide varieties of important national cinemas or film movements that have played a major role in the development of film as a virtually universal artistic language. Topics to which the course might be devoted include German Expressionism; Soviet Cinema and Montage Theory; Post-war Italian Cinema, Rosellini through Bertolucci and beyond; the French New Wave; Japanese Cinema; and Bollywood and the development of film in India.


CIN 378 Hollywood Genres: Classical Forms and Contemporary Re-Inventions     (3 credits)

This course focuses on the historical forms of Hollywood genres from the classical period of the studio system in the 1930s to the present. Class readings consider the different factors that define genres in particular cases, such as the production standards that shaped Westerns, the thematic and stylistic features that characterize film noir, and the reception patterns that exemplify cult film. The course material also examines the specific ways that different genres create audience expectations and promote particular interpretive strategies. In general, the class will look at two examples of each genre, a film from the studio period and a contemporary example. Class discussions will focus on what features characterize the earlier film, and what changes (if any) are evident in contemporary instance.

Focus: DIV


CIN 380 The Male Image in American Film     (3 credits)

This course examines how masculinity functions in cinematic narrativescentered on Hollywood's "leading men." Students identify and critique notionsabout what makes a male protagonist heroic, or even more simply what makeshim a functional citizen. This critique necessarily leads to a larger discussionabout the evolving concepts of American culture, and how and why mainstreamfilm champions the popular cultural impulse of rebellion. The course emphasizes the theoretical approaches of formalism (close reading) and deconstruction torelate a gendered reading of each character to these larger social concerns. Filmsexamined may include "High Noon", "Strangers on a Train", "Butch Cassidy and theSundance Kid," "Midnight Cowboy," "The Shining," "American Beauty," and "Collateral.

Focus: DIV


CIN 381 Wonder Women     (3 credits)

Fulfills LIT requirement or A&S elec.

From the preternatural strength of Buffy Summers to the sultry confidence of JackieBrown, heroic women characters often have a profound and lasting impact on the culturalimagination. But when is "girl power" really challenging staid notions about genderroles, and when does it simply serve as a fantasy reinscription of old premises aboutwomen as servants, caregivers or sex objects? This course applies these critical concernsto a number of heroic, superheroic and antiheroic women characters in television and cinema.

Focus: DIV


CIN 382 The City in American Film     (3 credits)

This course examines the image of the city in American film. Close attention is paid to issues of race and sexual orientation amid the multiple, sometimes conflicting, portrayals of urban centers as places of refuge and violence, liberalism and intolerance, prosperity and poverty. While setting provides the conceptual theme of the course, students are invited to analyze these films from the widest possible array of perspectives, grounded in the critical approaches relevant to the discipline of cinema studies and interpretation of narrative meanings.

CIN 383 Youth Culture in International Cinema     (3 credits)

This course is a focused study of youth cultures in international cinema. We study films primarily as documents of youth culture: as explorations of the ways in which youth occupy urban and non-urban spaces, how they experience the local and the international, and how their identities and lives are represented in media, old and “new.” Assigned films will function as case studies enablingdiscussion of major issues: youth self-fashioning and identities, family, tradition and social change, violence, gang culture, fashion, technology, education, poverty, gender and sexuality. Our study of the films will be supplemented by extended scholarly essays that add depth and context, framing our study within broader critical discourses on culture and within scholarship in transnational film studies.

Note: Formerly taught under CIN 376.

CIN 384 Horror/Sci-Fi in Film and Television     (3 credits)

<p><span>Course is offered every other year</span></p>

Horror and science-fiction in film and television offer unique insight into the consequences of the “what if?” scenario. Overlapping in shared codes, conventions, and iconography, these genres provide a means to debate cautionary tales surrounding unforeseen futures, usually dystopias, through the creation or existence of unimaginable beings as a detriment to humanity. Their most central conveyance concerns the perception of the “other” and a protagonist’s struggle to remain or become human and/or moral. Issues of gender, race, sexuality, class, and sustainability will be surveyed through such topics as disaster (e.g., alien invasions, environmental catastrophes, the apocalypse, and pandemics); identity (e.g., cyborgs, clones, biotech and government experimentation, precognition, and artificial intelligence); and the fantastical (e.g., monsters, the paranormal, time travel, and the devil incarnate. Ultimately, this course explores what “being human” means.


Note: Course is offered every other year

CIN 401 Directed Study in CIN Studies     (3 credits)

A Directed Study is designed for highly qualified students who, under the direction of a member of the sponsoring academic department, engage in an agreed upon, in-depth independent examination, investigation or analysis of a specialized topic.