The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Academics

Regularly Offered Classes

Here you will find some examples of classes that we offer at UMass that fulfill the film studies certificate requirements. This is NOT the official class list for any one semester--just an example of the kinds of classes you can take under film studies! To see what classes are being offered currently or in the coming semesters, visit our current classes page.
 

FILM-ST 197FA – Introduction to Film Analysis: Cinematic Time Travel

Barry Spence 3 Credits
 

This is an introduction to film studies and to the analysis of film. The course explores the complex nature and cultural function of cinema by focusing on time travel as both a central theme of a wide range of films and as a way of understanding how cinema works as a time-based medium. By studying films from various points in the global history of cinema - including films from nine countries and five continents - this course performs a transcultural introduction to the formal and stylistic aspects of cinematic storytelling.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:I, V

FILM-ST 297M – Making Short Films
3 Credits
Instructor:David Casals-Roma
Online Course
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:V
 
 
FILM-ST 397A – Alien Encounters
Instructor:Daniel Pope
Could extraterrestrial life exist in the cosmos? Scientists say yes, possibly on billions of planets in our galaxy alone. In this class, we will examine the international cinema of alien encounters and explore how these films envision the alien other. How do these films both reflect and shape our own experience of “the alien” or the unknown “other”? Since the beginning of cinema, the figure of the alien has visited the big screen with its promise of otherworldly wonders and its threat of unthinkable perils. This course will explore how alien encounters reflect the haunting of historical realities (such as European voyages of discovery, conquest, and colonization) as well as contemporary issues, such as international conflict (war or global migration), questions of identity (race, gender, sexuality), and the power and perils of emerging technologies (nuclear weapons, artificial intelligence, space travel). Imagining encounters with intelligent beings beyond our own cultural and ideological sphere provides powerful new perspectives on what we think we know about the world, about ourselves, and about others.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:III, V
 
FILM-ST 397E - Film at the End of the World
3 Credits
Instructor: Daniel Pope
What insights do films with end-of-the-world scenarios, dystopian futures, and post-apocalyptic themes offer into the cultural moment that produces them? From alien invasions and planetary collisions to cataclysmic war and totalitarian dystopias, from the zombie apocalypse and the rise of machines, to human extinction and the end of civilization, what do these films tell us about contemporary realities? How do they speak to our anxieties and fears about the future as well as our hopes and aspirations? In what ways do these films pose and explore questions of the "human"? End-of-the-world films often intersect with other genres (thriller, action film, neo-noir, comedy, art-house, romance, drama, experimental, etc.) In this course we will study the cinema of eschatology, of ultimate endings, and analyze a range of filmic approaches to the philosophical, psychological, and aesthetic questions raised in end-of-the-world narratives.
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V
 
FILM-ST 497 - Film Theory
4 Credits
Instructor: Barry Spence
This course provides an in-depth overview of the key theoretical approaches to the study of cinema by examining historically significant ways of analyzing film form and its social and cultural functions and effects. The course seeks to equip students with a command of the diverse history of theoretical frameworks for understanding the medium and experience of cinema, from early concerns over film's relation to other arts to the way the movie as a cultural form has been reconceptualized within the contemporary explosion of new media. The pressing relevance of film theory becomes clear once we stop to consider--taking just one small example--the many implications of a society-wide movement away from the collective experience of movies in a public theater to private viewing with earbuds on the tiny screen of a cell phone or tablet. We will explore a wide range of questions (concerning the nature of the cinematic medium and its apparatus, aspects of the spectator's experience of film, and the aesthetic and ideological dimensions of film genre, to name just a few) as a way of putting ourselves in dialogue with various film theoreticians. And we will ground our examination by looking at cinematic practice in relation to theory. This will be done through regular film screenings throughout the semester. Feature length films drawn from various points in the history of cinema, as well as a selection of film clips will be used to illustrate and discuss the various theories.
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, IV, V
 
 
FILM-ST 497N – New York on Film
3 Credits (4 credits is possible; discuss with professor)
Instructor:Barry Spence, Cap: 15
Three MANDATORY field trips to New York City (see below)
Prerequisite:This course is designed for Film Certificate students or for those with previous experience studying film. Please 
contact the professor, if you have any questions.
"New York on Film" is a course offered under the auspices of the New York Professional Outreach Program (NYPOP), College of Humanities & Fine Arts. New York City's celluloid skylines have long been a crucible for the seventh art. On the one hand, this course examines the role of NYC in a wide range of films; on the other hand, it considers NYC as a cultural center for the production of cinema. We will explore multiple representations of the city's dramatic streetscapes and hidden histories, international and multiethnic spaces, architecture and landscapes, with a focus on shifting portrayals of the city from the silent era to the present in diverse genres and temporalities. How do filmmakers of different classes, races, and genders represent social and cultural spaces? What is the role of the city in the creative, programming, exhibition, and distribution process? What interactions take place between film artists and the city's infrastructure? The course will include weekly screenings of narrative fiction, documentary, and experimental genres inspired by, set in, and designed with New York in mind. Required readings will complement these screenings.
The central field component of this course will involve three trips to New York City: a daytrip on Feb 8 (Friday), and two overnight trips March 1-2 and April 12-13 (both on Friday-Saturday). On these trips we will: attend film screenings at iconic and culturally significant cinemas; visit museums such as the American Museum of the Moving Image and the Museum of Modern Art; tour an independent film production company; connect with film professionals; experience the architecture, food, and vibrant street life of one of the most cinematic cultural capitals of the world.
PLEASE NOTE: Attendance on all three trips is mandatory. For each trip there will be a bus chartered by the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. The cost to students for each (roundtrip) bus trip is $25.
In addition, students must find their own accommodations during the two overnight trips.
 
FILM-ST - 497AC/697AC: Arthouse Cinema 1950-1980
Instructor:Barry Spence
3 Credits
This course will examine the cultural phenomenon of the “art film” during the first three decades of the postwar period (1950s, 60s, 70s). The nature and characteristics of, as well as the relationships connecting and distinguishing, modernist cinema, art cinema, and avant-garde film during this vital period in film history will be the course’s primary concern. We will examine the notion of the auteur and consider its usefulness for thinking about this multiform, innovative cinema. What is the relationship between cinematic modernism and the core principles and representational strategies of modern art? Does modern cinema, as Gilles Deleuze suggests, function as a mental substitute for the lost connection between the individual and the world? Can it restore our belief in the world? The course will pay particular attention to distinctive stylistic attributes, but will also look at dominant thematic concerns. There will be weekly in-class screenings as well as regular streaming of films outside of class. The filmmakers we will consider include, but are not limited to: Chantal Ackerman, Michelangelo Antonioni, Theo Angelopoulos, Ingmar Bergman, Stan Brakhage, Robert Bresson, Luis Buñuel, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Peter Greenaway, Werner Herzog, Miklós Janscó, Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi, Yasujiro Ozu, Sergei Paradzhanov, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alain Resnais, Jean-Marie Straub, Andrei Tarkovsky, François Truffaut, Agnès Varda, Wim Wenders.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:II, IV, V
 
FILM-ST 497B - Contemporary Hispanic Cinema
Instructor:Daniel Pope
3 Credits
This course gathers together an array of recent Latin American, Spanish, Caribbean, and Latinx films with an emphasis on addressing the experiences of marginalized people. We will explore the historical and cultural contexts in which these films are made and seen, in many cases reaching vast audiences across the world, and we will push at the boundaries of the category “Hispanic” in cinema. Analysis and discussions will also draw on insights from film theory, such as approaches to world cinema, “Third Cinema,” national and transnational cinemas, and Hamid Naficy’s concept of “accented cinema.” Taught in English with films subtitled in English. Spanish majors encouraged to submit written work in Spanish. Cross-listed with SPANISH 497B, Pre-requisites: none.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:III, IV, V
 
