REMINDER: have you registered for next semester?

As the end of the semester draws near and the crushing wave of finals looms overhead, have you thought about what courses you’ll be taking next semester?

Course registration is officially open for most returning students, and the selection looks promising!

Here’s the list of classes being offered next semester. Some information is missing, but we’ll let you know of any changes or new developments!

This list can also be found on the Concordia Film Studies Graduate website.

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MA Course Descriptions 2014-2015

FMST 600/3 A (6 credits, fall and winter) 
Methods in Film Studies 
Instructors: Luca Caminati / Marc Steinberg 
Monday: 13:15 -17:15, FB-250

This is a mandatory course in the MA in Film Studies Program. It is designed to help students develop research, writing and presentation skills appropriate to the discipline of film studies. In addition to technical and practical matters, the course helps students develop productive and original research questions by examining those that guide quality research in the field. The screenings and readings provide the ground for an analysis of the tools and methods of film studies. Course materials examine the ways that film history, criticism and textual analysis have been and can be written, encompassing a range of ways of seeing, interpreting and understanding cinema.

Written and oral assignments are designed to develop research and communication skills appropriate to the field. The course also works to facilitate an esprit de corps within the M.A. class. The first term, taught by Luca Caminati, will cover issues of aesthetics and film analysis, including questions of authorship, genre and national culture. The second term, taught by Marc Steinberg, will address issues of film reception, exhibition, institutions and technologies. Final grades will be calculated on the basis of all assignments and presentations in both semesters.

 

FMST 610I/2 A (3 credits, fall) / FMST 810I/2 A (3 credits, fall)
 Topics in Cinema Quebecois
 Instructor: Thomas Waugh
 Wednesday: 13:15 -17:15
 Quebec Cinema: the Sexual Revolution

A seminar on the historiography, theory and criticism of a specific period in Quebec cinema, 1963 to 1980, which coincided and engaged with the international historical phenomenon known as the Sexual Revolution. Although “maple syrup softcore” is a cliché of Quebec film history, scholarship on Quebec cinema has seldom explored in any depth the intersection of its modernization during the “Quiet Revolution” era and its encounter with the rapid liberalization of sexual mores and values. The seminar is based on the traditional Concordia pedagogical format of weekly screenings anchored in critical and theoretical readings, plus active online and in-class discussions. Our emphasis is on fiction feature films in French, by both art cinema “auteurs” and industry directors, and some documentaries and films in English are represented.

The films of this period are notoriously inaccessible to students, teachers and researchers of Quebec film—even on video and especially with English subtitles. Archival 35mm prints with English subtitles are accessed at special screenings at the Cinémathèque québécoise. Because our topic is the representation of sexuality within Quebec’s national cinema within a turbulent and iconoclastic period, we will encounter imagery and language that are frank, sometimes graphic and perhaps even offensive to some. The projected outcome of the seminar for each registrant will be a publishable research paper on a subject of her/his choice pertaining to the seminar corpus and approved by the instructor.

 

FMST 615C/4 AA (3 credits, winter) / FMST 815C/4 AA (3 credits, winter) 
Topics in European Cinemas 
Special Subject: European Cinemas since the 1980s 
Instructor: Rosanna Maule
 Monday: 18:00 -22:00

This course surveys practices and trends in European cinemas since the 1980s, a period characterized by the crisis of national film industries within Europe and the emergence of alternative modes of production and distribution, as well as aesthetic trends. Topics include: trans-national and macro-regional production; the politics of cultural subsidy; transnational film movements and phenomena (Dogma 95); film genres (the heritage film; the neo-polar film); diasporic and immigrant filmmakers; European cinema and neo- or post-colonial identity.

 

FMST 630E/2 A (3 credits, fall)/FMST 830E/2 A (3 credits, fall)
 Topics in Film Theory 
Special Subject: Classical Film Theory 
Instructor: Martin Lefebvre
Tuesday: 13:15 -17:15, SGW, FB-250

This seminar will focus on some of the major figures of what is now referred to as “Classical Film Theory”. The seminar is addressed first and foremost to students interested in the history of film theory and in the development of ideas about cinema from the silent period to the 1960s.

Classical Film Theory concerns a period in the study of the cinema that pre-dates the full-blown emergence of a discipline of film studies, one that, for the most part, precedes the full-blown development of a film studies curriculum in universities, the emergence of specialized academic journals, and the rise of professional film studies associations. Thus film theory was produced by a group of individual thinkers who were initially trained in either philosophy, psychology, art history, sociology, or other disciplines within the Humanities and working in isolation, but whose vision nonetheless introduced some of the most important and lasting debates about the nature of film and its relation to reality and the other arts.

The course will center for the most part on the writings of 5 important figures of Classical Film Theory: Hugo Münsterberg, Sergei M. Eisenstein, Rudolf Arnheim, André Bazin and Siegfried Kracauer. We will investigate the sources of their ideas (philosophy, psychology…), their place in the history of film theory as well as their reception, all the while situating the different theories in their intellectual context. And since film theory does not develop out of “thin air”, but in relation to films, films and film excerpts will be screened so as to further contextualize and/or exemplify the work of each of the theorists considered.

