Graduate Courses: Fall 2019

Please note: Per graduate school requirements, all Certificate courses must be taken at 500-level or above.

ART 691A Seminar: New York Pop

Instructor: TBA
Friday 12:20-2:00pm, room TBA

Introduction to the professional art system in New York City. Overnight trips. Visits to artist studios and art critics. Meetings with curators at nonprofit, alternative and museum spaces. On Friday nights: performance art, video screenings, art openings, underground films, dance events. Independent work from students' studios discussed in critiques with class and instructor in Amherst.

Open to masters Art majors only.

Note: Based on past semesters, enrollment for Grad Film Certificate students outside Art may be possible. Please contact course instructor with registration inquiries.

ARTS-EXT 500: Introduction to Arts Management

Instructor: Dee Boyle-Clapp
Tuesday/Thursday 4:20-5:35pm, Bartlett Hall room 119

Arts Managers perform the work that is required to bring the arts and cultural programs to audiences, organizing programs such festivals and exhibits, performing arts events and film screenings. This course will introduce you to the "business of the arts," providing you with an overview of the careers in arts management, the types of work that arts managers do, and the current issues and trends now affecting arts management professionals. This course is designed for individuals who are new to the field of arts management, are considering an arts management career, or are interested in arts management principles for the purposes of starting one's own nonprofit. This course is a requirement for all UMass students joining the Arts Management program who have no prior experience in the field.

This class is open to Graduate students and Senior, Junior or Sophomore Undergraduate students only.

This is a 3 credit course open to Soph/Jr/Sr/Grad students. We meet twice a week for lecture/discussion and all assignments and exams are offered in Moodle. Students should plan to attend (and may need to pay admission for) one nonprofit arts event in Week 4 or 5.
If the course is filled or if you wish to register for a concurrent course and have trouble, contact the Arts Extension Service at aes@acad.umass.ed or 413-545-2360. The department is willing to open a second section if necessary.

No graduate restrictions. This is a combined 500-level course for undergraduates and graduate students.

ART HISTORY 624: Modern Art 1880-Present

Instructor: Karen Kurzynski
Tuesday/Thursday 11:30-12:45, Integrative Learning Center (ILC) S231

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.

COMM 797N Seminar: Theorizing Interdisciplinarity

Instructor: Anne Ciecko
Tuesday 7:00-9:45pm, Integrative Learning Center (ILC), room S418

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
Wednesday 4:00-8:00pm, Herter Hall room 206

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.

EDUCATION 595A Educational Video Production

Thursday 4:00-6:30pm, Furcolo Hall 101
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.

FILM-ST 497MM*: 16mm Filmmaking and Technology

Monday 2:30-6:30PM
Instructor: David Bendiksen
Monday 2:30-6:30PM

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. Contact Professor David Bendiksen ( to enroll.
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 697D Special Topics: Arthouse Cinema

Instructor: Barry Spence
Wednesday 4:00-7:00pm, ILC room S404

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.

GERMAN 697CE Special Topics: Central European Film [tentative]

Tuesday/Thursday 11:30-12:45, Herter Hall room 546
Instructor: TBA

No course description is available for this new course.

Course details and approval are currently pending.

JAPANESE 591T Seminar: Tokyo Through Literature and Film

Tuesday/Thursday 1:00-2:15pm, Herter 212
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.

FILM-ST 695C - S-Fassbinder/Godard/Melodrama

Instructor: Don Levine
Lecture: We 4:00PM-8:00PM
Classroom: Herter Hall Rm 206
Cap: 3; 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 (

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.

GERMAN 697CE - Central European Film

Instructor TBA
Lecture: TuTh 11:30AM-12:45PM
Classroom: Herter Hall Rm 546
Cap: 15; 3 Credits

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.

SPAN 797AS - Aging Studies and Cinema

Instructor: Barbara Zecchi
Lecture: Th 4:00PM-6:30PM
Classroom: Herter Hall Rm 746

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).