FILM-ST 497MM - 16mm Filmmaking and Technology
Instructor:David Bendiksen
3 Credits
NOTE: Students should expect to pay a lab fee of $100. Open to Undergraduate and Graduate students by application.
This course is an introductory workshop in 16mm single-camera filmmaking, linear editing, and film projection intended for students interested in pursuing further creative production and coursework in film, especially toward completion of the Certificate in Film Studies. Creative work is complemented by a rigorous selection of readings and screenings. Exploration of technological possibilities to broaden student creativity will be emphasized, and the development of personal vision and style will be stressed.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:IV, V
 
FILM-ST 497P - Film Podcasting
Instructor:Daniel Pope
3 Credits
This is, above all, a course in film criticism. For as long as there has been cinema there has also been film criticism, from print and broadcast media to web sites and social media in recent decades. The swiftly growing field of audio podcasting offers a versatile new digital medium for film criticism, drawing on many of the strengths of traditional media and bringing its own unique qualities of engagement. In this course, we will study varieties of film writing and explore the craft of creating compelling and illuminating film criticism and the key techniques for producing rich, engaging podcast content. We will work with films across a variety of genres and time periods and do hands-on work in all aspects of producing a film criticism podcast - research, analysis, writing, planning, conducting interviews, moderating, recording, editing, and posting your finished podcasts.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:II, IV, V
 
 
FILM-ST 497V – Video Essay in Film Criticism
3 Credits
Instructor: Daniel Pope
This is a course in planning, scripting, and editing video essays in film criticism, working with films from around the world and across film history. The field of film criticism is taking new forms in recent years, with social media, podcasts, websites and blogs dedicated to analyzing and discussing movies. Out of this trend, the video essay emerges as an exceptionally attractive and powerful medium for the film critic. In this class, we examine a wide array of video essays and explore the unique analytical and expressive opportunities the medium offers. A primary emphasis in the course is the study and practice of film criticism as an intellectual and creative endeavor with its own particular objectives, challenges, and expressive powers. With this foundation, we develop the critical, creative, and technical skills necessary for making effective video essays addressing films, directors, genres, national cinemas, and cultural and social issues. Making a video essay is in many ways like making a movie. As such we are engaged not only in film analysis and film writing but also in video editing, image composition, sound design, and other aspects of moving image media.
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, IV, V
 
 
FILM-ST 497W – Film Writing and Criticism in the Age of New Media
Instructor:Daniel Pope
This is both a writing class for movie-lovers and a film class for writers interested in new media. With cinema touching nearly every corner of popular and intellectual culture, new varieties of film writing have flourished along with it. From thinking about what cinema is (and what it can be) to personal explorations of cinema, we will dive into the exciting new opportunities for film criticism, from the force of the critical essay and the art of the film review to the rapidly evolving landscape of new media—video essays, podcasts, websites, social media, blogs, and other engagements with film. The core work of this class focuses on discovering our own compelling insights into films and film art from around the world and from different eras of cinema and then expressing those discoveries effectively in moving images, written words, and audio experiences for diverse audiences.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:II, IV, V
 
ART 230 - Photography I
3 Credits
Instructor: Susan Jahoda
Open to BA-ART, BFA-ART, and BDIC students only. Film Study Certificate students by instructor permission.
Introduction to photographic tools and methods. The balance between self-inquiry and the importance of process and materials as vehicles of meaning. Theory explored through class critiques and slide presentations. Photography examined and discussed both from a personal point of view and in its wider cultural context.
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: V
 
 
ART 231 – Photography II
3 Credits
Instructor:Susan Jahoda
Open to Undergraduate Art, BFA-ART, BFA-ART ED, and Art History majors
In-depth exploration of techniques and materials including zone system, large format, and non-silver processes. Slide lectures, discussions, and readings. Prerequisite: ART 230 or consent of instructor.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:V
 
ART 274 - Animation Fundamentals
3 Credits
Instructor: Patricia Galvis-Assmus
Prerequisite: Art 104, 110, 120, or 131
Introduction to traditional animation techniques as used in fine art animation and experimental film/video. Basics of locomotion, timing, lighting, camera moves, exposure, sound design and audio and visual editing. Studio course.
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: V
 

ART 374 – Int. Computer Animation

Shane Mecklenburger 3 Credits
Prerequisite:Art 104, 110, 120, or 131. Students may enroll without prerequisites with permission of the instructor.

First half of a two-semester sequence. With studio. Principles and applications of computer animation using Crater and Alias Maya software in film, video, music, and technology. Introduction to 2D and 3D animation programs. Skills acquired in preparation for production in second semester. Emphasis on professionalism and quality. Should be followed by 397, 3D Computer Animation.

UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:V

 

ART 375 – Moving Image
3 Credits
Instructor:Jenny Vogel
Open to Undergraduates with majors in Art, BFA-Art, and BFA-Art Education only
Prerequisites:ART 104, 110, or 120
This course explores digital video and sound within the context of contemporary art practices. Students learn basic skills and concepts used in experimental digital video production through small-scale projects.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:V
 
 
Art 384 Computer Animation I and II
3 Credits
Instructor: Shane Mecklenburger
Prerequisite: Art 104, 110, 120, or 131. Students may enroll without prerequisites with permission of the instructor.
First half of a two-semester sequence. With studio. Principles and applications of computer animation using Crater and Alias Maya software in film, video, music, and technology. Introduction to 2D and 3D animation programs. Skills acquired in preparation for production in second semester. Emphasis on professionalism and quality. Should be followed by 397, 3D Computer Animation.
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: V
 
 
ANTHRO 106 – Culture Through Film
Exploration of different societies and cultures, and of the field of cultural anthropology through the medium of film. Ethnographic and documentary films; focus on gender roles, ethnicity, race, class, religion, politics, and social change.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:III, V
 
COMM 140 - Introduction to Film Studies
3 Credits
Instructor: Anne Ciecko
Open to Sophomores & Freshmen only.
This course offers an introduction to the study of film as a distinct medium. It introduces the ways in which film style, form, and genre contribute to the meaning and the experience of movies. Topics include film as industrial commodity, narrative and non-narrative form, aspects of style (e.g. composition, cinematography, editing, and sound), and the role of film as a cultural practice. Examples are drawn from new and classic films, from Hollywood and from around the world. This course is intended to serve as a basis for film studies courses you might take in the future.
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: I, V
 
COMM 231 - Film and Television Production Concepts
3 Credits
Instructor: Kevin Anderson
Open to undeclared students, SBS Exploratory Track students, and Communication majors only.
Open to COMM and Undeclared majors, or to students who have taken either COMM 118, 121, 122, 125, or 140. 75 seats reserved for COMM majors. Students wishing to enroll who do not meet course eligibility should contact instructor.
This class provides an overview of film and television production principles and processes from script to screen and also prepares students for later hands-on production courses. We will explore both the art and craft of film and video production, including the roles and functions of the major creative and technical personnel in the scripting;pre-production, production and post-production phases. Technical aspects such as digital vs. analog media, lighting, lenses, types of film and videotape, crew organization and function, editing concepts, sound recording, etc. will be discussed, as well as creative functions such as dramatic and documentary structure, creating characters, acting for the screen, visualization and composition for the camera and more.
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: I,V
 
COMM 296F - Independent Study: Film Festival
1 Credit
Instructor: Anne Ciecko
Comm 296F is open to all undergraduate students, all majors. Since the festival screenings change each semester, Comm 296F can be taken multiple times.
This is a 1-credit Mandatory Pass/Fail course. Film screening. This festival colloquium will be held in conjunction with one or more semester-long film festivals.
 
