Graduate Courses: Fall 2020

Fall 2020 Approved Graduate Film Certificate course list (Tentative)

NOTE: Please contact the Certificate GPD, Prof. Anne Ciecko, for Graduate Film Certificate program and application queries, plan of study advising, and Certificate completion review: All Graduate Film Certificate courses must be taken at 500 level or above. Contact respective course instructor directly with any questions about course description, registration eligibility, and graduate-level requirements for the course.


ART  575 Digital Media: Still Image

MoWe 9:05AM - 11:50AM

Studio Arts Building Room 16

Copper Giloth

Description: Explores the creative possibilities of digital image creation and manipulation.  Through demonstrations, creative technical assignments, students explore the digital workflow in independent projects involving sustained inquiry into self selected themes.

Restrictions: Open to Masters Art majors only.


ART  674 Computer Animation I

TuTh 1:00PM - 3:45PM

Studio Arts Building Room 16


Prerequisite: ART 574

Description: First of two semester sequence.  Creative animation techniques for motion graphics, film, video, music and technology.  Animation software and professional compositing programs are used. Storyboarding, production design scheduling and production issues are incorporated.  Emphasis is on creativity and professionalism.

Restrictions: Open to Masters Art majors only.

ART-HIST  691R Seminar- American Art: Visual Legacies of Colonialism

Tu 4:00PM - 6:45PM

South College W369

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.

Combined undergrad/grad course, Art-Hist 391R/Art-Hist 691R.


ARTS-EXT  500 Introduction to Arts Management



Terre Vandale

TuTh 4:20PM - 5:35PM


Dee Boyle-Clapp

Enrollment Requirements: 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.

Description: 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. Combined undergrad/grad course.


COMM 700-level World Cinema and Film Theory [TBD seminar, tutorial, or independent study] 

Day/Time TBD


Anne Ciecko

Description: TBD

This course will count as the required theory course for the Graduate Film Certificate.


COMP-LIT  692S/FILM ST 692S  Seminar- The Sociology of Film

Mo 4:00PM - 6:30PM


Jeremi Marek Szaniawski

Description: A survey of film and media studies texts of Marxist, neo- and post-Marxist inspiration: the writings of SM Eisenstein, Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht, the Frankfurt School (esp. Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer), Ernst Bloch, Roland Barthes, Raymond Williams, Fredric Jameson, Jacques Ranciere, Paul Coates, Lynn Spigel, John MacKay, Michael Cramer. Films under scrutiny will include early Soviet cinema, classical Hollywood genre films (High Noon and Johnny Guitar), European New Wave films (from France, Poland, the Soviet Union), New Hollywood popular fare (e.g. Jaws and The Godfather), as well as more recent productions. After looking at case studies discussed in the reading, we will apply a sociological and/or Marxist grid of interpretation to contemporary films from the US, Russia, Poland, South Korea, and others.


COMP-LIT  695C- Seminar-Melodrama Effect (Fassbinder, Godard, Sick)

We 4:00PM - 8:00PM


Don Levine


Description: 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'."

Combined course for graduate students and advanced undergrads.


FILM-ST  797C/SPANISH  797CC Special Topics- Catalan Cinema- A Stateless National Film Production

We 4:00PM - 7:00PM


Barbara Zecchi

The goal of this class is to give visibility to a film production that is generally assimilated by, and shoehorned into, Spanish film production. If there is a commonsense understanding of what a national cinema is, what about a stateless national cinema? Catalan cinema is often relegated to a footnote or a compulsory chapter in books on Spanish cinema, even though Spanish cinema would be inconceivable without Catalan film production. Just as early feminist theory called for a "countercinema," early radical Latin American theory for an "imperfect cinema," and Hamid Naficy for an "accented cinema," so Catalan cinema cries out for a reevaluation of cinematic models and protocols. Is Catalan cinema an imperfect, minoritarian, colonized, accented countercinema? Does it have its own idiosyncrasies? This class aims at answering these and other questions by offering an overview of the history of Catalan cinema from the pioneering days to the present. Particular emphasis will be given to "auteurs" such as Joaquin Jorda, Ventura Pons, Bigas Luna, Pere Portabella, and Isabel Coixet; the avant-gardist Escola de Barcelona, that provoked belligerent rejections like no other film movement; the clandestine production during the Franco dictatorship (Helena Lumbreras and her Class Cinema Collective, or Pere Portabella's early works); the creative documentary of the Pompeu Fabra; and the new generation of women filmmakers (Neus Ballus, Carla Simon, Elena Marti, among others).


