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GenEd Classes

Fulfilling the General Education Requirements

All students graduating with a bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst must satisfy a set of General Education requirements. These requirements are designed to give all students a broad background in the liberal arts and sciences. Each General Education requirement has a special letter designation. Course descriptions on SPIRE indicate whether a course satisfies a General Education requirement (for students entering September 2005 and thereafter). Your completion of Gen Ed will depend on factors such as when you entered the university, placement exams, and course selections. For information on fulfilling Gen Ed requirements, visit the Gen Ed website
The Film Studies Program is in the process of creating exciting new Gen Ed courses. Some of these courses are still under approval, so please check back soon to see our new listing.

Film Studies GenEd Classes

Film Studies Gen Ed Courses

FILM-ST 170 - Introduction to Film Analysis: Cinematic Time Travel
Gen Ed: AT

FILM-ST  284 - The Undead Souths: Southern Gothic and Francophone Mythologies in Film & Television
Gen Ed: AT, DU

FILM-ST  304 - From Berlin to Hollywood
Gen Ed: AT

FILM-ST  320 - Jewish Humor
Gen Ed: AT, DG

FILM-ST  344 - Film and Society in Israel
Gen Ed: AT, DG

FILM-ST  350 - Italian Film
Gen Ed: AT

FILM-ST  353 - African Film
Gen Ed: AT, DG

FILM-ST  354 - Adaptation: The Jewish Experience from Text to Film
Gen Ed: AT, DG

FILM-ST  357 - Israeli Television, Global Reach
Gen Ed: AT, DG

FILM-ST  360 - Music, Culture, and the Moving Image
Gen Ed: DU, SB

FILM-ST  377 - Popular Culture in Israel & Palestine
Gen Ed: AT, DG

FILM-ST  381 - Self-Reflective Avant-Garde Film
Gen Ed: AT

FILM-ST  383 - Avant-Garde Film
Gen Ed: AT

FILM-ST  387 - The Western in Transnational Cinema
Gen Ed: AT, DG

FILM-ST  408 - Brazil in Film & Fiction
Gen Ed: AL



FILM 170 - Intro to Film Analysis: Time Travel (Film Certificate Category and Major Requirement: I)

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)

FILM 284 - The Undead Souths: Southern Gothic and Francophone Mythologies in Film & Television

Instructor: Patrick Mensah

This course will explore themes of the Southern Gothic in works of Cinema and  popular Televisual narratives. We will study the development of the lurid motifs of the Gothic that works affiliated with this genre often deploy to invoke a sense of horror and dread, moral corruption, and psychological abjection, all seemingly meant to assimilate the South and its citizens to the category of a degenerate and menacing otherness. The imagery of dismal landscapes, dark swamps, decaying architecture, fanatical and occult religious practices, and the often grotesque or monstrous figures and cultural tropes that aspire to associate the South with an imaginary medieval past, will be examined mostly as marks of an ambivalent ideological struggle surrounding the self-identity of America.  Thanks to this regime of gothic tropes and insignia,  America, on the one hand, heralds its own self-identity as culturally rich and historically continuous, and yet,  it is, at least partly thanks to this same regimen of gothic tropes (understood as figures of otherness), on the other hand, that America also typically (or stereotypically) deals with anxieties arising from its attempts to define its own modern identity, and its identity as modern and exceptional. Such anxieties give rise to instances of negative stereotyping, and practices of cultural exclusion that the course critically interrogates.  
(Gen. Ed. AT, DU)

FILM 360 – Music, Culture, Moving Image

Instructor: Kevin Anderson            
This course explores the relationship between music and the moving image across multiple forms of media, including Film and Television, Documentaries, Music Videos, Video Games, Commercials, Broadcasts (e.g. news, sports), and Social Media (e.g. TikTok).  The scope of the material studied includes examples from multiple cultures and points in the history of the moving image, paying particular attention to hybrid and cross-cultural blends of image and music, and the ways in which this marriage of image and sound service cultural and emotional meanings.
Students will be exposed to a wide variety of international, cultural, and historic pairings of music with moving images, and will emerge from the course with a thorough foundation in the following: how and why music pairs with the moving image; how and why the relationship between music and images has varied across time and culture; and the ways in which psychological states, cultural-historical markers, and emotional appeal are targeted through the pairing of sonic and visual stimuli. (Gen. Ed. SB, DU)

FILM 387: The Western in Transnational Cinema (Film Certificate Category: III, V) 

Instructor: Barry SpenceSeven Samurai

The Western is one of the oldest of film genres. Usually considered the first Western movie, The Great Train Robbery, released in 1903, is arguably the film that established cinema as a commercial industry of formidable potential. From its earliest instances the Western has been a key cultural expression of the American mythos and has played an integral role in the formation of American identity. We can look at the Western as a cultural form rich in themes concerning: the construction of gender identity; racial politics; the establishment of social order in conflict with the lure of frontier self-determination; the romance of the outlaw; narratives of redemption; vigilante retribution versus the rule of law; human resiliency in and conquest of the natural world; the subjugation (or extermination) of indigenous peoples—and this is to name only an obvious few. But the Western has also been a pivotal form in the history of storytelling media in a very diverse range of nations and cultural contexts, from Japan to India to Italy to Germany to Australia to South Africa to Brazil to Mexico. This course will, on the one hand, examine the cultural history and legacy of the Western genre in the cinema of the United States. We will study iconic and revisionist examples, looking at both formal and thematic aspects of this cinema as well as its historical relationship to American identity and its social policies and politics. On the other hand, a large part of this course will focus on the Western in relation to a highly diverse range of cinema cultures throughout the world. In particular, we will study the genre’s impact on, but also its inheritance from, the cinema traditions of Italy, Japan, China, India, South Korea, and nations of the Global South. This course is designed to challenge conventional understanding of the Western genre by exposing students to interdisciplinary theories oriented toward comprehending the diverse cultural, social, and political perspectives embodied by the transnational engagement with the Western.Jane got a gun