COMM 331 - Program Process in TV
3 Credits
Instructor: David Maxcy
Open to Senior, Junior and Sophomore Communication majors only. Journalism Majors and Film Certificate Students by permission of the instructor,
djmaxcy@comm.umass.ed
This course introduces concepts and techniques of television production through weekly lectures and lab meetings. During the first six weeks basic concepts and techniques are introduced in lecture. Students then break up into lab groups where, under the supervision of their lab instructor, they produce a short program which puts the concept of the week to work. During the course students work on two major projects: first, a short, narrative piece shot in single-camera, post-production style, and, second, a multiple camera piece shot live in the studio.
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: V
 
COMM 340 - History Of Film I
3 Credits
Instructor: Shawn Shimpach
Open to Senior and Junior Communication majors only.
Lecture, lab (screening), discussion. A survey of key events and representative films that mark the history of motion pictures in the United States and other countries to 1950. In addition to identifying and providing access to major works, the course is designed to facilitate the study of the various influences (industrial, technological, aesthetic, social, cultural, and political) that have shaped the evolution of the medium to the advent of television.
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, V
 
COMM 345 – Contemporary World Cinema
3 Credits
Instructor:Anne Ciecko, Cap: 43
This course offers an overview of recent filmmaking from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and elsewhere. While narrative fiction feature films are central, documentary, short-form work, and other digital/audiovisual media will also be included. Developing tools of film analysis and criticism, we will explore representational strategies and issues of context: current events, cultural, political, social, historical, and economic circumstances that impact the production, exhibition, marketing, distribution, and reception of films. The class meeting time includes lectures, discussions, class activities, and regular screenings of feature films and clips; at least one screening outside class may also be required. All undergraduates are welcome. No prior background in film studies is required, only an openness to diverse cultures and representations.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:III, V
 
COMM 397B - Intro Studio Directing
3 Credits
Instructor: David Maxcy
Open to Senior, Junior and Sophomore Communication majors only. Journalism Majors and Film Certificate Students by permission of the instructor,
djmaxcy@comm.umass.ed
Students will learn basic concepts and techniques of studio television production, with a focus on directing live programs in a full-scale studio facility on the UMASS campus. The course includes lecture presentations, production exercises, script-writing projects, and studio production projects. Finally, each student will write, produce, and direct a live studio production.
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: V
 
COMM 397TV - TV Studio Operations, Production Design & Production
3 Credits
Instructor: David Maxcy
Open to Senior, Junior and Sophomore Communication majors only.
This course explores the links between technical operations, creative production design, and actual production in the live, multiple-camera HD studio environment. Though loaded with technology, the television studio is, from the first instance through the last, a creative environment with tools aimed at production of meaningful content. This course will explore and put to work the concepts and techniques fundamental to multiple-camera studio production in the HD studio environment. These include conceptualization, visualization, and writing for multiple-camera, wide-screen production; and production design, including staging, set design, photography, lighting, sound, and graphic design. Students will learn and practice skills including light placement and mixing, videography using the HD studio camera, sound pickup and mixing, and graphics. Students will realize all of this work in collaborative, final studio production projects.
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: V
 
COMM 441 - Principles and Techniques of Film Style Production
3 Credits
Instructor: Kevin Anderson
Open to Senior and Junior Communication majors only. Prerequisite: COMM 231 and 331.
A hands-on introduction to single-camera filmmaking using digital video camcorders and non-linear editing. Production assignments will foster student skills in the art of visual storytelling: from pre-production, shot composition and lighting to continuity editing and post production audio.
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: IV, V
 
COMM 444 - Film Styles and Genres
Instructor:Shawn Shimpach
 3 Credits
Why do we put certain films into categories? What constitutes a film genre, how do we recognize it, and what do we do with it? This course examines these questions and more by considering a specific genre over the course of the semester. We will learn to think of genre as a way of comparing and contrasting different films. Genre will also be thought of as a way of creating expectations and measuring experience and meaning. The power of film genre is that it allows us to understand film as a text and film as a social practice at the very same time.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:III, IV, V
 
COMM 445 - Screenwriting
3 Credits
Instructor: Bruce Geisler
Open to Senior and Junior Communication majors only.
An examination of the art, craft, and business of screenwriting from theoretical and practical perspectives. Topics include screenplay format and structure, story, plot and character development, dialog and scene description, visual storytelling, pace and rhythm, analysis of professional and student scripts and films.
 UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: IV, V
 
COMM 446 - Film Documentary
3 Credits
Instructor: Bruce Geisler
Open to Seniors & Juniors only. Prerequisite: either COMM 140 (formerly 240), 231, 340, 342 or 445 (formerly 493E.), or by permission of the instructor at
geisler@comm.umass.edu.
We will view, analyze, and discuss films by modern documentary masters such as Michael Moore ("Sicko"), Chris Paine, ("Revenge of the Electric Car"), Seth Gordon ("The King of Kong - A fistful of Quarters"), Pamela Yates ("Granito") and many others to further the understanding of the documentary craft and art from a filmmaker's perspective. Students will also do preproduction (research and treatment) for their own short documentary, along with shorter hands-on exercises in writing narration, interview techniques, etc.
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, IV, V
 
COMM 493L - Experimental Film and Video
3 Credits
Instructor: Kevin Anderson
Open to Seniors & Juniors only.
This course explores the genre of Experimental Film and Video with a critical eye toward the history and current articulations of this form of production in both feature film and short form movies and videos. The course begins with an introduction to the genre, then explores Experimental Film; video according to three different categories: Experimentation with Narrative, Experimentation with Structure/Form, and Experimentation with the line between Fact and Fiction. Students will emerge from this course with a solid foundation in the history and theory of experimental film/video as evidenced by writing projects, research papers, and student-produced experimental media projects.
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, IV, V
 
COMM 493Z – S-Documentary Production Workshop
3 Credits
Instructor:Bruce Geisler
Open to Senior and Junior Communication majors only
Requirements:One of the following: COMM 331, COMM 441, COMM446
A hands-on workshop in the production of documentary films. Students will learn about the art and craft of non-fiction filmmaking and create two to three short documentaries using high definition video and Adobe Premiere editing suites
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:IV, V
 
COMM 494BI - Countercultural Films
3 Credits
Instructor: Bruce Geisler
Open to Seniors & Juniors only. Or by permission of instructor @
geisler@comm.umass.edu.
An exploration of the counter-cultural movements of the 1960s and 70s and later, hosted by someone who was there and lived to tell the tale. Through the medium of documentary and fiction films, we will delve into the musical, sexual, artistic, political and spiritual upheavals that rocked America and Europe back then and that continue to reverberate today. This course satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement for BA-Comm majors.
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, IV, V
 
COMM 593D – S-Advanced Screenwriting
3 Credits
Instructor:Bruce Geisler
Open to Senior & Junior Communication majors only.
Prerequisite:COMM 493E or another college-level screenwriting course
Building on the introductory course, (COMM 493E: Seminar-Screenwriting), an intensive workshop where students receive continuing, in-depth feedback on their work in progress, as they strive for professional competence in feature-length theatrical screenwriting or writing for episodic television. Analysis of two professional screenplays and the films or shows produced from them as students delve into the writer's art and craft. Students will complete either 60 pages of a feature length motion picture screenplay or a complete episode for an existing dramatic television show, or two episodes for a current sitcom.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:IV, V
 