GERMAN  697F ST- Film Adaptations: From Literature to Film 

TH 1:00 - 3:30 pm 


 Mariana Ivanova (

Description: This course explores the issues and politics of adapting literary texts for the screen. Students will examine film adaptations of texts from German speaking countries, which represent various literary genres, including novels, short fiction, graphic novels, and nonfiction. We will address questions such as: What makes for a successful film adaptation? Why are some texts more readily adaptable than others? How are films products of their own cultural moment? What issues arise in the adaptation of different literary genres? The course will be taught in English and allmaterials and films will be made available in English.


GERMAN  697J ST-Jews & German Culture

We 1:25PM - 3:45PM


Jonathan Skolnik

Description: This course (for graduate students and advanced undergraduates) is an in-depth exploration of both German-Jewish writers, thinkers, and filmmakers (including Freud, Heine, Kafka, Lasker-Schuler, Zweig) and the representation of Jews in German-language culture from the Enlightenment to the post-Holocaust present. Topics include assimilation, dissimilation, anti-Semitism, Zionism, exile, Holocaust, and Jews in post-Holocaust Germany and Austria.  Conducted in English with readings in German



HISTORY  659 Public History

Th 2:30PM - 5:00PM


Marla Miller

Description: An examination of the various public images and uses of history and issues confronted by historians working in museums, historic sites, oral history, historic preservation, archives and documentary film.


Open to Doctoral and Masters History students and by permission of instructor



OTHER COURSES TO BE CONSIDERED (contingent upon ability to integrate graduate-level film studies and/or production projects):


COMP-LIT  551 Translation and Technology

Mo 4:00PM - 6:45PM


Cristiano Mazzei

Description: Translation today requires advanced language and computer skills.  This course covers several technologies, including desktop and internet publishing, computer tools for translation, and programs editing audio and video files.  Prerequisites: Excellent knowledge of one language other than English


UWW class; $47/term reg. fee + $474/credit and a $60 language reviewing fee. Refunds differ from Univ. day classes; see

This is a multimodal course, and meets with the following sections: University and UWW. 
The University section will be held face to face at the Amherst campus and online asynchronously.
The UWW section will be fully online asynchronous. 
Please contact your Advisor for more info.


SPP  597M Special Topics- Makerspace Leadership and Outreach

Fr 2:30PM - 3:45PM


Charles Schweik

A makerspace is a physical location where people gather to share resources and knowledge, work on projects, network, and build. The `Maker Culture? emphasizes learning through doing-it-yourself, or doing-it-together, in a social environment and utilizing open access licensed materials available on the Internet. This course is designed to provide students an opportunity to learn about the underpinnings of makerspaces and maker culture, and then work on a makerspace project in a team (ideally) or as an individual, if you so desire. Students can choose to work on one of three types of projects: (1) "longitudinal projects" - projects that have already been started by students in earlier versions of the course but are being continued this semester (a chlorine in water sensor working with a company called DAI; an autonomous boat); (2) new projects that are being proposed by the faculty coordinators (e.g., a research project on how to move UMass to net-zero energy by 2030; a video documentary project working with an organization called Solutions Journalism; the development of a workshop for children on a maker toolbox called "microbit" and an organization in Singapore); and, (3) a project or "maker workshop" that the student proposes for themselves, working in conjunction with the instructors. For all projects, students will be asked to (1) initially develop a project proposal including an equipment list and a submitted goal for the semester; (2) research (e.g., literature review) the topic; and (3) work on the project throughout the semester, striving for the goal they set in #1. During the semester there will be several progress report sessions, and a final public presentation requirement on their project at the end of the semester in the new All-Campus Makerspace