 

FMST 635I/2 A (3 credits, fall) / FMST 835I/2 A (3 credits, fall) 
Topics Aesthetic/Cultural Theory 
Special Subject: Cinema and the City 
Instructor: Catherine Russell 
Thursday: 13:15 -17:15

The interpenetration of cities and cinemas takes place on many levels, and has shifted considerably over the 120 years of film and media history, from nickelodeons to digital displays. The study of cities and cinema is a means of better understanding the relations between the social world and cultural imagination, memory and the built environment. Themes of utopia and dystopia are pervasive, as well as themes of political activism and alienation; the analysis of visual style likewise extends to architecture and urban planning.

This course will look at a wide range of filmmaking, including fiction and documentary, to better understand the close affinities between urban space and film practice, spectatorship, and global film history. Screenings will include early cinema, city “symphonies,” film noir, European art cinema, essay films, Asian cinema, science fiction, and web-based media art. Readings will include key works of modernity theory by Walter Benjamin and Siegfried Kracauer; cultural theorists such as Lefebvre and deCerteau, film theorists Giuliana Bruno and Edward Dimindberg, and a selection of contemporary urban theory. The course will examine the critical tools that emerge from the “cities and cinema” approach to film and media; it will also look at the role of cinema in producing cities as cultural discourses with significant implications for the public sphere. Students will be asked to do projects on specific cities and their cinematic personalities.

 

FMST 635J/2 AA (3 credits, fall) / FMST 835J/2 AA (3 credits, fall) 
Topics Aesthetic/Cult. Theory 
Special Subject: Sounds of Struggle
Instructor: Kay Dickinson 
Wednesday: 18:00 -22:00, FB-250

What are sound and cinema’s positions within how “the global” is understood? This course’s objective is to fathom how sound and cinema spring from, inhabit, represent, catalyze and respond to the movements of global capital and the political struggle it ignites. Topics will include: the global market; deregulation and privatization; sonic torture and warfare; employment precarity; environmental protest; voicing dissent and alternatives; appropriation and the dialectic; student uprisings; and the notion of the commons.

Methodologically, the course is driven by the belief that one of the most exciting aspects of studying sound’s associations with cinema is the potential this interaction creates for drawing different disciplinary traditions into alignment. By bringing disparate, sometimes divergent theoretical writings into dialogue, both sound studies and film studies can thereby benefit from an invigoration of their canons, epistemological conventions and even modes of perception. Taking this principle one step further, most weeks, “The Sounds of Struggle” introduces one key reading that lies outside the typical boundaries of both sound and film studies. In this way, the course aims to encourage MA students to fulfil one of the main criteria of graduate research: to look beyond their subject area for scholarship that will expand its current scope.

 

FMST 650E/4 A (3 credits, winter) / FMST 850E/4 A (3 credits, winter) Topics in Experimental Film and Video Instructor: Anthony Kinik. Wednesday: 13:15-17:15, FB-250

This course will amount to a survey of shifting experimental film practices over the course of the last century, as well as the shifting discourses that have surrounded them. Emphasis will be placed on experimental approaches to the documentary film.

 

FMST 665M /4 A (3 credits, winter) / FMST 865M /4 A (3 credits, winter) 
Topics in Film Studies
Special Subject: TBC
 Instructor: TBC
 Tuesday: 13:15 -17:15, FB-250

N/A

 

FMST 665N/4 AA (3 credits, winter) / FMST 865N/4 AA (3 credits, winter) 
Topics in Film Studies 
Special Subject: Film Criticism
 Instructor: TBC
 Thursday: 18:00 -22:00, FB-250

Seminar: “The Art and Practice of Film Criticism”
This course comes at a crossroads moment in film criticism, with the growth of the internet in the process of revolutionizing how film criticism is written and performed (blogs, online film journals, online academic research engines, video essays, interactive writing, video streaming, etc.). This impact is especially felt because film criticism, more than other forms of writing, has always been closely tied to the medium in which it has appeared (newspapers, fanzines, magazines, cultural journals, radio, museum and art galleries, Laserdisc/DVD/Blu ray liner notes, online, etc.).

The goal of this seminar course is three-fold: 1) a study of film criticism in its historical development (looking at some leading figures and key critical debates); 2) a theoretical analysis of its style and form (an attempt to distinguish film criticism from other forms of film writing, such as film reviewing, film theory, and film history) and; 3) the literary qualities of film criticism (yes, the actual writing itself!).

Assignments will include brief written reports, an in-class presentation and an online project. Writers whose works will be read and discussed can include Pauline Kael, Andrew Sarris, Robert Warshow, James Agee, Otis Young, Stanley Kauffmann, Manny Farber, Victor Perkins, Molly Haskell, Camille Paglia, Susan Sontag, Otis Ferguson, Vernon Young, Robin Wood, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Yvette Biro, Jim Hoberman, and Manohla Dargis. The textbook for the course is The Language and Style of Film Criticism ed. Andrew Klevan, Alex Clayton, 2011. Other reading excerpts will be from Artists in the Audience: Cults, Camp and American Film Criticism by Greg Taylor, 1999, Nine American Film Critics by Edward Murray, 1978, The Complete History of American Film Criticism by Jerry Roberts, 2010, and the special issue of the online journal Amodern #1, “The Future of the Scholarly Journal”.