COMP-LIT 100 - International Horror
Instructor:Shastri Akella
4 Credits
For this course, fiction, film, poetry, music and video games will be our primary texts. The course will reflect on three areas of inquiry with regards to the horror genre: (i) psychological ramifications: what evokes fear and why; how a particular kind of demon or monster evokes a particular kind of fear and how, in doing so, the demonic or monstrous reveals the human condition; (ii) cultural specificities: how place (where the text is set/produced) reshapes the specific depictions and meanings of fear; how these disparate fear-representations find a universal echo because of the effects of fear and (iii) particular social representations of minorities: what are the time- and place-bound implications of such representations.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:III, V 
 
COMP-LIT 170 - Introduction to Film Analysis: Cinematic Time Travel
4 Credits
Instructor: Barry Spence
This is an introduction to film studies and to the analysis of film. The course explores the complex nature and cultural function of cinema by focusing on time travel as both a central theme of a wide range of films and as a way of understanding how cinema works as a time-based medium. By studying films from various points in the global history of cinema - including films from nine countries and five continents - this course performs a transcultural introduction to the formal and stylistic aspects of cinematic storytelling.
(Gen.Ed. AT)
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: I, V
 
 
COMP-LIT 290M – Migration, Commotion, and Community
4 Credits
Instructor:Moira Inghilleri
Fulfills Gen-Eds AL, DU
Using comic books, films, visual art, and fiction, we widen the meaning of ‘migration’. Why do characters in “Arrival” fear aliens? How are the children in “Logan” allegories for displacement? How does "Brooklyn" delocalize the meaning of home?How does “Ms. Marvel” use a popular comic to talk about belonging? America is made up of her movements, and through group projects, short readings, film screenings, and class presentations, we build a collective understanding of how we experience, at one point or another, what Freud calls ‘unhemleich’, not being at home, and how community becomes the 'chosen' home away from home where we can belong.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:II, V
 
COMP-LIT 337 - International History of Animation
Instructor:Christopher Couch
 4 Credits
This course traces the history of animation from the late 19th century to today, including short and feature-length films from the United States, Europe and Japan. Topics will include the Fleischer, Disney and UPA studios, directors from Emil Cole to Hayao Miyazaki, and experimental animators including Oskar Fischinger and John Canemaker. Animation for television, including Jay Ward's Rocky and Bullwinkle and Matt Groening's The Simpsons will also be considered.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:II, V
 
COMP-LIT 381 – Self-Reflective Avant-Garde Film
4 Credits
Instructor:Don Levine
Students have the option of applying for a 1 credit add-on honors credit
Course can apply to Comm major—see Comm advisor
Focus on narrative problems of love, desire, sexual identity, daily life, and death. These films' investigations of how we might gain distance on our life fictions by questioning and undermining viewer identification with narrative.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:II, V
 
COMP-LIT 383 - Narrative Avant-Garde Film
4 Credits
Instructor: Don Levine
Focus on narrative problems of love, desire, sexual identity, daily life, and death. These films' investigations of how we might gain distance on our life fictions by questioning and undermining viewer identification with narrative. (Gen.Ed. AT)
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: II, V
 
COMP-LIT 391A - Introduction History of Animation
3 Credits
Instructor: Christopher Couch
This course traces the history of animation from the late 19th century to today, including short and feature-length films from the United States, Europe and Japan. Topics will include the Fleischer, Disney and UPA studios, directors from Emil Cole to Hayao Miyazaki, and experimental animators including Oskar Fischinger and John Canemaker. Animation for television, including Jay Ward's Rocky and Bullwinkle and Matt Groening's The Simpsons will also be considered.
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V
 
 
COMP-LIT 391SF/591SF – International Science Fiction Cinema
3 Credits
NOTE: This class is also available as a FilmSt course
Instructor:Chris Couch
This course provides an introduction to science fiction cinema from the end of the nineteenth century to today. Beginning with the experiments of the Melies Brothers and the importance of German Expressionist films like Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, the course considers technological prognostication from Destination Moon to 2001: A Space Odyssey, adventure and science fiction in films like Forbidden Planet and Star Wars, and the dystopian imagination from Invasion of the Body Snatchers to District 9. The course will also highlight the roles of women writers and directors from Thea von Harbou to Kathryn Bigelow, and technological cinematic advances from matte painting and process shots to CGI. Cross-listed with FILM-ST 391SF – International Science Fiction Cinema.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:III, V
 

ENGLISH 298B – Prac-Literary Classics on Film

Kirby Farrell 1 Credit
 

JOURNAL 333 - Intro to Visual Storytelling
Instructor:Brian McDermott
4 Credits
NOTE: Open to Senior, Junior, and Sophomore Journalism majors only.
In introduction to Visual Storytelling, students will become better producers and consumers of visual media. Students will develop a deeper visual literacy by studying topics like visual ethics, aesthetics, agency, and the currents of the modern visual journalism ecosystem. By reporting their own video, photography and data visualization projects, students will learn how to control exposure with a DSLR camera, how to capture quality video and how to use different editing and production software. (Gen. Ed. AT)
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:II, V
 
JOURNAL 339 - Video Content Creation
Instructor:Greeley Kyle
4 Credits
Prerequisite:JOURNAL 300
NOTE: Open to Journalism majors only.
This class is an introduction to radio & television news writing, videography, editing and visual storytelling. Students will learn the basics of radio reporting, videography and broadcast journalism. They will produce a variety of radio and television reports to expand their understanding of the various formats, styles and types of reports used in the media. Students will also work on news judgment, sourcing stories, interviewing subjects and writing and editing their stories for radio, television and the web.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:V
 
JOURNAL 390S - Short-Form Documentary
Instructor TBA
Prerequisite:JOURNAL 300
4 Credits
This class is where documentary filmmaking and traditional journalism meet. People often look at news for the headlines and see little bits of the news?here we give them more depth, alternate perspectives, ask deeper questions and look to the future with long form storytelling. David Wilson, a co-founder of the True/False Film Festival calls this a ?new era of journalism? and says, "We are getting away from the 'voice of God' narration. Primary sources still rule, but viewers also want stories to help triangulate a topic." The challenge of modern day videos is to tell enrapturing stories in a short period of time. Today, the most successful online videos are no more than 5 minutes. This course will teach you how to produce short, sharp, strong micro-documentaries.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:III, V
 
CHINESE 136 - Introduction to Chinese Cinema
Instructor:Enhua Zhang
3 Credits
This class presents an introduction to Chinese cinema from its birth in 1905 up to the present. It focuses on the close-reading and appreciation of representative Chinese films. Arranged chronologically and thematically, this course examines interaction of film texts with social contexts. In-depth analyses of films from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan leads students to consider theoretical questions such as film aesthetics, production, distribution, and reception. Topics include relationships of cinema and mass culture, history, ideology, colonialism, and globalization. No background required, although some knowledge of modern Chinese history is helpful. Conducted in English. 
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:III, V
 
FRENCH-ST 350 - French Film
4 Credits
Instructor: Philippe Baillargeon
This French film survey course in English will introduce a variety of French films (with English subtitles) of different genres dating from the 1930s to the present, which we will interpret on their own terms, in relation to other films, and with respect to their specific historical contexts of time and place. At the end of this course, you will be able analyze films and their different genres as cultural products, identify the values transmitted within these works of art, critically discuss films with the technical vocabulary of film analysis, and interpret films as complex creative works within their specific settings of time and place in French history. To this end, we will focus on food and meals and how this theme reflects economic realities, national obsessions, behavioral conventions, and societal transformations.
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V
 
 
FRENCH 353 – African Film
4 Credits
Instructor:Patrick Mensah 
Course taught in English. Histories and development of African Francophone and Caribbean film, from its inception to the present day. The sociocultural, economic, and political forces and imperatives defining its forms and directions. Questions this work raises in film aesthetics and theory as a whole. Screenings and analysis of films by Sembene, Achkar, Kabore, Mweze, Cisse, Drabo, Bekolo, Teno, Peck, Palcy, Lara, Haas, and others. (Gen.Ed. AT, G)
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:III, V
 
GERMAN 270 - From the Grimms to Disney
Instructor:Sara Jackson
4 Credits
This course focuses on selected fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm (Hansel & Gretel, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Iron Hans) and Hans Christian Andersen (Little Sea Maid, The Red Shoes), locating them in the 19th-century German or Danish culture of their origins and then examining how they became transformed into perennial favorites of U.S. popular culture through their adaptations by Disney (feature animation films), Broadway (musicals), or bestselling self-help books (Iron John, Women Who Run With the Wolves). As a point of comparison, this course will also introduce popular fairy-tale films of the former East Germany (GDR) from the UMass DEFA archives & library, which present the same stories as popular fare in a Cold War communinist cultural context. Conducted in English. (Gen. Ed. AL)
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:III, V
 
ITALIAN 350 - Italian Film
4 Credits
Introduction: Andrea Malaguti
This course is a historical overview of how the most modern form of visual and narrative art responded to Italian culture, i.e. one of the richest traditions in painting, mosaic, and theater. From silent movies to current productions, the history of Italian film parallels and documents also the history of a modern nation, from pre-industrial to post-industrial economy. The course is conducted entirely in English. It re-examines Italian neo-realism and the filmmakers’ project of social reconstruction after Fascism. This course shows how Italian film produces meanings and pleasures through semiotics and psychoanalysis, so as to understand the specific features of Italian cinema, its cultural politics, and the Italian contribution to filmmaking and formal aesthetics.
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V
 
 
JAPANESE 197L – ST-Manga/Anime
3 Credits
Instructor:Bruce Baird 
Japan has become a phenomenally successful exporter of pop culture. This course will give students tools to understand Manga and Anime; it will investigate the role Manga and Anime play in Japan; and, it will examine ways that Manga and Anime flow from one place to another. Course is conducted entirely in English.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:III, V
 
JAPANESE 391T/591T - Tokyo Through Literature and Film
Instructor:Amanda Seaman
3 Credits
In this course we will explore the transformation of Tokyo from Edo into one of the most vibrant, cosmopolitan cities of the world. Taking the themes of maps, disaster, and rebirth, and the role of space in identity formation, we will look at how the city has been transformed and reborn. Our materials will include film, photos, literature, and history in order to delve into the nooks and crannies of the city and the city spaces.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:III, V
 
JUDAIC 319 - Representing the Holocaust
Instructor:Jonathan Skolnik
4 Credits
NOTE: This class is cross-listed as Comp-Lit 319 and English 319
Major writers, works, themes, and critical issues comprising the literature of the Holocaust. Exploration of the narrative responses to the destruction of European Jewry and other peoples during World War II (including diaries, memoirs, fiction, poetry, drama, video testimonies, and memorials).
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:III, V
 
JUDAIC 344 - Film and Society in Israel
Instructor:Olga Gershenson
4 Credits
NOTE: Open to Seniors, Juniors, & Sophomores only. This is a combined course with MIDEAST 344. The total combined capacity is 35.
This course uses film to discuss Israeli society. Topics include: foundation of Israel, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Holocaust survivors, religion, gender, and interethnic relations. All film showings are with English subtitles. (Gen. Ed. AT, DG)
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, V
 
 
JUDAIC 354 – Film, Literature, Jews
4 Credits
Instructor:Olga Gershenson
This course examines the Jews' deep and complicated relationship to the stage and screen, and how that relationship has influenced cultural, national, and religious identity. Topics include: the theater of religion; film and the immigrant experience; the history of Hollywood; and the work of Jewish actors and directors.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:III, V
 
JUDAIC 377 - Pop Culture/Israel & Palestine
Instructor:Olga Gershenson
4 Credits
This course examines Israeli-Palestinian relations through a lens of popular culture in order to give students an understanding of the region beyond news headlines. The topics include cinema, TV, music, sports, food, literature, tourism, and printed and electronic media in Israel and Palestine. The students will learn about major personalities and celebrities in both cultures, as well as about most popular movies, papers, songs, and other cultural products. All readings are in English. (Gen. Ed. AT)
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:III, V
 
PORTUG 408 - Brazil in Film & Fiction
4 Credits
Instructor: Luiz Amaral
The principal aim of this course is to introduce students to Brazilian culture through film and selected readings, by focusing on how filmmakers, writers, and artists represent key aspects of Brazilian society past and present: the colonization process; culture contact between Europeans and native Brazilians; slavery and race relations; economic development; immigration and internal migration; life in the backlands; urban problems; the dictatorship and its aftermath; contemporary Brazil. A second aim of the course is to study the development of Brazilian cinema through the past few generations, especially the important movement known as cinema novo. A third aim is to develop analytical skills and writing abilities. Course and readings in English; films have subtitles. (Gen.Ed. AL, DG)
UMASS UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY: III, IV, V
 
 
SPANISH 397W – Special Topics: Latin American Cinema
3 Credits
Instructor:Barbara Zecchi 
Prerequisite:Spanish 240 or 246
The course is designed to introduce students to the cinematic work of some of the most important Latin American directors from the seventies to the present. The course will center on a variety of topics that are vital to the understanding of the most significant political, historical, social and cultural events that have shaped Latin America. Some of the topics to be examined in the class are: racial, gender, sexual and identity issues; nation formation; revolution; immigration; repression; utopia; resistance; violence; freedom and slavery. Students will be expected to develop interpretative filmic skills through an exploration of the connections between the technical composition of the films and the social, political, and cultural context to which each film refers. Films for the course will be chosen from the following list: Camila, The Official Story, The Other Conquest, El hijo de la novia, Bye Bye Brazil, Central Station, Quilombo, City of God, Obstinate Memory, Azucar Amarga, Guantanamera, Memories of Underdevelopment, Strawberry and Chocolate, Nueba Yol, The Time of the Butterflies, El Norte, Amores Perros, Y tu mama tambien, Cabeza de Vaca, Like Water for Chocolate, Herod's Law, El callejon de los milagros, Danzon, The Oxcart, Ratas, ratones, rateros, The City of the Dogs, Our Lady of the Assassins, Machuca, and The Lion's Den. Requirements: two short analytical papers, mid-term exam and final paper.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:III, V
 
 
POLI-SCI 201 – American Politics Through Film
4 Credits
Instructor:Michael Hannahan
Movies are used to explore the development of American politics. The forces that shaped our politics early in the century (immigration, reform, religion), the rise of "big" government in the depression and World War II years (the new roles of the federal government, the enhanced presidency, internationalism, and anti-communism), and selected issues (race, gender, modern campaigns) prominent since the 1960s. The meaning of political democracy in America and how our understanding of it has adapted to changing times and conditions. (Gen.Ed. HS)
UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:III, V
 
New Course on Media Textuality:
 
Comm 797T - Analyzing Media Textuality
Instructor: Shawn Shimpach
The premise of this course is that textual analysis benefits from an understanding of textuality. Close analysis of texts is a foundational method within many disciplinary approaches and an especially central approach to both film and media studies, producing exemplary case studies as well as the basis for more expansive inquiries. This course will offer an exploration of the intellectual foundations of textual studies and a careful consideration of theories of textuality. It will seek to revisit and reconsider the media text amid twenty-first century practices of seriality and transmedia franchise building, global interconnectivity, digital production and distribution, and intersubjective consumption, in which the boundaries of textuality are forever changing and porous. It will consider the text as discourse, the text as social practice, the text as data, the text as cognition, and the text as site of evolving technogenesis. Participants in the course will develop skills in the analysis and interpretation of media texts through approaches to form, structure, narrative, and genre; the ability to identify and understand medium specificity; experience with both "close reading" and "distant reading" practices; and a recognition of and familiarity with the critical frameworks from which these are all explicitly or implicitly drawn.
GRADUATE COURSES
FILM-ST 497MM*: 16mm Filmmaking and Technology
Instructor:David Bendiksen
This course is an introductory workshop in 16mm single-camera filmmaking, linear editing, and film projection intended for students interested in pursuing further creative production and coursework in film, especially toward completion of the Certificate in Film Studies. Creative work is complemented by a rigorous selection of readings and screenings. Exploration of technological possibilities to broaden student creativity will be emphasized, and the development of personal vision and style will be stressed.
Open to Undergraduate and Graduate students by application
Students should expect to pay a lab fee: $100
*Note: Graduate Film Certificate students will need a 500-level or above course number, so a corresponding independent study course may be necessary for registration.
 
FILM-ST 597E – Strange Engagements-Figural Realism in Film and Literature
Daniel Pope
Course Description TBA
 
FILM-ST  597LF Special Topics- Latin American Film Festival
Barbara Zecchi
1 credit
FILM-ST  691J  Seminar – Holocaust Cinema: History, Memory, Narratives
(Also listed as Judaic 491J)
COMBINED UNDERGRADUATE/GRADUATE COURSE
Olga Gershenson
This seminar provides a cultural history of cinematic treatments of the Holocaust, traces major trends and changes in Holocaust representations, and raises questions concerning historical memory of the Holocaust in national cinemas. The seminar will progress historically from the first-ever cinematic depictions of Nazi anti-Semitism, to the current plethora of genres and styles of Holocaust films. The scope of issues discussed in this seminar is defined by two sets of tensions: first, tensions between history and narrative, and second between eastern and western understanding of the Holocaust. To address the first set of tensions, we'll discuss modes of representation in fiction and documentary films, cinematography, style, and language. To address the second set of tensions, we will compare and contrast representations of the Holocaust in the major national cinemas of the Soviet bloc, with those of the US and Western Europe. We will consider circumstances of films' production and circulation, including censorship, funding, distribution, audience and critical reception. All films and film excerpts are with English subtitles.
 
 FILM ST 695A-01 Seminar - International Film Noir
(Also listed as COMP LIT 695A-01
FILM-ST 695C - S-Fassbinder/Godard/Melodrama
Instructor:Don Levine
3 Credits
NOTE: This is a combined course with COMP-LIT 695A. The total combined capacity is 12. Undergraduates who have completed 2 film courses may request admission per instructor (del@crocker.com)
What were Godard's early films for Fassbinder? Instead of rejecting the most influential avant-garde film maker of the sixties, Fassbinder adopted Godard as father. Yet this fathering was a highly selective progeneration. What does the juxtaposition of these film makers reveal and conceal - and not only about Fassbinder's films, since we cannot now see those of Godard without having our past viewings of Fassbinder films in our heads. Fassbinder sets us on track with two remarks: "Godard believes that film is the truth 24 frames per second, while I believe film is the lie 25 frames per second," and "Both Godard and I despise our characters." The course will raise theoretical issues of spectatorship, tone (irony, distanciation, citation) gender, genre, while being firmly grounded in the formal analysis of filmic text; the construction of the filmic text and its "meaning," and the destruction of subject by means of abyssal structures (mises-en-abyme, structural or metaphoric infinite regresses); Fassbinder's ideological fatigue and complex sexual politics, Godard's political innocence (which is not the same as naivete), his cinematic energy amidst his films' increasing cultural despair.
FILM-ST 697D Special Topics: Arthouse Cinema
Instructor:Barry Spence
This course will examine the cultural phenomenon of the “art film” during the first three decades of the postwar period (1950s, 60s, 70s). The nature and characteristics of, as well as the relationships connecting and distinguishing, modernist cinema, art cinema, and avant-garde film during this vital period in film history will be the course's primary concern. We will examine the notion of the auteur and consider its usefulness for thinking about this multiform, innovative cinema. What is the relationship between cinematic modernism and the core principles and representational strategies of modern art? Does modern cinema, as Gilles Deleuze suggests, function as a mental substitute for the lost connection between the individual and the world? Can it restore our belief in the world? The course will pay particular attention to distinctive stylistic attributes, but will also look at dominant thematic concerns. There will be weekly in-class screenings as well as regular streaming of films outside of class. The filmmakers we will consider include, but are not limited to: Chantal Ackerman, Michelangelo Antonioni, Theo Angelopoulos, Ingmar Bergman, Stan Brakhage, Robert Bresson, Luis Bunuel, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Peter Greenaway, Werner Herzog, Miklos Jansco, Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi, Yasujiro Ozu, Sergei Paradzhanov, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alain Resnais, Jean-Marie Straub, Andrei Tarkovsky, Francois Truffaut, Agnes Varda, Wim Wenders.
No graduate restrictions indicated. This is a combined course, 497D/697D, for undergraduates and graduate students.
ART HISTORY 624: Modern Art 1880-Present
Instructor:Karen Kurzynski
This course takes a new and interactive look at 20th Century art, from the move toward total abstraction around 1913 to the development of Postmodernism in the 1980s. We examine the impact on art of social and political events such as World War I, the Russian Revolution, the rise of Fascism, the Mexican Revolution, the New Woman in the 1920s, World War II, the Cold War, and the rise of consumer culture. We will investigate the origins and complex meanings of movements such as Fauvism, Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, Mexican Muralism, Abstract Expressionism, and Pop Art. We will reconsider and reevaluate major issues in Modern art and culture such as the evolution of personal expression, the recognition of non-western culture in Euro-America, the interest in abstraction as a universal language, new technologies in art, the politics of the avant-garde and its attempts to reconnect art and life, issues of gender, race and representation, the role of myth and the unconscious, and the dialogue between art and popular culture.
No graduate restrictions. This course meets with the undergraduate section, Art History 324.
Note: Please confer with the course instructor about graduate-level enhancements and film focus for course projects to satisfy Graduate Film Certificate requirements. A Graduate Film Certificate student outside Art History has successfully completed this course in the past.
ART 645 Digital Media: Time Based
Tuesday/Thursday 1:00-3:45pm
Jenny Vogel
Explores experimental digital video and sound within the context of contemporary art practices in projects involving a sustained inquiry into self-selected themes. OPEN TO MASTERS ART MAJORS ONLY.
ART 684 Computer Animation II
Shane Mecklenberger
Second of two semester sequence.  Animation techniques using digital tools as applied to film, video, music and technology.  Animation software (Maya) and professional compositing programs are used.  Development and design of personal work is stressed.  Emphasis on creativity and professionalism.  INSTRUCTOR CONSENT REQUIRED. Prerequisite: Art 674 or consent of instructor.
 
ART 685 Media and Motion Graphics
Colleen Keough
Experimental and narrative film titles and interactive art are studied and used as a catalyst for creation of experimental and applied motion graphics. Previous sound and visual editing experience helpful.
 
ART-HIST 691R American Art: Visual Legacies of Colonialism
Ximena Gomez
In this seminar students will investigate the myriad ways that the European invasion of the Americas in the sixteenth century continues to inform contemporary popular culture. The course begins in the colonial period, using primary documents and images to identify and deconstruct the derogatory tropes that manifested in colonial visual culture. In the second part of the course, students will critically analyze contemporary popular visual media, including Hollywood films, television shows, and advertisements, that utilize colonial stereotypes, and discuss the social consequences of their endurance, especially for marginalized people. 
 
GERMAN 697CE Special Topics- Central European Film
Mariana Ivanova
A graduate seminar examining East German, Czechoslovak and Polish cinema of the Cold War period (1940s-90s). Through films and readings covers contemporary theory and debates, including on: formalism and Socialist Realism; international influences, such as Italian Neo-Realism; the various national New Waves and political turmoil of the 1960s; and the impact on cinema of international peace movements in the 1970s and of perestroika and the Solidarity movement of the 1908s. Seminar held in English, all films with English subtitles.
 
GERMAN 797R - Finding Refuge
Instructor: Ela Gezen
No restrictions currently indicated on Spire, but please confirm eligibility with the instructor.
 
ITALIAN 597DV Special Topics- The Divas: Feminine Icons in Italian Cinema
(Also listed as Italian 497DV) 
COMBINED UNDERGRADUATE/GRADUATE COURSE
Andrea Malaguti 
The course explores the social role and meaning of some of the most important actresses of post-WWII Italian cinema (Anna Magnani, Sofia Loren, and Monica Vitti, among others) as both metamorphic representatives and problematic probes of a rapidly modernizing society, and proposes a model of the female figure as "the active face of the crisis" (Giorgio Tinazzi).  Conducted in English.
 
PORTUG 697A- Brazil in Film & Fiction
4 Credits
Instructor: Luiz Amaral
The principal aim of this course is to introduce students to Brazilian culture through film and selected readings, by focusing on how filmmakers, writers, and artists represent key aspects of Brazilian society past and present: the colonization process; culture contact between Europeans and native Brazilians; slavery and race relations; economic development; immigration and internal migration; life in the backlands; urban problems; the dictatorship and its aftermath; contemporary Brazil. A second aim of the course is to study the development of Brazilian cinema through the past few generations, especially the important movement known as cinema novo. A third aim is to develop analytical skills and writing abilities. Course and readings in English; films have subtitles.
 
SPAN 797AS - Aging Studies and Cinema
Instructor:Barbara Zecchi
In a context of obsession with physical perfection and eternal youth, the cinematic representation of the older body, especially the older woman’s body, implies a thematic and aesthetic challenge. .In this class we will tackle the intersection between age and gender in cinema by addressing the following topics: Elder Stereotypes in cinema (Narratives of Decline/Successful Aging/Affirmative Aging); The invisibility of aging women in mainstream cinema; aging women vis-à-vis aging men; The evolution of older women’s representation: are their roles becoming more (or less) visible (and if visible, more empowering) throughout the history of cinema?; Aging in a cultural context: cross-national differences; Aging and violence: Films that transform established narratives on elder women’s abuse and neglect and seek to reverse the traditional absence and/or stereotyping of older female characters in contexts of violence; Aging and sex: female eroticism after 50 (… or after 40); Aging and homosexuality; Aging and sickness; Aging/loss of memory/loss of historical memory; Death and Euthanasia; etc. The goal of this class is to provide students with specialized material for a deep understanding of the field of aging studies. Students will read academic texts on the topic, will work on a body of relevant films and will collaborate in the development of the Digital )Humanities Project CinemAGEnder with book and film reviews (The class is taught in Spanish).
 
SPAN 797GG The Gender of Genre
Instructor: Barbara Zecchi
By tackling the so-called gender-genre debate, this class will analyze how women filmmakers use (or subvert) different male-dominated cinematic forms (such as neo-realism, the road movie, the film noir, etc.), thus shaping a female discursive idiosyncrasy. Taught in Spanish.
 
SPAN 597T - Catalan Cinema & Fiction
1 Credit
Instructors: Barbara Zecchi, Guillem Molla
"Spanish" cinema started in Catalonia with two important schools: the realistic school led by Fructuós Gelabert, and the fantastic trend represented by Segundo de Chomón. After the silence forced upon Catalan cinema during Franco’s dictatorship in the 40’s and 50’s, it started to regain an important role in the film industry with the Barcelona School in the mid 60’s. Presently Catalan Cinema enjoys a strong recognition thanks to the works of well-known Catalan directors such as Bigas Luna, Ventura Pons and Isabel Coixet, among others. Films are shown in the original language (Catalan or Castilian) w/ English subtitles.
 
AFROAM 591C SEMINAR - Digital Video Production and Research In The Black Community
1 Credit
Instructor: Demetria Shabazz
This course aims to increase the utility and impact of research produced at UMass by creating, adapting, implementing, supporting, and sustaining innovative digital tools and publishing platforms for content delivery, discovery, analysis, data curation, and preservation. It will also engage students in extensive outreach, education, and advocacy to ensure that scholarly work in the Du Bois Department has a global reach and accelerates the pace of research across disciplines.
The course will teach visual methodological research methods and digital camera usage to explore social networks, the inclusion of community partners in research, and black neighborhood and community spaces. We draw on the substantive and methodological experiences of visual researchers using photography, film, and video and the evident challenges of representing such a diversely situated experience as that of African Americans. We will discuss and learn camera use and operation, data collection and analysis, ethical concerns, community partnerships, refinement of research questions, and theoretical use and development of imagery in research regarding the African American community.
I welcome working with graduate students, and undergraduates, Emerging Scholars, and Commonwealth Honors College students.
The course can focus on your own research project and/or connect with a new video production of the Du Bois Department we will begin that will air on Amherst Media. Contact Prof. Dee Shabazz at dshabazz@umass.edu for more details on the course.
 
ANTHRO 697CR SPECIAL TOPICS - Comics, Cartoons and Communicating Anthropology
1 Credit
Instructor: Sonya Atalay
This course focuses on the potential of comics, animation and other visual approaches as a valuable part of the research toolkit. We will read what others have said about this topic, but will spend the bulk of our time learning to create comics and animations that communicate research. You will be required to produce a graphic novel and an animation about your dissertation, thesis, or a research topic that interests you. You will also be required to write reflections about the readings and about your comic/animation production process. Drawing skills are not required - many of the methods we explore don't rely on any form of drawing, other methods involve simple stick figure sketching. In our hyper-visual culture, presenting research in a visually engaging way can have a powerful impact. Visual methods, like comics and animation, aid us in telling engaging, memorable stories about our work. Storytelling is an important skill in the research toolkit ? successful grant writing, giving a compelling presentation, or authoring books and articles all require us to communicate the story of our research in a compelling way. Furthermore, creating visual stories through comics and animation is fun; it brings much needed creativity to our work lives and to our research, while at the same time helping to democratize knowledge, and fulfilling our ethical responsibilities to share scholarship outside the academy. These tools allow us to move academic knowledge into the hands and minds of public audiences, policy makers, community partners, and other scholars, in our own field and across disciplines.
 
Comm 597V Special Topics- Advanced Video Production Workshop
COMBINED UNDERGRADUATE/GRADUATE COURSE 
Kevin Anderson
Students work individually or in small groups to devote the entire semester's class time to the creation and completion of a substantial media project: e.g. short narrative film, documentary, music videos, TV or Web series, etc. Students are required to have a script or outline of the project prior to the start of the semester so that projects will commence production shortly into the semester and move on to completion of post-production, including creation of a soundtrack; run test screenings; develop marketing strategies for distribution and/or festival exhibitions.
INSTRUCTOR CONSENT REQUIRED. Open to Undergraduate and Graduate students by application. Contact the instructor for an application form.
 
COMM 693D Introduction to Film Theory
REQUIRED FOR THE GRADUATE FILM CERTIFICATE
Anne Ciecko
This course offers an introductory overview of major approaches to the study of film and audiovisual media, including formalism and realism ("classical" film theory), and theoretical and critical methods informed by structuralism, semiology, phenomenology, psychoanalysis, political theory, and cultural studies. Auteurism, feminist film theory, queer theory, genre studies, spectator/audience/ reception, star and performance studies, apparatus theory, postcolonial theory, and theories of new media will also be considered. Film clips and occasional longer works will be shown in class, but students will also be responsible for watching a number of films and/or other audiovisual materials outside class. Writing assignments will provide students with opportunities to further engage with and respond to course readings and related materials, and enable them to develop (and present to the class) exploratory work on projects tailored to individual interests and goals. Prior study of film is not required. This course is a requirement for the Graduate Certificate in Film Studies, but is open to all graduate students, any major or program.
 
COMM 791V S- Media Historiography
Shawn Shimpach
Open to Doctoral and Masters Communication students only. Communication Doctoral & Masters Graduate students OR permission of instructor. 
COMM 797N Seminar: Theorizing Interdisciplinarity
Instructor:Anne Ciecko
This seminar aims to explore the generative possibilities and challenges of disciplinary border-crossing. How can the humanities and arts illuminate and complicate the social, natural, and physical sciences (and vice versa)? Why and how have such divisions been constructed and enforced? Integrating collaborative methods and dialogism, the course format will discussion of diverse readings and case studies; exploratory and experimental individual and group projects; and seminar visits by faculty across specializations, fields, disciplines, departments, and colleges. Final course projects are fully customizable to student interests and needs. Our course readings, discussions, and activities -- while grounded in academic theory, research, and pedagogy -- will also necessarily extend to other forms of creative application, praxis, engagement, and transformational scholarly activity (e.g., artistic production, curation, criticism, activism). Informed by cultural studies, poststructuralism, aesthetics, intellectual history, postcolonial theory, intersectionality, perception psychology, debates in academic journalism, and more, the course readings will enable us to examine the conceptualization and frameworks of interdisciplinarity (and related terms and tropes such as multidisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity, postdisciplinarity, undisciplined knowledge, etc.) through investigations of the following: 1) the historical foundations and contestations of academic institutions, disciplines, and canonicity; 2) insider/outsider dialectics and liminality; 3) questions of epistemology, meta-cognition, taxonomy, and knowledge formation; and 4) initiatives and reading strategies that facilitate mutual intelligibility.
No graduate restrictions. This course is open to all Graduate students, any major or program. It counts toward the Graduate Film Certificate.
 
COMPLIT 695A (also listed as FILM-ST 695A) Seminar: International Film Noir
Instructor:Don Levine
Often referred to as the only indigenous American film style, "film noir" in its very appellation reveals that its major effects (for certain modern conceptions of cinema) lay elsewhere. We will examine film noir in its American heyday (1945-1957) and how it came to be a major propelling force in the new European cinema of the 1960's (Godard, and the Cahiers du cinema).
No graduate restrictions. Undergraduates who have completed two film courses may request admission.
This is a combined course for undergraduates and graduate students.
 
COMP-LIT 695C SEMINAR - Melodrama Effect (Fassbinder, Godard, Sirk)
1 Credit
Instructor: Don Levine
What were Godard's early films for Fassbinder? Instead of rejecting the most influential avant-garde film maker of the sixties, Fassbinder adopted Godard as father. Yet this fathering was a highly selective progeneration. What does the juxtaposition of these film makers reveal and conceal - and not only about Fassbinder's films, since we cannot now see those of Godard without having our past viewings of Fassbinder films in our heads. Fassbinder sets us on track with two remarks: "Godard believes that film is the truth 24 frames per second, while I believe film is the lie 25 frames per second," and "Both Godard and I despise our characters."
The course will raise theoretical issues of spectatorship, tone (irony, distanciation, citation) gender, genre, while being firmly grounded in the formal analysis of filmic text; the construction of the filmic text and its "meaning," and the destruction of subject by means of abyssal structures (mises-en-abyme, structural or metaphoric infinite regresses); Fassbinder's ideological fatigue and complex sexual politics, Godard's political innocence (which is not the same as naivete), his cinematic energy amidst his films' increasing cultural despair.
Pre-requisites: familiarity with film theory and discourse, preferably by at least two courses in film analysis.
Course meets as intensive seminar, once a week for 4 hours. "Films include: Sirk -'All that Heaven Allows', Godard - 'Vivre sa vie'; Fassbinder - 'Ali', 'Petra von Kant','13 Moons', 'Veronica Voss'; Haynes -'Far from Heaven'."
 
JAPANESE 591T Seminar: Tokyo Through Literature and Film
Instructor:Amanda Seaman
Please contact instructor for current course description.
No graduate restrictions indicated.
Note: In past semesters readings were in English, and Graduate Film Certificate students across majors have been welcome.
This is a combined course, 391T/591T, for undergraduates and graduate students.
 
Other Potential Courses:
Please Note: All pre-approved graduate courses with Film as central focus/significant component have been included in the above list. Other seminars, including the following, may be considered for potential pre-approval upon request of the student, based on syllabus and instructor consultation (confirming film/video content and ability to do film studies-focused projects), as well as relevance to individual Certificate plans of study. Course descriptions are available on Spire. Please note enrollment restrictions, if applicable.
 
 
EDUCATION 595A Educational Video Production
Instructor:Torrey Trust
This course focuses on the planning, production, and analysis of educational videos. Students will engage in all video production processes with a special focus on online video editing production.
Open to PhD students only with permission of the instructor.
EDUC 693K S-Designing Digital Media for Teaching and Learning
Torrey Trust
This project-based course focuses on the theoretical and practical issues related to designing digital learning media (e.g. eBooks, videos, websites) and environments (e.g. online courses) for teaching and learning.
ART 574 - Animation Fundamentals
Instructor: Patricia Galvis-Assmus
Open to Masters Art majors only. Please consult the instructor regarding any additional prerequisites.
 
ARTS-EXT 500 - Intro To Arts Management
Instructor: Dee Boyle-Clapp
 
ART 691A SEM - N.Y. POP
Instructor: Jenny Vogel
Currently restricted on Spire to Art Masters students only.
 
COMM 797T - 01 ST-Analyzing Media Textuality
Instructor: Shawn Shimpach
Open to Communication graduate students only.
 
MUSIC  520 Music Composition for Visual Media
Felipe Salles
Open to Graduate students only. This class is dependent on the student ability to use Sibelius 4 or above notation software. Purchase of the software is mandatory. Finale 2007 and above is acceptable. Experience with Protools, Logic or Digital Performer software is desirable.
This course is designed primarily for MM Jazz Composition and Arranging students. It is open as an elective to graduate students in other areas who possess a thorough knowledge of composition and orchestration, and software notation skills. This is a project based course on writing music for visual media.  It involves the study of the work of industry standard compositions in three visual media areas, TV commercials, cartoons, and film.  Students will analyze music for its emotional and visual impact and compose music for film/video projects.This class is dependent on the student ability to use Sibelius 4 or above notation software. Purchase of the software is mandatory. Finale 2007 and above is acceptable. Experience with Protools, Logic or Digital Performer software is desirable. Class work will take the form of three projects, a research presentation, readings and discussions. The final project will involve the use of virtual (and studio recorded real instruments where possible) in a cross platform integration of Sibelius/Finale, MIDI/Virtual Sounds and Logic.